Jun 5, 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever

My friend Mrs. M called me early this morning. I think it was 8:00 AM. It is an unspoken rule of etiquette that you generally don't call this early on a Saturday morning since people often sleep in. Normal People. People without children People without children who require so little sleep they should be studied in a prestigious university's sleep lab. Mrs. M had been up since 5:30 AM. I had been up since 6:00 AM. People like us generally don't adhere to this unspoken rule of etiquette since by 8:00 AM we have already accomplished more than most people accomplish in an entire day. Time is wasting!

Mrs. M and I are kindred spirits in the free-cycling, gardening world and Mrs. M had a tip. The local, fabulous, hydroponic farm right in the middle of our city was selling you-pick produce...all produce...for 99 cents a pound. Too good to pass up even in the 110 heat index. Two tired moms and 5 spunky kids met at Kellogg's First Fruits Hydroponics and each picked between 13 and 16 lbs of strawberries, eggplant, lettuce, swiss chard, tomatoes, pepper,beans and onions.

After an hour we were berry stained, flushed, sunburned and dripping with sweat. Mrs. M commented on the plight of the migrant worker as we were leaving. I thought about how easy it is to buy pre-washed produce in the grocery store as I was cleaning and peeling 13 lbs of produce. Things we don't normally dwell on but probably should.

I was able to freeze 4 quarts of tomatoes and 6 of strawberries. Today I'm making eggplant Parmesan to freeze. I plan on introducing the boy to fried green tomatoes since he brought two home that probably weigh 4 lbs combined. Nothing is to be wasted.

I was impressed with First Fruit Hydroponics. Here is a family who has taken the land they already had and turned it into something even better, something that benefits the community. Located in the most unlikely industrial section of a city it is a perfect example of how you can " bloom where you are planted."

For more on the Kellogg's' read:
-U-pick in Pinellas? Hydroponically speaking, yes

-Kellogg’s First Fruits hydroponic farm lets you pick your own produce


Jennie said...

Dang! I'm sorry I missed that!

DeanneJ said...

thanks for the tip. I have always wanted to experience U PICK, but was turned off by the long drive to the farm, so when I'm in st. Pete as I often am...I will visit...i.e.wed or sat 1-5pm


Deanne...let us know when you do and we'll pick and grin together...they re-open in October....