Two Heads Are Better Than One

Farmer co-ops — they really are all the rage. My go-to farmer is Bubba, a 20-minute drive south of us. You could say we have a relationship.

During peak growing seasons, the back of my 10-yr-old minivan keeps a sharp knife, pitch fork, shovel, gumboots, a few plastic grocery bags, and a recycle bin lined with newsprint. I’m at the ready, you could say. But ready for what?

Ready for veggies.

But first, this photo needs no explanation.

Whoa! That's one big melon, er uh...cauliflower.
Whoa! That’s one big melon, er uh…cauliflower.

Okay, so maybe iPads don’t take the best quality pictures. Back to it now. Here’s what I come away with each trip.

Oh yeah, be jealous.

Bubba Yield in the Boot
Bubba Yield in the Boot

Look at all that greeeeen!

Count the loot:  (2) bags of swiss chard, (2) bags of curly leaf kale, (1) bag of parsley, (1) bag of romaine, (1) bag of collard greens, (1) bag of mustard greens, (2) bunches of beets with greens, (2) bunches of carrots with greens, and (3) heads of cauliflower.

Once my kids’ school teachers picked through for their share, I put up the rest (about 75% of it) for six hungry faces at home. They paid me a stipend ($1 per bag of whatever they wanted), very nearly making me money selling veggies from the back of my van.

I feel a bit naughty.

The trade-off for the inconvenience of driving to the farm rather than the corner grocery is that I get to pick my own beautiful, delicious, fresh organic veggies, spend some time in the sunshine, and enjoy a country drive with the windows down, my tunes cranked up, and no kids in the car — none of which I particularly mind doing.

Okay, let’s just call it what it is: a break from the chaos.

As if I need more to brag about, here’s a shot of next week’s haul on the floor of my kitchen. I didn’t share any this time– it all went into my own fridge. It’s okay to be selfish every once in a while, right?

Another Bubba Yield
Bubba Yield In The Boot

He even offered to throw in the bag of satsumas for nothing, because he he’s trying to get his trees to flower, which they won’t do with fruit hanging on them. Free sweet, juicy, delicious satsumas. Darn the luck.

I’m totally convinced the quail poop he uses for fertilizer must be nuclear.

Here’s one I took of his cushaw squash of last year, no less impressive.

Bubba with his Cushaw
Bubba with his Cushaw

…and another of a different variety of squash from the same field.  Both of these were in the dead heat of the summer (notice the cracked soil).

Another Giant Squash
Giant Squash
Bubba, Mama Helen, and DirtNKids
Bubba, Mama Helen, and DirtNKids

Bubba, whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it right.  Thanks for taking care of my family and warming my heart.  You know I’ll be back.  For sure.

So what’s stopping you? Find a farm co-op near you.
C
heck with LocalHarvest.org to see if there’s a Bubba
in your neck of the woods.

23 thoughts on “Two Heads Are Better Than One

  1. Love this post! And who woulda thought you could get those pics with your iPad? Cool! And thanks for the laughs – as always – with your excellent sense of humor! But seriously, farm co-op’s are such a wonderful win-win! Supporting farmers directly and giving us freshly picked produce! Even better than Farmers Markets. Thanks for the inspiration to seek out the nearest farmers offering co-ops around my neck of the woods. Thanks! Gina

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    1. Yes, my dear, you and I are cut from the same bolt of cloth. Alas, we are in seriously polar growing zones. Good luck with your snow yield. And I hope you find some local farms! They need all the help they can get these days.

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  2. All that green looks so fantastic! I keep forgetting to respond to your email my dear, I’ll get to it today. Hope you are well! I wish I had Bubba’s farm near me!

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    1. I wish EVERYONE had Bubba’s farm nearby. I look forward to your correspondence! Just returned today from a week (with just hubby) in Colorado Springs. Love that place…magical.

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  3. Isn’t it now? Beets and oranges are just brilliant color, if I do say so myself. And as for matters of size, you should see our giant grub, Mo. It beats this gargantuan cauliflower all to heck.  He’s still growing too.

    Thanks for stopping by again, Peg. Anyone who calls a “haul” gorgeous is my kinda chick.

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    1. Oh. Gulp. Thanks for sharing that photo of “Mo”. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to curl into a fetal position in the corner and suck my thumb for a while.

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    1. Eat it! We eat it all, mostly as it is (fresh, unadulterated). Reminds me…I need to post to my other blog. Perhaps a what-to-do-with all-this-yield post is in order. After spring break…

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  4. Wow! Another great and entertaining post, Shannon. Love the photos. Hard to believe that they were taken with your iPad. Maybe I need to dump my hi-dollar rig. I admit, that those veggies to look sumptious. Maybe I need to visit our Farmers Market. Hmmm…

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    1. Thanks, Bob. Only the cauliflower photo was taken with the iPad. The others were with the Olympus. You should check out the farmer’s market, if you have one there. Not only will you be getting good, healthy food, but you’ll be supporting your local farmer with your purchase in the process. That in itself is way more rewarding than padding some multi-national’s bottom line.

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      1. Agree, Shannon, but want to throw in a warning… In the last couple of years we’ve caught some vendors at our closest farmer’s market shipping in food from California (we’re in Colorado). We learned that some farmer’s markets are totally committed to local, whereas others are open to sneaking in outside produce from corporate farms. You just have to do a little research. Made us so sad… we know so many who have total faith that their purchases support local farmers committed to clean practices.

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      2. Great point indeed, which is why I prefer to pull my own. I get it straight from the ground. At any market, best to ask lots of questions of a potential food vendor. Many of these guys have a reputation to uphold at the market — don’t be afraid to inquire the shoppers or your neighbors too!

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    1. “Eat better” is just the beginning! Eating plants has improved our lives here in more ways than can be counted.

      The leaves of plants are super-nutritious, easy to grow, and very little energy input is required to make them ready for consumption (bend down, pull up, shake the dirt, pop in your mouth). Really. It’s why my other blog was born. Now…if I could only find the time to post to it.

      Be sure to look for a farm co-op. LocalHarvest.org is a great place to start. Thanks for your comment, Carly! Let me know by email if there’s anything I can do to make it easier for you. We’ve already been-there-done-that.

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