Vegetable Withdrawal

I’ve just spent the past few minutes staring/drooling at the list of veggies my CSA farm is growing this season.
We have been erring more on the frugal side with our food budget. Keeping it down to around $200 per month for our food budget has been the goal. Some months are closer than others to this ideal.

By keeping a tight eye on the finances, I can save up a little every month. This is good in case of any unforeseen non-food related problems. This is also good for when there are birthdays/holidays; like mother’s day, Albany John’s recent birthday we spent out, and my friend’s birthday at Bombers. Seems like now a-days it is popular to meet friends out for your birthday at a restaurant, as opposed to celebrating it at home. Maybe this year I will just opt for a night in. Then again I have notoriously awful turnouts for my fetes, so it might just be me and a few carafes of mixed drinks, and tonsa food. Actually, that doesn’t sound too terrible either.

Right. Sorry. Tangent!

So with a tight food budget, there isn’t a whole lot of wiggle room for tasty beverages every night. Also surprisingly small is the amount of fresh vegetables you can buy. We’d been going to the Veggie Cart fairly regularly, but after a while, we noticed they stopped servicing on Saturdays. I called up and they said that it was because folks had quit and they didn’t have enough manpower to do all the stops. So Albany John would go on weekdays when he had space in his schedule. But for the past two months the stop he’s been able to make has been leaving early. When we’d call and ask about it, they’d say “oh, I guess they just left early if it wasn’t busy”. I absolutely love the Veggie Cart and CDCG folks, and trust me when I say that being involved with a non-profit is extraordinarily difficult at times. There are always a million things to do, so I can see why they’d leave early. Still, those weeks were rather sad for us since we thought they’d be there and missed our supply of fresh veggies. Also, they have great produce. Generally better than the grocery store’s produce. We did luck out once within 2 months and got veggies. Oh, they were so wonderful!
I see they’ve started Saturday service again (actually, since April. Whoops on me!), so I am excited to go back. I am seriously about to go into veggie withdrawal. I also never would have thought I’d say something like that 10 years ago. Nope.

So since the Veggie Cart has been sporadic, and I haven’t had much in the way of veggies for the past month or so, (or at least the crap ton of veggies I’d gotten used to eating) I can’t wait for these local farm fresh goodies:

Beets
Brussels sprouts
Sweet corn (OHMYGOSH I REALLY CAN’T WAIT)
Cukes
Garlic (ooooh, fingers crossed it is fresh garlic at the beginning. So tender and delicious)
Green beans
Lettuces (yes, even the month that will probably be *just* lettuce)
PEAS
Squash
Tomatoes

It can be very hard to be on a tight budget and buy the ‘right’ foods. I’ve never been one to buy organic just for the sake of organics, but I like the theory of eating foods that are good for you, others, and the environment. That said, I still buy the big fistful sized bunches of cilantro at Save-A-Lot for $0.50, even though I really don’t know where they come from, or how they were treated. Provided the squirrels don’t treat Albany John’s garden as an All-You-Can-Eat seed buffet, we will have our own fresh cilantro this year (yaaaay!).

I am still very thankful I can find cabbages of all sort for under $1 per pound, the potatoes in the 5 kilo bags ($4.99) and 3 lb onion bags ($1.29) at the Co-Op, carrots, canned tomatoes, shallots for $1.49/lb at the Asian Food Market, and masa harina.
4 comments
  1. I didn’t even know about this! Thanks so much…Now to figure out where and when to meet them.

    Thanks Albany Jane!

  2. JMP said:

    i will come to your birthday, whenever it is.

    i will even make mango-avocado sushi rolls if i have time.

  3. ella – sweet! they are such a boon!

    JMP – you are SO freaking awesome.

  4. ellie said:

    I too will come to your birthday, just give me a week or so notice to get off from work.

    Also, let’s plant a garden!

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