The CSA: Week 9

Deane from Gadgetopia send me an article the other day from the New York Times online, about a new trend in gardening – hiring an organic gardener to plant, maintain and harvest your garden for you.

At first it seemed nearly sacrilegious. Lazy. Elitist. Like hiring a maid. Or a chauffeur. I mean, if you’re going to go to the trouble of having a garden, why wouldn’t you do it yourself? Didn’t this defeat the purpose of a garden?

But I realized that, really, it’s not that different from, say, hiring a landscaper, or having someone mow your lawn. It’s all in the perspective. It’s something that those with money can enjoy – the fruits of a garden without the pain of gardening; the time weeding, the digging, the forgetfulness and subsequent failure.

(And trust me – as much as I enjoy getting out and picking weeds and digging in the dirt, it’s not something I drive myself to do every night. It’s one of those jobs that are surprisingly enjoyable once you’ve gotten yourself into the mood, but will sit dormant for weeks while you work up the nerve to get started. Time is an issue, yes. But so is desire.)

Even more, I realized that this organic gardening, while pretty cool, also creates summer jobs, lends itself to a greener city community and supports the organic movement. It is also pretty common. The only difference between the people featured in this article and, say, Kerrie and myself is that we don’t have the garden on our premises. Instead, it’s on a farm, several miles away.

We pay to have someone grow vegetables for us. Everyone who purchases a tomato in a grocery store pays to have someone grow vegetables for them, too. It seems like we’re doing them a favor, that we’re making their farm successful, that we’re the ones doing them a service. But it’s not. They’re doing us a service, we’re paying for it, and both sides benefit.

Just like these people who have organic gardeners. It’s not elitist or lazy or anything like that. It’s a pretty good idea, if you have the money.

Our haul was pretty good this week, and we went right to work using roughly two pounds of onions (unwillingly saved over the past two weeks) to make some delicious French onion soup. Delicious, as in, the best I’d ever tasted. Apparently, I can cook, if so driven.

(To be honest, it wasn’t French onion soup, but English onion soup with sage and cheddar, from Jamie Oliver’s new Food Network program Jamie at Home.)

In addition to the onions, we received.
Various peppers
Green beans

Now, if only I could find someone who would cook the vegetables as well. We’d be in perfect shape.

This was lovingly handwritten on July 29th, 2008