An Embarrassment of Riches

This isn’t really about Korean food, but I wanted to share this anyway.

A couple of years ago, I tore out my front lawn (actually, it probably took a couple of years to get it barren) and put in fruit trees and a vegetable garden. This year, I had an overabundance of tomatoes, squashes, zucchini, eggplants, Calamondin, etc., and was thinking about starting a food exchange with my neighbors. Well, wouldn’t you know it? Somebody got there before I did! And boy am I glad, because I sure don’t have the time to have organized it all.

So, I joined the Hillside Produce Cooperative run by the lovely Hynden Walch and this was my first month of participating. Saturday was the exchange (and the cooperative’s 2-year anniversary!). I dropped off a couple of bags of vegetables, fruits and herbs from the garden. A few hours later, my doorbell rang and a nice stranger returned my tote bags full of other goodies.

Here’s a picture of what I got laid out on my kitchen counter:

neighborhood_co-op

Here is a list of the wonderful items that were shared: lemons, Meyer lemons, oranges, grapefruit, Thompson seedless grapes, big juicy figs, limes, big Jim peppers, tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, Anaheim chiles, yellow zucchini, green zucchini, crookneck squash, Armenian cucumber, calamondin, nectarines, Japanese eggplant, chives, sorrel, chard, kale, butter lettuce, fris?©e lettuce, tarragon, thyme, mint, rosemary, pineapple mint, sage, bay, oregano, lemongrass, black basil, sweet basil, Indian burning sage (which I accidentally ate some of before realizing it was for rubbings), lettuce seedlings, and lavender!

It was a wonderful gift from my neighbors. Visit the Hillside Produce Cooperative website to find out how you can do it in your own neighborhood!

There’s something so liberating and wonderful about eating food you grew with your own hands. Even more life-affirming is when you shared that food with friends, loved ones, neighbors and strangers. Hope you get to taste warm tomatoes from the vine, grow a pot of herbs on the window sill, or even buy something fresh directly from the growers at a local Farmer’s Market.

Happy summer eating everyone!

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