The Final Week of CSA Veggies

Well it’s hard to believe but four weeks went by quickly for my free CSA (Community Share Agricultural Project) veggies!  These are all certified organic and were sooo good!  But, for a household of two more than I could eat.  I did get to share with neighbors, work colleagues and that was great to introduce others into the organic vegetable trend.

The best part of the last two weeks were the cantaloupe and watermelon!  So good, sweet and fresh.

If you ever get the chance to try organic vegetables through a food share like this or just from a local farm do it.  You will not regret it.  I even got to try veggies I normally would never buy such as Fennel which tastes like licorice, Japanese Peppers – not hot at all, and of course to have more of my favorites beets, eggplants, lettuce and scallions.  Thanks again to Sang Lee Farms for offering this experience and the Southold Public Library for their monthly raffle.

I WON A FREE 4 Week CSA (what’s a CSA?)

After 8 years of entering a monthly giveaway at my local library (for a $1) I won a four week CSA share.  What’s that?  It’s a veggie share at an organic vegetable farm near where I live.  #SangLeeFarms in Cutchogue, New York is the place to go for fresh #organic veggies.  From June through November they offer a choice pick of veggies, some herbs, and some fruit – cantaloupe and watermelon.  Why was I excited?  Well, to begin with I love fresh veggies and the cost.  If I paid for such a privilege it’s $30-$4o per week or $120 per month.  Now, for those who only buy organic you’d be surprised at the size of these veggies.

csa certificate

So what did I get?  For week one it was two corn, a bunch of scallions or green onions, a bunch of celery, a head of romaine lettuce, a bunch of beets, a white eggplant, tomatoes – heirloom, and something called a bitter melon which is not a melon but a vegetable, and a pint of cherry and grape tomatoes.week one bitter melon csa

Week two was a monsoon!  And, amidst the lightening strikes and torrential downpours, I didn’t take photos.  😦  But fear not I did pick up the veggies and made my way home through flooded streets.  Once inside my home and putting my veggies away I heard my cell phone have an annoying warning signal like you hear on your TV.  It was a tornado warning!  What? Where the heck was I living?  Somewhere in the tropics?  No, just part of New York state – huh?  Truly crazy weather this summer but when it yields great produce isn’t it worth it.  Next time, week three and four.  I know you can’t wait.  But, I did pan fry some grape tomatoes and zucchini from week two.  Aren’t they pretty?

csa stirfry action

 

The Peace Walk – Utah Version

Base of snow canyon from Red Mountain Resort On the way up - Petrified Sanddunes, Snow Canyon National Park

When the stress of your day has gotten to you, fifteen minutes walking outside or if you must inside, can lower your blood pressure and give you a whole new perspective.  My offering is both physical and mental – take a walk.   I try to get out and walk about 2 miles four times a week.  Recently I got to travel to Utah, #RedMountain Resort and Snow Canyon National Park.  A lovely place to take a walk.  I walked from a mile to four miles a day out there.  Sometimes, hiking up petrified sand dunes.  Like stepping stones or paving stones in many ways. You should try it sometime. I call it the peace walk. First written four years ago.

We begin slowly, putting comfortable clothes on, sneakers or walking shoes,

We then migrate to the outdoors.  Gently flex your feet, stretch your calves and feel the tension ease.

We put one foot in front of the other and before you know it we are walking.  Bright sunshine welcomes us.

Breathing takes over where tension had locked.  Easy on the eyes, sights of nature bring us forward,

Birds are flying overhead, the wind is strong but warm, and the gentle waterway is near.

Deer can be seen on the lawns of homes as you pass them by, the pine trees bend in approval back and forth.

Finally we reach the waters edge, minnows still know how to swim, and already I am lighter in spirit and frame of mind.

The land across the water is straight ahead, the wind ripples the water as you gaze forward, breathing calmly.

Peacefully walking, you must try it sometime…

What I Learned This Summer

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Ah, it’s back to school time!  Kiddies off to school, cooler weather blowing in, shorter days, shorter nights, etc.  I look forward to some of these things and others I do not.  I don’t like shorter days – I would like to take a walk up til 8PM all throughout the year.  The increasing darkness makes that hard.  I miss all the outdoor summer activities that are around – outdoor music, outdoor dining, being able to walk on the beach without a parka.

During this past summer I learned much about fishing and its’ tackle.  My dad was an awesome fisherman by most accounts and it was his main hobby. Like all hobbies, one will buy what one wants to buy in that hobby category without regard to cost, amount, use, ability to store it, or anything else that makes rational sense.  I took it on my duty to try and sell some of my dads hundreds of pieces of fishing equipment.  I still have some if you are interested – email me here.  Pick-up is essential and it’s a lovely drive to eastern Long Island in case you were wondering.  Mostly it was men who came here to look, buy, be in awe, and get a bargain.  So to sum it all up, I put a list together for you to learn from me.  Here it is:

1) If you want to negotiate you work in finance: Sounds easy but I discounted all the fishing items, especially reels.  I learned a lot in the first week after Google and Ebay taught me price points. If you got a $15 reel the first week and didn’t the next – thank ebay! There was only 1 man daring to counter my low prices, and when asked if he worked in finance said, “Why yes I do have an MBA and work in Finance.” I’m more intuitive then most people know.

2) Let them think you don’t know anything about the equipment then quote prices on Ebay!  Seems right because I like to see how much these men knew about the retail costs as well.  And, after the first week (everyone has a learning curve) I blew them away with my knowledge of Penn, Abu Garcia, Lures, Lead Weighters, etc.  

3) There’s a market for Everything in good condition: Ebay and the men who wanted to buy older, or vintage reels blew me away in their price to pursue ownership of certain reels.  Abu Garcia – a Swedish reel maker (No not the singing group) and well regarded, snagged the highest single price for an older reel in its original box and instructions.

4) Anyone with a fishing hobby can never have enough, rods, reels, lures, or hooks. I met men who had dozens of reels and wanted to buy more.  Do you use them all?  I asked.  No, but it’s great to have them they said. OK.

5) You Don’t know where the best buyer will come from.  I had two young men, early twenties contact me and came out from  an hour maybe 45 minutes away.  They wouldn’t tell me the name of their town, although I asked everyone for first and last name.  I figured they will buy a few things and be gone.  They each bought the most amount in a single visit that anyone did.  They both made their own lures, and bought the 2 bags of buck tail we had.  They bought 3 lead molds each to make their own weighters, and many lures, hooks and a rod.  Well done.  They fish for food.  Way to go!

6) If you have something you want to sell in your home – start by word of mouth. I started with my church sphere, then paid advertising, then free advertising.  All got people interested and resulted in sales.

7) If you are letting strangers in your home get phone numbers, first and last name.  Caller ID makes it easier today than ever to do this.  By getting their information upfront, in case there ever was a negative incident – suspecting someone of stealing or something (and there wasn’t here) you will have the basics to put in a call to the police.  Realtor’s when doing Open Houses routinely ask for this info as well – most home owners want to know who is coming into their home.  Wouldn’t you?

8) You are not going to make thousands off your stuff.  Aside from the Antiques Road Show dream where you bring in an old item that gets appraised for free to be worth thousands of dollars, most hobby related stuff will not fetch that much.  You may get enough for a nice dinner out but be realistic.

9) Older lures that look faded and not worth much maybe are.  One young man, in his early twenties taught me much about lures – striped bass Atoms, and Reverse Squids – both of which are not made anymore.  These lures are legend and preferred by Striper fans everywhere because they work well – that is getting the fish to bite. If you want some I still have them!

10) You are never too old to learn something.  I got to understand the laws and likes of fishing by selling all this stuff.  I didn’t want to use eBay – never did before, but did and was successful in selling.  I got to understand my dad’s hobby better and the people, men, who like to use the equipment and enjoy the sport.

Well, that wraps it up for my summer learning experience. I hope you learned something along the way too.  Until next time, good fishing!ImageImageImage

Earth Day Redux

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It’s #Earth Day once again! Same day every year April 22.  The Nation adopted this day in the seventies to promote being green.  Now it’s hip to be a greener but in the 70’s the notion of hippies – long hair, free living and loving souls who ate organically and grew their own food and other stuff (uhhmm!) was not really in.  We’ve come a long way.  Or have we?  It shows in the faces of these two children – one feels the need to smile at the beauty, and the other is more serious, her face says, “This is a magnificent rose bush, can all of us live up to growing such a beautiful bush?  I don’t think so.”

The rose bush in my picture and the lawn was well cared for by my father.  Not just pruning and watering but fertilizing, organic when we could, and rose feeder pellets put in the ground around it to grow. Sprays for rose bush spiders and rose dust to protect it from everything including spiders.  My father sweated and toiled over the lawn and garden.  He loved doing the work and work it was.  I tried lifting the shovels he used to make those perfect circles around bushes when he planted them.  Heavy! That rose bush was most appreciative of his work. How do I know? Well, when he passed away in December two years ago, that rose bush in the picture still was blooming those gorgeous pink flowers, and had buds. No it wasn’t warm.  Average temperatures in the 40’s for that time of year during the day and dropping to 30’s in the night and even some days.  I believe the rose bush was still saluting the work that someone gave to it to make it live, thrive longer and better.  It was also saluting the individual.

How many people do you know, regardless of age who toil and spend hours at a time in the hot summer sun toiling for soil sake?  They toil and toil for perfection sake until they can no longer stand on their God given legs.  No, I don’t mean the farmers who make living from the land but the average person, or not, who does it for the love of the beauty it gives off and other people benefit from this beauty.  The oxygen we know helps to resuscitate the carbon dioxide we give off.  The beauty and taking time to smell the roses – priceless!  My family has always been green. My fathers parents my grandparents were green back in the 60’s composting and fertilizing with the best.  Their roses and gardens were a thing of beauty which also made the air a little cleaner too.

On this #Earth Day I hope you can plant a tree, flower, herb and dedicate it to someone you admire, loved, love, or feel was a great mentor.  May you live up to the standards that the earth has lived up to for us.  Sustaining life and beauty at the same time, and not getting paid for it, is what the earth does everyday for all who live on it.  Let everyone do their part to sustain their own little piece of earth.  Oh, and for all those born on this glorious day Happy Birthday!  We are an earthy lot – I’m 70% earth signs myself.  🙂

In Honor of Earth Day

Do you know April 22 is designated nationally as Earth Day?  Well, it is.  Has been for a long time.  In honor of earth day many “green” organizations, clubs, people, put together earth friendly events for this day every year.  I grew up in a pretty green family.  My grandfather used to compost, and use manure for his produce/vegetable garden.  He was a pretty earthy man. He was a forestry major at Penn State back in the late 20’s and after graduating and marrying my grandmother, he traded produce in New York City for a while my grandmother trained to be a nurse.  Both of them had green thumbs.  Beautiful full, lush, and colorful gardens and shrubbery surrounded their home.  They were into home remedies too; they are one of the few people I knew of who back in the late 60’s had aloe plants for burns and rashes that people get from time to time.  I remember running away from them screaming one time because I burned my finger on the stove.  All I could see was my grandparents coming after me with what I thought was a prickly cactus and thinking they wanted to stick me with it.  Of course, it was the aloe plant.  But, they had a lot of cacti too, so my fears were somewhat grounded.  They grew hydroponic lettuce and tomatoes too for a while.  My dad always maintained the lawn and gardens at his home as long as he could too. I don’t seem to have as a green a thumb as my parents or grandparents.  But, I do try.

I spray invisible fence all around the blooming flowers which is supposed to be a natural deterrent to deer and rabbits who like to eat the new greens.  It smells so awful though, you need to dress like a CDC worker preparing for a biological outbreak so you don’t get any on your clothes or skin.  If you do get it on you, bathing immediately is called for not to mention washing your clothes.  What to do to celebrate?  I will bike ride to take in all the beauty, and glory that a sunny spring day has to offer.  As I pass the many green and lush lawns, that wafting smell of “invisible fence” is ever-present.  Ugh! But, it’s natural I say, it does keep the deer and bunnies from eating it all and maintains the green connection.  Still, Ugh!  In addition, April 22 is my birthday.  Has been for a long time too. How long? That is classified top-secret info which just like the Census workers I am sworn to secrecy.  What’s my wish this year?  Well, it would be great for me to find that matching opposite of mine, who has somewhat of a green thumb like me.  Or, he can at least afford to hire someone to maintain the lush and green abundance that abounds.  Are you still out there? Anywhere?  Bueller?  Bueller?