If it’s Tuesday it must be food bank harvest. Except it’s December, and after seven months of Tuesday harvests, our season is over. It feels strange not having a standing date with a few friends and fellow gardeners. I have to find another way to fill those mornings.
I have been considering how to continue getting vegetables to the food bank through the winter. Our CSA ends for the fall season next week, and doesn’t start up again until mid-January. I thought I might work with my site host to get those swap box items that seem to accumulate in large amounts. It is interesting to see what doesn’t get taken every week.
Last week for example, three people didn’t take their apples. They were all “appled out”. I wonder how many massive butternut squashes weren’t picked up from the bulk bin yesterday. Every one of us got a massive squash, and all the large shares had a “bonus” item. Sweet onions.
The two humongous onions alongside the regular ones on my counter.
As for squash, we got another one of these. I have to say, even I can’t keep up with processing such a prolific harvest.
What’s the take away from this post? The decision to make a New Year’s resolution to find sourcing to give at least something to the food bank twice a month over the winter. I know there won’t be much in the way of fresh vegetables, but I should be able to put together some of my site host’s “leftovers” along with some simple staple items from the local stores. Or maybe find a way to volunteer some time to the main site, or the pantry sites.
I need to pop over to the food bank’s new distribution site and see what they will need after the holidays. When contributions fall off. After all, the need doesn’t disappear during the dark winter months.
Here is what I swapped yesterday – I left my fingerling potatoes (my husband doesn’t eat potatoes and it isn’t worth cooking them just for me) and took large red beets instead. We will eat those in place of potatoes alongside our steak. That swap box was definitely full of wonderful items! I highly recommend you look into volunteering at CAC. I know their food bank is always looking for people. I volunteer in their main offices two mornings a week as a “fiscal volunteer” working with the finance, HR and grants departments.
I have considered helping with sorting and set up. I would also love to work with teaching people what to do with “exotic” vegetables. Maybe giving simple recipe cards to make meals with the often unusual vegetables, like rutabaga or turnips, that the farms donate.
The more we teach people how to make good meals without much money spent, the better our collective health, and the better off we all are.