I confess that I am learning things totally unrelated to teaching this summer. And I’m okay with that! I’m having the time of my life! I am working part-time at a local farm stand learning all about the food grown locally at Oakridge Farms, a small family farm that provides amazing food to our community. I am thoroughly enjoying meeting the people in my community that appreciate REAL food grown locally.
Working during Pick-Your-Own strawberries was a blast! I totally underestimated how happy strawberries make people feel! The little ones love the tractor ride out into the fields and the grown-ups appreciate the fresh fruit. Confession…I had no idea there were different varieties of strawberries just like there are different varieties of apples. My favorites…Jewel and Honey-Eye. Another confession…I went picking FOUR times for a total of 30 pounds. To my surprise I discovered my husband had never been strawberry picking before. WHAT?!?!?!?! He entered the field under duress and exited saying, “I think we might need to come again.” My freezer is full! Bring on the raspberries and blueberries!
In addition to working at the farm stand, I joined the CSA (Community Supported Agricuture) program through Oakridge Farms. Every other Tuesday, I pick up a box of fresh produce and it feels like Christmas when I open my box. I am forced to research (Does Pinterest count as research?) vegetables I’ve never tried and learn how to prepare them in a variety of ways.
I tried a radish sandwich after hearing two elderly ladies at the stand rant and rave about them. I even went a step further and made Radish Butter! The old folks that come and buy vegetables are a wonderful resource for asking, “How do you like to prepare that?” Last night I prepared rainbow Swiss Chard. I really wanted to put it in a vase because it was so beautiful. I am a honey convert and am in desperate need of another jar already. Homemade Pesto and Hummus full of garlic scapes are nestled in the fridge as I write this post. Kale chips? Really?! Yep! We tried them, but Kale in our morning smoothies is our preference. I have never tasted, bought, or prepared a beet in my life for myself or my family til last week. Grilled beets were a hit and I’m definitely buying them again.
Last confession…I could never really turn off my “teacher” brain for the summer. I’m blogging and developing a PLN through Twitter, both things I would’ve never had the time to explore and commit to during the school year. I’m ready to tackle the #kinderchat13 challenge for the next 6 weeks!