Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Food Fad

I really love food, I can hang out all day in one of those fancy farmer's market where all the delicate perishables were grown in a 100 mile radius and vouched for as organic by acronyms, but I can also tiptoe around tiny Mission markets where cans of Latin chipotles are mixed with Chinese black bean sauce, and mangoes ripen out in the storefront. It really doesn't matter as long as I can stand there wondering what I can do with that edible calendula flower or that chunk of Oaxacan cheese.

But what is slowly starting to crawl up my neck is the status symbol attached to some farmer's markets. When I walk through the Ferry Building market on Saturday mornings, I just don't see the diversity of people I see at other markets, i.e. Alemany market. I see latte cups and incredibly overpriced tomatoes. Of course, when I go home, I realize that that's how deliciously sweet tomatoes are supposed to taste. It's not necessarily the cost that bothers me, although sometimes I admit it feels like someone slapped me after I pay over $6 for 3 peaches. Rather, it's the fact that this market doesn't seem to be accessible to more people. I know this issue isn't new, but it's frustrating to see how vegetables (!) and food in general have taken on such an air of privilege.

I'm not asking for a grungy warehouse nor am I unsupportive of farmers who provide us with the rewards of their hard work. I'm just asking for a little dose of clarity and reality. Fresh organic fruits and vegetables should not be a symbol of socio-economic class. For Christ's sake.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Little Garden

For some reason, I've always had a mental block against planting seeds. I could have related it to baking perhaps, but I just couldn't get over the fact that this little thing that looks like it belongs in my vaccuum cleaner could metamorphosize into a living organism under my guard. It was like trying to be God. And those who know me agree, I ain't no Icarian overachiever.

Anyway, I got free Marigold seeds at some party, and had some old soil and a little terracotta pot lying around. Long story short, all I did was scatter some seeds and water it every 2-3 days. Within 2 weeks, I now have flowers in my kitchen window!

I know any cynic would curl their lips and say that Marigolds are probably the easiest plants to grow, which is why I'm moving on to Viola flowers, and possibly arugula next. Orange Chinese lantern flowers and sorrell leaves had also caught my eye, but the gardening lady at Cole Hardware shredded that idea up without blinking.

I welcome gardening tips and any ideas for flowers or vegetables that can be grown indoors.

I know this makes absolutely no sense, but if you can recommend any non-toxic (non-chemical) pesticide or other environmentally friendly products, I'd appreciate it.

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