Local on Our Table - April

Farmers' Market
Bok Choy
Little Gem Lettuce
Mixed Baby Greens
New Potatoes
Orange Blossom Honey
Ruby Red Grapefruit
Spring Onions
Wild Arugula
Yukon Gold Potatoes

Back Deck Harvest

From The Freezer/Pantry
Peach Jam

Gleaned and Gifted
(From Someone Else's Yard)

Strawberries and Cream

It was so simple I feel silly really, writing about it. But I can't get it out of my mind. Strawberries bought from the farm in Santa Cruz. Organic strawberries. From the girl that always has me smiling. Her mother helps on Sunday mornings. Sometimes. Selling strawberries, artichokes, blackberry jam. How I love the blackberry jam. Swanton Berry Farm it's called.

That's how it started; this simple idea from a friend. I bought the strawberries. Carried them to the birthday celebration, whole, in our big red bowl. Each berry flower-side-up and a layer on top, upside down for pinching. We voted to slice them. A quiet moment in the kitchen. Slicing, tasting. Mouths silently watering.

And then I poured on the cream. Thick, pearl white cream.

Saved the empty jar for little girl nosegays. Returned the strawberry baskets to the farmer.

Strawberries and cream.

Not a thing wasted. So simple I feel silly.

Food, Inc. on PBS

I was too late to get tickets to the conversation this evening, Inside the Hen House, which was moderated by Michael Pollan. The event was sold out. "We are recording it," I was assured on the phone. "And it will be posted on our website." The next best thing, I say.

I came home instead and there was an email from Michael Pollan. (I'm on the list.) He was sending a reminder--- tomorrow night, Wednesday night, PBS will be broadcasting Food, Inc. at 9 PM.

And the news got better. The movie will be streamed, the entire movie streamed, for a week beginning Thursday, the 22nd through the 29th. That's my ticket. I want to see it again. I could do without certain parts but the good outweighs them.

When Food, Inc. first came out the cute guy and I made a bet in which I said I would give him $20 for every person we know who went to see the movie. I could see him picturing a new main sail, a jib sail. The man wants new sails.

To date I owe him $20.

But the bet is still on. And somehow this seems wrong, routing for the wrong team, betting against myself and still here I go. Watch the movie, leave a comment. And I'll give the cute guy $20.

He'll be so excited.


1 - Going to the Sunday morning farmers' market in the rain. Great parking and easy access at every canopy. Okay, a couple people with umbrellas under the canopies are dangerous but otherwise access is a breeze. And everyone says, thank you for coming out. And means it.

2 - Spooning St. Benoits Meyer Lemon Yogurt straight from the returnable mason jar. The cream at the top is like lemon pudding. But better.

3 - Stopping at the Master Gardeners tomato starts sale in the bank parking lot yesterday. Did she really say they sold 4,000 starts? In three hours?

4 - Eating Rio Zape beans from Rancho Gordo. I don't know why they taste so good, but they do.

5 - Sharing a Marin potato pizza at Picco's with the cute guy and having asparagus cut like confetti added on. The perfect spring pie.

6 - Watching the movie Sweetgrass. Beautiful. Some rough patches. But still beautiful.

7 - Reading a Homemade Life by the popular blogger, Orangette. I ate it up. She is popular for a reason. Smart, funny, young and heartfelt. And so very delicious.

8 - Listening to An Organic Conversation with Helge Hellberg. I liked the first show I downloaded. The second show was better, the third better still and now I'm simply in love with them all.

9 - Having frozen jalapenos to cook with all winter long. And spring.

10 - Using organic cotton produce bags because they feel good and get even softer with age.

Marin Bee Company

I get excited about the funniest things these days; a couple of weeks ago it was finding the first asparagus at the farmers' market, last week it was eating it picked from a friends backyard. This week? This week I happened upon a truck load of bees.

The cute guy was putting gas in the car. I was staring off towards the vacant building next door. There were a few people in the parking lot walking with arms outstretched, stepping carefully; gingerly describes it best, each carrying a wooden box. It was strange. They watched the box in their hands as they walked, from the back of a truck towards a car across the lot, as if the box might spill and then they deposited their box in the trunk.

And I knew. They. Had. Bees.

I held back from running but I was at the truck before a dollars worth of gas clicked off on the pump. It was stacked end to end with boxes of bees. "I brought sixty boxes this time," the man in charge answered a woman at the back of the truck.

She had an English accent and saw my hesitation as I got close. "They're quite gentle," she offered. She stepped forward, put her finger on top of a box until a couple loose bees crawled on her. We both watched them, smiling. I thanked her and got closer.

One car left, bees secured in its trunk, another arrived and the English woman smoothed a blanket in her van. Her box was held outward across the parking lot too, all of us watching until it was deposited as gingerly as the others.

The next man in line looked like a casual Friday banker. "I have three daughters," he told me. "We never get stung and the bees pollinate the garden." He took away a box for each girl.

Then there was a man with an empty box beneath his arm. He traded it for a full one, held with two hands, arms outstretched. "I raise pastured chickens in Sebastopol," he told the cute guy who had by now joined me. He invited us to the farm, "the next time you're up that way," he said. He deposited his box of bees on the floor of the front seat of his Honda, his dog watching from the back. We all shook hands and left too.

And another car pulled into the lot.

Next year, I promised. New year I'll be ready for some bees too.