Have you ever thought about food from a political perspective?  Food often sits at the center of revolutionary movements. This is part of why Robert and I do what we do. We value fresh, local, organic food and knowing where and how it was grown! We do not want multi-national companies telling us what to value in our food. We want to decide for ourselves! We are very aware when in the grocery store of marketing, product shelf placement, and of the temptations to buy convenience and highly-processed, addictive foods.

Zucchini, summer squash with potatoes on the far right–foliage is now brown indicating time to harvest.

The Ploeger household is a make it from scratch family eating primarily food we have grown ourselves. We rarely buy processed foods. I will not say never because we do purchase some organic crackers and organic cookies which are processed food. We do not have time to make everything! But, we find it empowering to think of taking habits back that the large, multi-national companies took from us. One’s choice of food has that power to take back control from the powerful companies, their lobbyists and the elected officials they’ve placed in D.C. with a the specific mission of safeguarding their profits. This empowerment begins at the local level. Purchasing your vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, and milk from local farmers is voicing your opposition to the large powerful companies while at the same time improving your nutrition and the quality of food you consume! It is a way for consumers to make the food system work for them versus the wealthy multi-national companies. It is a way to bring family and friends together around the dinner table. It is a delicious way to resist and be a rebel with a nutritious cause!!

Beautiful Eggplant in two varieties . . .

Eating healthy, local foods is a theme that can cause favorable change in one’s personal dietary life. For example, did you know the average American drinks more soda than water each day?! Sodas contain chemicals, bromide, and sugar for starters. Sugar impairs the white blood cell’s ability to fight off infections! And researchers have found people who drink sweetened beverages are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.  Long before there were sugary sodas, there was seltzer. Apparently, the seltzer bubbles themselves seem to excite the brain almost as much as sugar. If one wants to make changes in one’s dietary choices, shifting from drinking soda to drinking plain seltzer may be satisfactory enough to resist the temptation of soda. And there is always plain water. Water represents a critical nutrient, the absence of which will be lethal within days. Or develop a green tea drinking habit. Some studies suggest green tea may promote and improve cognitive functions!

Food has power and can be a unifying force.  Food is central to the lives and livelihoods of us all. I practice what I preach when it comes to diet. My lunch . . . a baked sweet potato topped with sweet, green peas. This is the last sweet potato from 2020, but the organic peas came from a grocery store freezer aisle.

Potatoes–the crop that keeps on giving!

I told many CSA Members how we lost the first picking of beans due to a naturally occurring bacterium in the soil (and air which cannot be controlled).  The fungus splashed up on the plants during those hard rainfalls causing tiny, dark spots on the beans. The spots are actually the bean plant’s attempt to isolate the bacteria and prevent it from spreading! Plants are so intelligent! Still, so sad . . . and such a waste of time, effort, and potential crop; but there will be some beans with fewer spots! Mother Nature is in control and it is easier to work with Her than to fight Her; but we can do without those 2.5 inch downpours in our gardens!

Steamed green beans with no strings attached!

We usually steam our okra for five minutes, then sprinkle with sea salt and eat using the stem as a handle. Recently a CSA Member told us they roasted okra, so we tried it and find we like that method, too. We toss the okra in a bit of olive oil with sea salt and bake in the oven on a tray at 350 degrees for 20 -25 minutes, depending on the size of the pod. No matter how you like to prepare your okra, this is shaping up to be a good harvest season!

Steamed and roasted are our favorite ways to prepare okra.

In the upcoming CSA Boxes you can expect a variety of patty pan squash and zucchini and zephyr squash. These crops will be slightly dwindling, but some may be around for at least another month!  2021 is a good year for squash and our specialty cukes!  Also expect traditional eggplant, Asian eggplant, cabbage, green beans and/or okra, depending on the day. A variety of potatoes are being harvested and sweet bell peppers are on the near horizon. Tomatoes will be late, but are looking good. They keep growing and Robert continues to tie them higher up the stakes! It is SUMMERTIME and the eating is good–even if our evening meal frequently takes place after 10 p.m.!! Oh, yeah . . .

Last of my endive and first of the cukes and carrots.