Old soldier driven to drink

Posted on | August 23, 2012 | 4 Comments

There’s a wheelbarrow in the kitchen. How it got there doesn’t bear thinking about. The moment for thought is long gone. With every bang of my shin on the barrow, it dawns on me that this is only the first load of many of oranges, lemons and tangerines that needs picking, trimming, washing, drying, sizing and packing in the 18 hours before I debut at the Altadena Farmers Market.

The good news is that my hands no longer hurt. The bad news? They have no sensation whatsoever.

Folly this painful generally starts with an oversight.

Click here to keep reading in the LA Weekly about how hard it can be to check waste in a Southern California dream garden. As to why checking waste is a goal, do read the Natural Resources Defense Council report estimating that 40% of the food we grow is thrown away. In California, that means massive amounts of water and energy are squandered. *This post has been updated to add the NRDC  link.



4 Responses to “Old soldier driven to drink”

  1. steve carlton
    August 23rd, 2012 @ 11:13 am

    Emily –
    So, completly off subject.
    Love the 1930’s/1940’s Altadena kitchen.
    And it is so organized and clean.
    Just what a journalist/water wonk wants to hear.

  2. EmilyGreen
    August 23rd, 2012 @ 11:52 am

    Steve, what a nice comment. Thank you! It’s funny, I used to have a more modern “dream” kitchen at my old place, but prefer this simple 1940s counter & cooker and sink one. Also, there is no way I would spend good money on a new kitchen instead of, say, solar, greywater, rain-water harvesting and drip systems. Was struck cleaning up after this week’s fruit packing to listen to radio coverage of the recent NRDC report that the US throws away 40% of its food. Our capacity for waste isn’t new, but I found myself wondering what that figure would be if you factored in wasted back yard fruit in LA County? Anyway, thanks for the comment and for those who missed the NRDC report, here’s a link: http://www.nrdc.org/food/wasted-food.asp

  3. Lorene
    August 24th, 2012 @ 9:14 am

    Emily – I love this tale of resourcefulness backed up with hard work. I am constantly reminded, while toiling away in my tiny vegetable garden, to give props to the farmers who do the really heavy lifting! We have local gleaning organizations to harvest surplus backyard fruit but I’m afraid our PNW gardens yield more Italian plums than exotic citrus! Your Old Soldier sounds delish – I’ll give it a go and toast your efforts! Cheers.

  4. BMBM
    August 28th, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    If Iris and I were in town, we wouldn’t have come over to help and share lemonade! Maybe next week?

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