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Why Baby Vegetables are a Luxury, and Other Thoughts on Preparing for Winter
By Ellen Hertzman, Former Manager of Volunteer Experience on Sep 1, 2008
Preparing for winter? Yes, I've been thinking about winter for a couple months now, ever since I decided to try to eat more local foods. I won't be limiting myself to eating only foods grown in Colorado, especially over the winter, but I am wanting to pay more attention to where my food comes from. And, I have extra incentive, since local foods tend to be cheaper these days than foods relying on expensive long-distance transportation!
I was in my garden the other day, harvesting beets and green beans to freeze. I found myself leaving the tinier veggies to grow for a few more days, knowing that they will go that much farther this winter. I imagined that if I were a pioneer, concerned with feeding the family during the long cold months, I'd be having similar thoughts. And that's when I realized that "baby" veggies, so prized in gourmet stores and restaurants, are a luxurious sign of our culture's prosperity, picked before they have reached their full hunger-quelling potential. In fact, I'd guess that in the "olden days," only fancy people ever got to try them!
So next time you enjoy a tiny patty pan squash, a petite eggplant, or golf-ball size new potatoes, keep in mind: you are eating the food of royalty!