"Find Yourself in the Garden"
"Are you busy this weekend?"
Stan asked Lawrence.
"Not really," Lawrence said,
suddenly curious. "Why?"
"Saturday, May 3 will be
the first workday of the season at
Cornucopia Community Supported Agriculture,"
Stan said. "That's where we get a lot of what
we eat -- one large share for me, and another for
the rest of the family, produce and animal products.
We pad it out with stuff from the grocery store,
because a basket rarely has everything
needed to make a whole recipe."
"That sounds interesting, but I doubt
my family budget would stretch that far,"
Lawrence said. "CSAs are expensive.
Besides, isn't it a little late in the season
for people to be buying into that?"
"First of all, you don't have to join,
we're allowed to bring friends," Stan said.
"Second, they offer work-trade options.
Third, I think Keith-Ann will be all over you
once she sees your superpowers."
"You want me to show someone
what I can do, instead of just sneaking it?"
Lawrence said, frowning at him.
"Keith-Ann runs the farm with
her brother Billie-Dean," Stan said.
"She has superpowers of her own,
enhancing the growth of plants."
"Huh ... that could be interesting.
I have never seen anyone do
that before," Lawrence mused.
"So how do the shares work?"
"There are all kinds of sizes and
other options," Stan said. "We get
a large share of animal products and
produce, which is enough to feed
four to five people for a week."
"That's way more than we
need at my house, and I hate
wasting food," Lawrence said.
"A small share is meant for
one or two people," Stan said.
"There are also bargain versions
just for canning or the U-Pick fields.
Choose whichever kind you like."
Lawrence thought about
how much it would help to get
an extra load of groceries each week.
"Okay, you got me," he said.
"What do I have to do?"
"Just show up here bright
and early on Saturday morning,"
Stan said. "You can ride out and
back with us. Farm work is hard,
but it's a lot of fun too."
"I'm not you," Lawrence said.
"I don't work my body as much.
I'm more of a thinker."
"That's no problem," Stan said.
"There are sit-down tasks too.
I don't care if you wind up helping
with the supply calculations or whatever,
but I think Keith-Ann will find you a job
suited to your unique abilities."
"We'll see what happens,"
Lawrence said, hoping that
it would work out all right.
So on Saturday morning, he
showed up at Stan's house.
Stan wore blue jeans and
a white t-shirt that read,
Work Hard, Stay Humble.
Lawrence wore black jeans
and a white t-shirt that read,
Work Smart, Not Hard.
"I did not plan this,"
"Me neither, but it's
still funny," Stan said.
Everyone piled into the van
and rode out to the farm, with
Stan's sisters teasing him and
Lawrence about their t-shirts.
Cornucopia CSA was beautiful.
Lawrence stared out the window at it
as they pulled into the parking lot.
"This is the core area," Stan said.
"It has offices, the main visitor center,
the community buildings, the farm store --
there's even a pond farther back."
"Wow," Lawrence said as they
all scrambled out of the van.
"The chickens and small livestock
are off to the right, and the windmills
on the left," Stan said. "Straight ahead are
some of the vegetable plots, and then behind them
are the greenhouse tunnels. The compost corral
is located beside the cow and horse barn."
"It sounds so big," Lawrence said,
trying not to stare at all the people.
"You get used to it," Stan said.
"We've been coming here since
back when the farm belonged to
Keith-Ann and Billie-Dean's parents."
Lawrence wished that he had
that kind of continuity in his family life.
Well ... maybe he could borrow it.
Stan led Lawrence toward a round building.
"Keith-Ann runs the gardening side of the farm,
so she should be over here organizing people
into teams for different tasks," he said.
Inside the building there were tables
to sign up for various chores, along with one
whose sign read Special Limitations and
another for New Member Outreach.
Presiding over the whole circus
was a sturdy woman with brown hair
and clothes already covered in mud.
"Hi, Keith-Ann," said Stan.
"This is my boyfriend Lawrence.
He has some very special skills.
I'm hoping that you have a minute
to demonstrate yours first."
Keith-Ann gave Lawrence
a warm, appraising look.
"All right, let's see what you
can do," she said. "Amanda,
please take over here while I
go explore Lawrence's skills."
A woman with dark blonde hair
stepped up to take charge of
the clipboard and pen that
Keith-Ann handed to her.
Nervously Lawrence followed
Keith-Ann across the parking lot
and through the farm store.
"This is our test garden," she said,
waving at the secluded space
behind the large building.
"It looks interesting," Lawrence said
as he admired the careful layout of
miniplots that held different plants,
each one meticulously labeled.
"Thank you," said Keith-Ann.
"Now I'll show you mine, and then
you can show me yours if you want."
She planted a few seeds in the soil
and placed her hand over the spot.
It took a few minutes, but then
tiny radishes began to sprout.
Lawrence was fascinated, and
also fairly sure that Keith-Ann
would not freak out if she saw
his superpowers in action.
"All right then," he said.
"Find me something to kill."
He'd been using his superpowers
to do some discreet weeding and
thought it could be useful here.
Keith-Anne looked around and
pointed out a poison ivy plant
creeping under the fence.
Lawrence held his hand over it.
The plant wilted, its leaves
collapsing into a limp mass.
"That's amazing!" Keith-Ann said.
"What did you do to kill it?"
"I heated the water within it,
and basically cooked it from
the inside out," Lawrence said.
"With noxious weeds, I have to be
careful not to let any of the toxins
evaporate, but I've gotten good at it."
"Do you want a job?" Keith-Ann said.
"Uh ... what?" Lawrence said,
startled by her response.
"Full time, full benefits, write
your own ticket," Keith-Ann said.
"I'm still in high school," Lawrence said,
"and I would like to finish that."
"I approve your dedication
to your studies," said Keith-Ann.
"It's a standing offer. I'm also
open to part-time or oddjob work
if that appeals to you more. Stan
works extra hours sometimes."
"Yes, actually," said Lawrence.
"I would like to expand my options
for work that fits around school."
Stan had introduced Lawrence
to his oddjob circuit, but that couldn't
support two people as well as it had
done for Stan by himself. People
only had so much cash to spare.
"Then I'll be happy to have you
for however many hours you're
available," Keith-Ann said.
"Why are you so enthusiastic
about this?" Lawrence wondered.
"I mean, you just met me."
"First, Stan brought you, and
anyone he vouches for is worth
my time," Keith-Ann said. "Second,
you can kill weeds without herbicide.
That not only saves me money and
reduces the need for nasty substances,
it's more effective -- not even poison ivy
can come back from being boiled alive."
"Okay, that makes sense," Lawrence said.
"I told him about the usual shares,
but the multiplier for soup work is up
to you," Stan said to Keith-Ann.
"Full work-trade usually pays
one large share," said Keith-Ann.
"If you're willing to kill my weeds, then
I'll give you four large shares, including
animal products if you want them."
Lawrence shook his head.
"That's more than I need."
"So take a small share for
yourself and your mom, then
hand off the rest to someone else,"
said Stan. "It's what I do with mine."
"Oh, that's a good idea," Lawrence said.
He took out his smartphone and called
Chatura. "Hi, it's Lawrence. Can you use
an extra basket of produce every week?
Stan tipped me to this CSA thing ..."
Chatura was more than happy
to take a share for her family.
So was Arnold Hamilton.
"I don't know what to do with
the rest," Lawrence admitted.
"It's not like I have friends."
"The farm has a charity pool
for people who can't afford shares,"
Stan said. "You could donate
your extra ones there."
"Sure, I'm smooth with that,"
Lawrence said to Keith-Ann.
"Where do you want me to work?"
"Let's start with my map of noxious weed
infestations," Keith-Ann said, pulling out
her smartphone to display a site plan
of the farm marked with red dots.
"Let me guess, you're putting me
on the compost corral," Stan said.
"If you don't mind," Keith-Ann said.
"I'll go wherever you need me,"
Stan said with a smile.
Keith-Ann went into a shed and
handed Lawrence a spray bottle.
"Here," she said. "I thought that you
might want some plausible deniability."
"What is this?" Lawrence said,
sniffing. "It smells like vinegar."
"Just a splash for the scent,"
Keith-Ann said. "Sometimes we
use a stronger version with soap
to kill weeds around the farm."
So Lawrence took the bottle
and spent the morning using
his superpower to destroy weeds.
He crossed paths with Stan's mother
and sisters in the greenhouses,
filling trays with potting soil.
Stuart was in the bush garden,
digging holes for new seedlings.
Lawrence didn't see Stan again
until they stopped for lunch.
He was covered in muck,
and he positively reeked.
"Why do you smell like shit?"
Lawrence exclaimed in horror.
"Because I've been hauling manure
all morning. I'm one of the few people
who can carry the big Paris baskets when
they're full," Stan said, then winked.
"Come here and give me a kiss."
"Oh hell no," Lawrence said,
backing away from him.
Stan laughed. "Don't worry,
I'm only teasing you," he said.
"I wouldn't really expect it."
Lawrence was still struggling
to learn the difference between
affectionate teasing (which was
new to him) and malicious teasing
(which happened all the time).
"Uh huh," he said noncommittally.
"Come on, give me a hand with
the outdoor shower," Stan said.
"They have some by the horse barn
so people can wash up without tracking
lots of mud through a clean building."
"Why do you need my help?"
Lawrence wondered as he
followed Stan toward the barn.
"It's hard for me to tell when
I've gotten it all off," Stan said.
So Stan stripped down to his briefs,
and Lawrence helped Stan
scrub himself clean.
The shower consisted of
a handsome set of pipes on
the wall of the barn, flanked by
planters to provide some privacy,
and the ground was covered
by gravel and flagstones.
Afterwards, Stan dried off
and dressed in spare clothes
that he had brought in a bag.
Then they went to lunch.
There were picnic tables loaded
with all kinds of food, and tubs of
ice crammed with beverages.
Stan loaded up a plate with
egg salad sandwiches on rye bread,
veggie chips, brownies, and water.
Lawrence, figuring that Stan knew
what was good here, followed suit.
They found a picnic table and
sat down together, laying out
their plates and drinks.
"So what did you think of
your first visit to our CSA?"
Stan asked Lawrence.
"It's pretty cool," Lawrence said.
"The animals look healthy and
happy. The people are smiling.
Everyone's talking about what
they're going to grow this year."
Stan had been teaching him
how to use situational awareness
for more than not getting hit.
"I'm glad you like it," Stan said.
"I was hoping that you'd have
a chance to make some friends,
but I guess Keith-Ann kept you
running here and there all day."
"I've got you," Lawrence said.
"No sense getting greedy."
"Aww, shucks," Stan said,
gently bumping his shoulder
against Lawrence's side.
Just then Keith-Ann appeared
with a big cardboard box that made
Stan sit up and beg like a puppy.
"Goodie box?" he said.
"Yep," said Keith-Ann. "I'm
passing out the leftovers from
last season's canning. I know that
superpowers burn a lot of energy,
so take whatever you want."
Stan dove into the box and
pulled out jar after jar of
brightly colored food.
There were small jars
of mixed berry conserves,
strawberry jam, apple jelly,
and even pear butter.
There were larger jars of
mixed pickles, green beans,
and chopped stewed tomatoes.
Lawrence was especially pleased
to find spaghetti sauce, which
wanted only the pasta to
make a good meal.
"Okay, this is enough for me,"
he said. "I don't even have
anything to carry it in."
Keith-Ann took a reusable bag
from the box. "Use this," she said.
"I want to make sure that you're
having a good time today, and
want to come back here."
"Yeah," Lawrence said as he
packed up his unexpected loot.
"I think I am. It's a nice place.
I'm not used to it, though."
"Many people aren't when
they first come here, but they
can learn," Keith-Ann said.
"I believe that everybody
should play in the dirt."
"Why?" Lawrence wondered.
"I mean, you're a farmer, but
what's the deal for other people?"
"I think that we would have
a much happier world, and also
be in touch with our food. Otherwise,
people lose touch with basic things."
"Okay, I can see that," Lawrence said.
"If I had one wish for everybody,
it would be that they have a garden,"
Keith-Ann said, looking out over her farm.
"You can find yourself in the garden."
Lawrence thought about how
she had accepted his superpowers
so easily, and his morning spent
using a destructive force for
a constructive purpose.
He thought about soapsuds
sliding over Stan's bare skin,
with nothing but damp briefs
to preserve some modesty.
Then he had to think about
something else, or he was
going to embarrass himself.
So he thought about Stan's sisters
giggling in the greenhouse as they
filled the trays to prepare for planting
more seedlings, and Stuart leaning on
the shovel as he waved to Lawrence.
It really had been a good day, and
Lawrence already wanted more of them.
He looked at Stan, who was smiling
at him, and honestly, that was
all the encouragement that
"Yes," he said. "I think
that I have found myself."
* * *
Keith-Ann Cleaveland -- She has fair skin, hazel eyes, and long brown hair. She is the farmer who co-owns the Cornucopia Community Supported Agriculture farm where Stanley Wood and family get their produce. Keith-Ann networks with many other women in the farming business. She runs the farm with her younger brother Billie-Dean, primarily handling the plant side while he works more with the animals, although they overlap somewhat.
Origin: As a small child, she got into her family's fertilizer supply. Everyone expected her to get sick, but she didn't. They believe this is the cause of her superpowers.
Uniform: Dirty work clothes. She is almost never wholly clean, except after showering at night.
Qualities: Master (+6) Git'r'done, Expert (+4) Farmer, Expert (+4) Planning Ahead, Good (+2) Campfire Entertainment, Good (+2) Country Cooking, Good (+2) Running Obstacle Courses, Good (+2) Strength, Good (+2) Women in Agriculture
Poor (-2) Bullshit Tolerance
Powers: Average (0) Enhance Plant Growth
Motivation: To feed people.
Billie-Dean Cleveland -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short curly brown hair. He co-owns the Cornucopia Community Supported Agriculture farm where Stanley Wood and family get their produce. He works the farm with his older sister Keith-Ann, primarily handling the animals while she takes care of the plants, although they overlap somewhat. Billie-Dean is the husband of Amanda Cleveland, the office manager for the farm. He dislikes cities and avoids going into Omaha as much as possible.
Qualities: Master (+6) Honest, Expert (+4) Teamwork, Good (+2) Animal Husbandry, Good (+2) Emotional Intelligence, Good (+2) Sports, Good (+2) Stamina
Poor (-2) Not a City Boy
Amanda Cleveland -- She has fair skin, blue eyes, and long straight hair in shades of dark blonde and light brown. She serves as the office manager for the Cornucopia Community Supported Agriculture farm where Stanley Wood and family get their produce. She is the wife of Billie-Dean, co-owner of the farm with his older sister Keith-Ann. Amanda loves working in a lively community of farm staff and paid members, because she dreads being alone. Graceful and intelligent, she makes a good team player. As a hobby, she enjoys looking for BookCrossing releases around Omaha. She also buys books about farming, community, and organization to leave for other people to find.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Office Manager, Good (+2) BookCrossing, Good (+2) Emotional Intelligence, Good (+2) Graceful, Good (+2) Teamwork
Poor (-2) Being Alone
* * *
"I believe everybody should play in the dirt. I think we would have a much happier world, and also be in touch with our food. People lose touch with basic things I think. I wish more people could do it ... If I had one wish for everybody it would be that they have a garden. You can find yourself in the garden."
-- Grower Perspectives in Community Supported Agriculture
This is a sitemap for the core area of Cornucopia Community Supported Agriculture; additional fields extend beyond what is shown. The parking lot faces the edge of town. #1 is an office building. #2 is the main visitor center. #3 is the round hall for community gatherings. #4 and #5 are additional community center space for activities. #6 is the farm store. Behind it lies the test garden. #7 is the small animal area with chickens and other livestock. #8 is the gazebo. #9 marks a row of four large cabins for interns and other guests. A creek runs through the farm, including the treeline behind the houses. #10 This white building is the private house where Keith-Ann and Billie-Dean live. #11 is a boarding house for hired hands and other staff. #12 is the cow and horse barn which lets out into pasture behind the trees, not shown on this map. #13 is the compost corral. #14 marks a set of greenhouses. #15 shows several windmills that power the facilities. #16 indicates the bush crops growing below the windmills. Beyond this, off the left side of the map, is a small orchard. #17 is a large area of vegetables and raised beds. #18 is the boathouse for pond activities and equipment.
The parking lot includes several picnic tables. The small red building in the background has men's, women's, and family bathrooms. On workdays, additional porta-potties are often added to accommodate larger crowds.
In Omaha, Nebraska, lettuce and onions are planted in early May. In this plot they are interspersed for companion planting. Here is how a mixed field looks in summer. This plot is all scallions. Notice that the man in the blue shirt has a knife on his belt, as is common in Terramagne-America.
This is a floor plan for the cow and horse barn. The compost corral between the cow and horse barn and the greenhouses holds fresh manure, used straw, and compost in varying stages of maturity. The cow and horse barn includes several horse washing stations. A tall tub under an outdoor shower makes a dog washing station. The barn also has outdoor showers for people to wash the muck off without tracking it through a clean building.
On workdays, hand washing stations are set up around the farm as needed. So are beverage stations. This one includes bottled water, soft drinks, and grape juice. Cornucopia CSA sets out plenty of food. This table holds chips, apples, salads, pretzels, brownies, dinner rolls, sun tea, and a bouquet of flowers. Salty snacks are essential when people will be sweating a lot.
Some produce is available on a U-Pick basis. This saves money because the farm doesn't have to pay workers to pick and clean that produce, so it can be offered at a much lower price. Members can come out and pick whenever the farm is open. A separate U-Pick option is available at a bargain rate, but a basic share comes with picking privileges. The farm newsletter The Horn of Plenty announces what is in season each week. When demand exceeds supply, the rule is to pick only what you can use in the next few days, so more people can have some. When supply exceeds demand, the rule is to pick whatever is ripe. If you wind up with more than you need, you can trade the extra for things you want more. Excess produce is given to the canning club, put in the farm store, and/or donated to local food pantries.
Cornucopia CSA offers various ways for people to pick up their produce. If you come to the farm, everything is on tables with instructions about how much is available per share, so that you get some freedom to pick and choose -- especially, to take as much as you want from the "surplus" table. You are expected to bring your own bag or box to carry it.
If you come to a delivery station in town, your produce comes prepackaged in a wooden basket. You return last week's container(s) when you pick up this week's share. It's more convenient, but less flexible. Here's an example of an early spring share. Compare typical shares from mid-June. A small share is designed to feed 1-2 people for a week. A large share is designed to feed 4-5 people for a week. This is a midsummer large share with add-ons including a loaf of bread, a jar of jelly, and a dozen eggs. Cornucopia CSA grows flowers as well as fruits and vegetables. Seasonal bouquets are available with some share packages.
Cornucopia CSA offers an animal share as well as a plant share, and there's a discount for buying both together, so people often think of this as "one share" even though it's from two halves of the farm. This example of a large share (for 4-5 people) contains a pound of bacon, a 3-pound beef roast, a whole chicken, a dozen eggs, a pound of frankfurters, 2 pounds of pork chops, a pound of chicken wings, a pound of chicken legs, and two pounds of ground beef. A small share (for 1-2 people) is about half this size, comes with 6 eggs, and rarely includes a roast or whole chicken. Other animal products are sometimes included such as milk or honey. Some animal products are also available as add-ons to a plant share. Many people just want the eggs.
There is also a holiday package with delivery dates in early and late November and December (November 8th & 22nd, and December 6th & 20th). November offerings typically include apples, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, kale, kohlrabi, pears, persimmons, potatoes, radishes, red and orange beets, salad mix, spinach, winter squash, and yams. December offerings usually include apples, broccoli, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, red and orange beets, radicchio, rutabagas, salad mix, spinach, turnips, and winter squash. Turkeys are available separately, offered in late November for Thanksgiving and late December for Christmas.
In addition to selling food, Cornucopia CSA teaches people how to cook and preserve it. An abundance of cabbage leads to a sauerkraut making class.
Some cultivars are designed to produce a huge crop all at once. Other cultivars may yield enough to preserve in a bumper year. Cornucopia CSA provides a large community kitchen so that people can preserve food, which is especially attractive to those who don't have the space or equipment at home. A special canning share is available for people who don't want a whole basket of food, although the regular shares allow for canning. Here you can see mixed pickles, potatoes, beets, stewed tomatoes, bread-and-butter pickles, spaghetti sauce, green beens, and a different batch of mixed pickles.
Through the fruit season, bumper crops are gathered for canning as jelly, jam, and other preserves. There is usually some left over at the end of the CSA period; these extras are then distributed as perks to members who show up to the spring workdays.
Another way to preserve large crops is to freeze them. Cornucopia CSA offers a community kitchen and deep freezer for this purpose. The high-quality equipment freezes food faster, thus giving better results. People can take home their frozen food the next time they come to the farm. Taking it home to freeze the day it's made is also an option.
Cornucopia CSA has a sliding scale of participation. People can pay full price without needing to work on the farm. (Workfree shares are also available to seniors, disabled people, and others who cannot do farm tasks; but there are sitdown options, so most members choose to work.) Most shares include a few hours working on the farm. There are also some work-trade shares available which are paid entirely with labor. This is often offered in exchange for skilled labor, since some members have skills that aren't easy to find. As usual for T-America, superpowers typically rate 2-4 times the base pay.
Tractors haul workers from the core area into the fields, and then produce out of the fields to the center area for processing.
Produce must be cleaned before it can be packed into shares. In nice weather, cleaning stations are often set up outdoors.
The farm store includes space for washing and packing crops. The front of the farm store faces the parking lot. It includes an area for laying out produce on pickup days and for selling surplus produce on other days. They have a freezer full of fruit and vegetables for sale. This offers another way for the farm to handle surplus crops.
Amanda Cleveland, the office manager of Cornucopia CSA, is a BookCrossing fan. She has set up an official BookCrossing Zone in the community center. She most often releases books about farming, community, or organization. Other people have left all kinds of things. People who don't belong to BookCrossing can still claim books, or leave unlabeled books for members to label.
In addition to selling shares, Cornucopia CSA also runs a table at the Omaha Farmers Market. This provides an excellent place to find new members, especially at the beginning (if they have any unsold shares) and end (for next year) of the season.
Omaha, Nebraska is in Zone 5b. Here is a schedule of gardening tasks for that zone, and a harvest chart for an Omaha CSA.
Community Supported Agriculture is a business model that directly connects farmers with consumers. It can be expensive to join, but you typically save money in the long run. The best time to join is in the fall or winter. Many people think of joining in spring, when it's often too late. However, some CSAs reserve some extra shares to sell during the planting season when people are curious, others allow members to resell shares (for instance, if they move out of the area), or have other options for latecomers.
A feature of most CSAs is the use of uncommon produce, or rare varieties of familiar ones. Some people love surprises, others don't. One way to handle this is by giving members some choice over selections; at Cornucopia, you get more choice by showing up at the farm to fill your own container(s) than by picking up a prepacked basket at another location. Another way to handle it is with proportion: most of the share should consist of familiar basics (like Roma tomatoes), the next-largest part should be unique cultivars of basics (like Hidden Rose apples), and one or two things that will be new to most people (like sunchokes). In this share, the beets, cauliflower, carrots, and sugar snap peas are all familiar. The mini onions, rainbow chard, and lettuce mix feature less-common cultivars of common vegetables. Few people have tried fennel before finding it in their CSA share.
For people who like surprises, and can cook and eat just about anything, Cornucopia CSA sells an Adventure Box. It features unusual fruits, vegetables, and herbs alongside rare cultivars of common ones. Most of these come from test beds and small patches, so this box often contains things not in the basic shares. The remainder is filled out with whatever is most abundant at the time, helping to use up the general surplus. The most popular test items may be added to basic shares the next year -- but some things become favorites only with the adventurous crowd, and remain exclusive to this option.
Saturday, May 3 is the first Saturday in May of 2014.
Stan wears a t-shirt that reads, Work Hard, Stay Humble. Lawrence wears one that reads, Work Smart, Not Hard. That's pretty much their complementary philosophies on the matter.
T-America does a much better job than L-America when it comes to integrating people with disabilities into society. There are some disabled farmers, and their methods of doing farm chores can be taught to volunteers. Some use modified equipment, while others choose a focus such as poultry that is less labor-intensive. That's in addition to simple accommodations such as offering sit-down tasks to disabled volunteers. These success stories show how people with different abilities can succeed in agriculture with appropriate accommodations. Cornucopia CSA wants everyone to enjoy the farm, so they take proactive steps to include varying levels of ability and interest.
Fast-growing seeds appeal to children and other novice gardeners. Here is a children's garden collection and a first garden collection that feature quick rewards.
Among the many ways to get rid of poison ivy is a vinegar solution.
Serviceberries or Juneberries are among the less familiar bush crops. I have one, although I'm lucky to get enough to put in my mouth, let alone do anything with. The birds usually beat me to them. They taste a lot like blueberries, and the big bush turns a beautiful range of orange, red, and purple tones in autumn.
The history of market gardening is similarly complex. In the 17th century, the French garden system was the bleeding edge of urban agriculture, and many of those techniques are still in use today. You can read a whole book about this online.
Among the more interesting inventions was something called a hotte or Paris basket. This was a basket with a tall back, carried by means of two shoulder straps, used for hauling large loads of manure down narrow paths in the market gardens. This type has a tall wooden cage. This is a wicker harvest basket. Indeed, grape-picking baskets come in many styles. Here is a modern wicker hotte with a deep basket and short back.
"MANURE BASKET. Owing to the fact that the ranges of frames have pathways of a foot or less between them, it is obvious that a man could not use an ordinary wheelbarrow between them for carrying manure or soil. The pathways are narrow
chiefly to economise space (owing to the high rents in Paris arid the cost of manure), and even the handles of the lights are on top of the rails instead of the ends, so that another inch or two of valuable space may be secured. To enable the gardeners, therefore, to get between the beds and frames, a peculiar shaped wicker basket called a " hotte " is used for carrying manure, etc. This " hotte " (see fig. 13) has almost a straight back, in front of which are two straps which fit over a man's shoulders, so that it is carried much in the same way as a glazier carries his frame and glass, as shown in fig. 14, These baskets hold quite a large quantity of manure more than a wheelbarrow. While it is being filled, it is placed on a stand called a "chargeoir" (see fig. 14). This is a tripod, made of wood or iron, having two upright posts or horns, one at each end of the platform. This is at a convenient height from the ground, so that there is no necessity for a man to stoop or rise when he wishes to take the laden basket on his shoulders. He simply places his back to the basket, arranges the straps over his shoulders, and marches off to the spot where the manure is wanted. To march steadily and quickly in an alley, about a foot wide, between rows of frames, with a couple of hundredweights of manure on the back, necessitates a good deal of skill which can only be acquired by practice. Having reached his destination, the workman tilts his basket to the right or left, and shoots the manure from it almost exactly in the same way as a coalheaver gets rid of his sack of coals."
-- French Market Gardens
Friendly teasing has many benefits. Hurtful teasing can do a lot of harm. Learn how to tell the difference. This takes practice even for socially fluent people; for those with less experience or understanding, it can be difficult or impossible. You also need examples of both, or you don't have anything to compare. Here is a flow chart comparing the types and a lesson on learning the difference.
Enjoy recipes for Organic Egg Salad, Sourdough Rye Bread, and Sweet Potato Protein Brownies.
Fruit preserves come in many varieties.