Category Archives: Field Notes

Goodbye (but not really)

Becky Squash MaskThis is going to be my last blog entry here at VegHub HQ for a while. Work-at-home momming is just making it too hard for me to keep up with what Margie needs from me, so for right now I’m going to step down as the official Vegetable Husband blogger and become a regular ol’ customer. Don’t worry, though! Margie is going to be doing some writing, and she’s on the hunt for a replacement to share photos and stories of all the wonderful moments that make up the VegHub family.

I’ve been part of Vegetable Husband from the beginning: first as a customer, then a sorter and driver, and then as a blogger. It feels a little bit strange to be stepping back my involvement, but between my other freelance work and taking care of my sweet baby boy, something just had to give. I’ve got no hard feelings about this transition, and neither does Margie. We both want what’s best for Vegetable Husband and for my family, and that means focusing my energy on this guy:

Darrol HenryMargie has some super big plans for Vegetable Husband in 2014, and I can’t wait to read about them right here! I’m also going to stay involved wherever time permits, because I love Margie and what she is doing for the Atlanta food community.

If you do want to keep up with me, I’m not totally quitting this writing thing all together! You can find me on my personal site – Glue and Glitter – as well as at Eat Drink Better and Crafting a Green World. The latter two are group blogs that I co-edit with some amazing people, and I think that if you like what Margie is doing, you might enjoy getting to know Tanya, Mary, Jennifer, Jill, Heather, Bonnie, and Julie too!

So, it’s goodbye for now, but I’ll see you at the next anniversary party. I’ll be there with bells on! Or at least a summer squash for a face mask.

[top photo by Atlanta photographer, Bonnie J. Heath]

Local Vegetables to Fight Cold and Flu

Collards and mustard greens this week!

Over the weekend, a wretched stomach bug swept through our house. My 10 month old baby brought it home from daycare, and my husband got sick a couple of days later. Somehow I managed to dodge this round of sickness.

Since cold and flu season isn’t over, I’ve been reading up on ways to avoid getting the winter ick. There are behavioral and dietary measures you can take to avoid getting sick. First, the behaviors:

  • Wash your hands like it’s your job. I was seriously washing my hands hourly, and once Dave got sick it was probably even more than that.
  • Sleep. A lot. Your body needs rest to fight those germs! Nap if you can, and go to bed embarrassingly early.
  • Avoid sick people. Obviously, this isn’t always easy. Once Dave got sick, though, I started sleeping in the guest room. It was lonely, but if we were both sick, who was going to care for our baby, right?
  • Water, water, water. All day long. If you can stomach it, add 1 tablespoon unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your water. ACV has good bacteria that helps your gut defend itself. You could probably also eat yogurt or drink kombucha for similar benefits, but we didn’t have any in the house, and we did have a big bottle of unfiltered ACV.

OK, so the whole tip about water sort of starts treading on the area of diet, so let’s get to it. So many of the local fruits and veggies that are in season now help protect you from cold and flu!

  • mushrooms – Shrooms are a good dietary source of vitamin D, and vitamin D is proven to help you fight the flu.
  • dark leafy greens – Can you say superfood? These veggies are full of vitamins and antioxidants that help shore up your immune system.

Is organic food healthier?

  • citrus – Those oranges that we get from our Florida neighbors sometimes in winter are packed with immune-boosting vitamin C.
  • legumes – Peas and beans are a good source of lean, easy-to-digest protein, which your body needs to fight sickness.
  • garlic – Garlic is packed with anti-microbial goodness. You get the most benefit from raw garlic. The way I work raw garlic into my food is to add it at the end. So, if you have a big bowl of soup or plate of veggies, stir a minced clove into your food just before you sit down to eat it.

homemade apple sauce

  • applesauce – If your stomach is feeling a little bit iffy, use those local apples to make quick, easy applesauce. Applesauce is easy on the belly and has nutrients that help you get better faster. I discovered recently that you can make small-batch applesauce in the rice cooker! Just chop up 4-5 apples and toss them in with about 1 cup water. Turn on the cooker, and when it clicks off, instant applesauce!

Have any of you guys successfully avoided a wave of sickness? I’d love to hear what habits and foods helped you stay well this cold and flu season!

5 Years of Veggie Hubby Goodness!

Margie

This week is our last delivery of 2013, and it also marks five years of vegetable deliveries from Vegetable Husband!

It has been a wonderful five years with you, and I am so honored to have been with Vegetable Husband almost from the start: first as a customer, then as a basket-packer, then a driver, and now the resident blogger. Vegetable Husband has helped transform the local food community here in Atlanta, and this week we wanted to take a look back at the last five years.

Vegetable Husband started as a business operating out of Margie’s house. Drivers would cruise up her long, steep driveway to load up your baskets of fresh goodies.

VegHub

Margie runs her business in such a unique and community-oriented way, and I think that’s part of what makes Vegetable Husband so special. The customers, drivers, basket-packers, and farmers aren’t just co-workers and employees. We are a family.

Vegetable Husband Class Photo

We’ve changed locations over the years, but what hasn’t changed is Margie’s commitment to supporting small local farmers.

Mecca, Adam and Silas from Jackson Lowe Farm

Mecca, Adam and Silo from Jackson Lowe Farm

Picking up veggies at Serenbe farm.

Picking up veggies at Serenbe farm.

It’s been amazing to watch Vegetable Husband grow in the five years that I’ve known Margie, and we have a strong future ahead of us! Like I mentioned, we’ve moved a few times over the years, and we will soon be occupying a new home once again! I mentioned this around Thanksgiving, but it’s such big news that it bears repeating.

Vegetable Husband will be moving into our new space in early 2014. Like our previous location, this new space is in East Point. Unlike our old space, though, this new location has great facilities for canning, preserving, and cooking classes! We are already scheming demonstrations and classes that we could teach at this wonderful new location.

Sweet Pickled Beets

It has been a delicious, eventful 2013, and we are looking forward even more Veggie Hubby goodness next year. We hope that you’ve had a beautiful holiday season and wish you a happy new year. See you in 2014, Veggie Hubby family!

Persimmons are here! And a Swiss Chard Recipe

persimmons

We got another beautiful basket yesterday, including one of my favorite seasonal fruits: persimmons!

I was kind of surprised to discover that not everyone’s familiar with persimmons, and I’m so excited to introduce new folks to this delicious cold-weather fruit. It might look like an orange tomato, but the flesh is sweet heaven.

A ripe persimmon is a lovely fall treat, but like most fruit it’s not super delicious when it’s underripe. We were anxious to get these beauties to your door, and some might be just a smidge unripe. That’s okay! They’ll ripen up on the counter. Ripe persimmons are a deep orange color and the texture of a very ripe plum. Just keep checking, and when they feels nice and soft, enjoy it!

Vegetable Basket

Our sorter, Jennifer, was kind enough to snap a photo of her basket for us!

We have another bountiful basket this week! Here’s the haul:

  • Sunchokes from Woodland Gardens
  • Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
  • Bok Coy from Woodland Gardens
  • Winter Squash from Watsonia Farm
  • Swiss Chard from Woodland Gardens
  • Lettuce from Woodland Gardens
  • Grape Tomatoes from Watsonia Farm
  • Persimmons from Watsonia Farm

This week’s recipe uses not only the chard from your basket by the delicious mushrooms, too. It’s a hearty vegetarian noodle dish that’s perfect for this chilly week!

Garlic Noodles with Mixed Mushrooms, Braised Chard, and Baked Tofu

Adapted from Glue and Glitter
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • handful of dry soba noodles, or whatever noodles you prefer
  • 1/3 cup water or beer
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or organic soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha, or your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, sliced into 8 cutlets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • your bag of mushrooms, sliced into large chunks
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard stems and leaves, chopped
  • roasted, unsalted cashews

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, drain, rinse, and set aside.
  3. While the noodles cook, whisk together the water, soy sauce, hot sauce, and brown sugar. Set that aside.
  4. Arrange the tofu on a greased baking sheet, and pour half of the sauce you made over it. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu after 20.
  5. While all of that happens, heat the oil on medium-high heat and cook up the garlic and shallots until the shallots turn translucent. Add the mushrooms and keep cooking for about 5 more minutes, or until the mushrooms just start to brown, then add the chard. Cook for 1 minute more, then add the rest of the sauce to the pan, cover, and cook for 2 more minutes.
  6. Toss the veggies and the noodles together in a large bowl. Dish up the noodles and serve with two slices of tofu and a handful of cashews on top of each bowl.

Raw Applesauce and a Happy Halloween from Vegetable Husband!

Collards and mustard greens this week!

Tomorrow is Halloween, and we are super jazzed about it! We’ve got a beautiful basket full of healthy veggies to help you balance out the candy that you and your kids are no doubt going to be eating this week. We’ve also got a raw applesauce recipe below, in case you want a sweet treat that’s a little bit healthier.

As Margie mentioned in this week’s letter, the fall bounty is looking good right now, and our farms seem to be bouncing back from the strange summer that caused so many problems for them. We’re also lucky enough to be getting a couple of bunches of greens: collards from Serenbe Farm and mustards from Woodland Garden. Enjoy this month’s basket, and check out the recipe below for the haul of Arkansas Black Apples from David’s Organic Orchard right here in Georgia.

Before we get to the recipe, though, check out this week’s amazing haul:

  • apples (Arkansas black) – David’s Organic Orchard, GA
  • Mustard greens – Woodland Gardens
  • Watermelon Radishes – Woodland Gardens
  • Beets – Steve Miller
  • Parsley – steve Miller
  • Sweet potatoes – Serenbe Farm
  • Collards – Serenbe Farm
  • Green Onions – Serenbe Farm

Raw Ginger-Cinnamon Applesauce

Raw Applesauce

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 7 apples, cored, peeled, and chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Put all of the ingredients in the blender and purée until smooth. Make sure you stop and scrape down the sides and give things a stir occsaionally to get all of the apples nice and puréed. The longer you blend, the smoother your raw applesauce will be.