Monday, February 21, 2005

When The Only Snow Will Be Snow Peas.

Yet another northeaster. It takes the gloss off a public holiday somewhat to always have in the back of my mind that I'm going to have to spend a chunk of tomorrow morning digging out of my driveway and then digging into my office but I'll say this for the snow: it makes Maine look awfully pretty. Maybe its the image formed early in my mind by Ethan Frome and Stephen King but New England always looks its best to me when there is fresh snow on the ground. The landscape is not as harsh as the tundra of Minnesota, the vast isolation of Alaska, or the fanged malevolence of the Rockies. In short, its less Siberian or Tibetan and more Barvarian in these parts, making happy linkages in my memory between falling snow and hot chocolate with a little booze in it, or snow and tasty sausages.

When spring arrives it's pretty enough around here, but I have a genetic bias towards the ripening grain, sandy beaches, and bright white light of my native Eastern England. Maine suffers by comparison if only because spring and summer paradoxically means less light as the deciduous trees add their broad leaves to the skyline blocking conifers. Besides, the vegetation, granite hills, lakes, loons, and biting flies of backwoods Maine make the place look and feel positively prehistoric. Every time I head off to try and drown some worms in the futile pursuit of pickerel I half expect to see a brontosaurus lumber by.

This spring however I have something new to look forward to. Jen, a former colleague of mine who left to have a baby and farm with her partner Jason has set up a CSA program. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and essentially serves as a Sam's Club for hippies. Alright, so that's a touch snarky but really, you don't want me to go into an in-depth explanation. Ultimately, along with a bunch of other folks we pay Jen and Jason $250 up front; they get to buy seed, pay their mortgage, and so on with cash not credit (the killer of many a farm); and we get fresh produce once a week all spring, summer, and fall.

At first I was a little leery of the idea; I loved it in theory but didn't fancy sinking my money into a venture that could collapse with an overly wet spring. However, Mrs. Weasel talked me into it, and now I'm fully sold and can't wait for our first greenhouse spinach and a summer of figuring how to safely mail excess zuccini to Walter Mondale down in Brooklyn. We are going to save a ton on groceries, I don't have to ponder pulling up more of our landlady's shrubs to plant more tomatoes, we will know where our food comes from, and help a friend. Can't be bad. Now if only I could catch some fish to go with it.

So should Mondale and missus venture north, the 50 State Baseball Convoy roll through, or should I venture south to the concrete jungle with the orange slalom gate display let me know in advance what you want in your salad and I'm sure it can be arranged.


Listmaker said...

the 50 state baseball convoy is in sometime this summer and i like the annie's natural godess salad dressing

weasel said...

Can't go wrong with any Annie's (except perhaps the basil-lime vinagrette). Do you get the Chef Drew line down there in Gotham? They are from VT and I highly recommend the smoky tomato thingy one.

Lobster rolls and fresh greens in the parking lot at Hadlock Field, then lots of Shipyard beer! Huzzah!

youthlarge said...

lobster rolls in parking lots? is mrs. 50 state baseball convoy invited too? i have to investigate this chef drew character.

weasel said...

Youthlarge, a lobster roll, red hot dog, and a needham for dessert will set you up right for good gastronome entry.

Chef Drew's dressings can be found here. Delicious, even if the company figure head is a pretentious moppet who probably finds the poverty of Northern New England "inspiring".