I tried my hand again at farming. This time purely by default. When my farmers left the garden they left it chock full of goodies. Beautiful winter veggies that were going to go to seed if I didn’t do something quickly. So one afternoon I trekked out back with a Lululemon bag in hand and a romantic vision of putting together my own “CSA Basket” from the farmers hard work. The sun was shining, it was a mild 70 degrees in December and there I went to “reconnect” with Mother Earth.
What I did not bring was-
1. Proper work shoes for muddy conditions
2. Any work tools whatsoever
3. Work gloves
4. Common Sense
I quickly realized I was ill-prepared. Thankfully, the grounds gardener stopped by and offered me items 1-3. Within an hour I had filled up several large trash bags full of kale, beets, lettuces and carrots. I day-dreamed about the lovely recipes I’d be cooking that week and how I’d wow my dinner guests with stories of “picking my own veggies straight from the garden”. It was so idyllic, nothing could go wrong. After an hour, I stopped for a break and to soak in my own foodie daydreams.
But, as I sat, something felt wrong. Something was missing. Oh no, it couldn’t be…where was my wedding ring?
I quickly scanned the ground, ran up and down the row and started digging by the weeded butternut squash. No sign of the ring. As I looked over the acre of garden I just walked through, a complete hysteria came over me. That ring could be anywhere. It was a needle in a haystack. I seriously may never find it. And, that’s when I lost it.
Screaming, hysterical profanities spewed from my mouth. Sure, I knew the ring was too big and I knew it needed to be sized. I’d even been wearing a fake ring for months because I’d been worried it’d fall off and I’d lose it. So why, today of all days, had I put it on?
Well, it was simple, I’d worn the ring to remind me to take it to the jeweler and get it sized. But, as Murphy’s Law would dictate, at the last minute I had decided to go for this tromp in the garden. So, there I was with 7 giant bags of kale and plenty of carrots, just not one of them sparkling. Could I get a metal detector before it got dark? If not, should I sleep in the dirt to ward off trespassers and blingy-diamond-obsessed raccoons until I had recovered the ring?
My screaming hysterics caught the attention of the grounds gardener, who by now had clearly guessed I belonged back in the office rather than the garden. As I ran around in circles pointing at my ring finger, crying, she somehow gathered what I was saying through my jibber-jabber.
She calmly asked me if I’d checked the glove.
No. Why would I? That would have meant I had brought item 4.
Sure enough, there was my wedding ring.
I tossed my 7 giant bags of kale and lettuce, beets and the edible carrots into the back of the golf cart and gave the gardener back her supplies. On the way to the jeweler I contacted San Diego Roots Sustainable, who gleans unused veggies and fruits and donates them to the food banks.
I made this salad for dinner and confessed the story to Hubs.
No, I have not tended the garden since. But, I have found some new cool gardeners who want to take it over. And you know what I realized? The first day I met them, they brought items 1-4. Oh, and distinctly no jewelery on any fingers. So naturally, I have instant respect for their savvy already.
Farmer’s Market Winter Salad
If you can’t find persimmons in your area feel free to omit or add your own local fruit delicacy.
1 bag winter mixed greens/lettuces
1/2 C. Trader Joes Sweet and Spicy Pecans
3 oz. Goat Cheese
1/2 C. Pumpkin Balsamic Vinegar *
1 C. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
* If you don’t have Pumpkin Balsamic Vinegar add 1/2 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice to regular Balsamic Vinegar.
Combine dressing ingredients and set aside. Crumble goat cheese and add to washed greens. Peel and slice persimmons length-wise for prettiest presentation. Top with pecans and toss with dressing.