Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How to Pick Your Neighbors Vegetables without them Knowing

OK, this may sound a bit unethical but desperate times call for desperate measures. And, besides you could be doing them a favor- you know that they are not really eating all of those vegetables, Right? They are probably overwhelmed with work, family, and more. Too busy to get out there and harvest the crops. And, by the time they do, the sun is setting and the hungry mosquito's are out....then they only pick maybe two tomatoes and one zucchini. And, the ones that do manage to get out there and pick 'em, can't possibly cook all of them. They end up playing a grown up ding dong ditch...you know, leaving a pile of zucchini's on the front porch of some poor unsuspecting business man after your kids have begged you for NO MORE ZUCCHINI BREAD!

This year is a particularly good year for vegetable picking. With all the hype of grow your own food and all of the gardens popping up all over the place. If you are one of the lucky ones, you live in a neighborhood with front yard gardens!Edible Gardens have nearly doubled in popularity. And, they are getting healthier too! People are growing organic and getting educated on actually how to grow. Heirloom varieties are particularly in vogue!

So, let's get started !
Keep in mind folks, that this is all in good fun. I don't really advise you to go out there and raid the outdoor pantries. RIGHT?

1) I recommend keeping a journal of your neighbors hours, IE; bedtime, work, little league games, etc. Do they have dogs? Do they have Oberwies or PeaPod delivered ( very popular in my neighborhood)? If so, they are use to being interupted in the middle of the night, a good time to to vegetable picking. I have assembled a journal using all of the junk mail coupons that regularly come in the mail. The backs of them are blank. Staple them together and you have a handy little booklet! I also recommend carrying will you small clippers/ scissors, small flash light for yards that lack lighting, and a sack of some sort.

2) Catalog of the the gardens in your area- you are only limited by how far you are willing to walk or ride your bike. Keep track of the varieties that are grown in each one so that you can plan your menus. Use the booklet that you made in step one.I am very fortunate -there is one garden in my neighborhood that grows early crops, summer crops, and fall crops. So, I get a well rounded variety of vegetables.

3) Don't be greedy! Only pick what you need! This way you won't waste precious veggies, but you will always have fresh new produce that is healthier for you. And, most importantly- your neighbors won't notice that you were there.

4) As touched on in step #3, ONLY PICK WHAT YOU NEED! Also, a good tip is to leave a small rabbit sized bite in a tomato or cucumber so that it looks as if rabbits or mice raided the garden.

This will get you started in the art of vegetable picking. In no time at all you too can be a Localvore! One more thing, be a good neighbor and if you see weeds, do a little weeding to help keep the vegetables growing and thriving!

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