Mustard Seeds Farms Community Garden: Getting food is fun again!

I am not sure there is a word strong enough to express the visceral dislike I have had of grocery shopping.  Perhaps if I shopped more at the ritzy stores, I would like it.  Where I do our major grocery shopping (which I do monthly because I dislike it so) sells us fruits and vegetables that seem to commence rotting the minute they hit my bag.  Sometimes the day after I have purchased them, they are looking quite poor.  This has frustrated to no end, but the other stores in the area haven’t been overwhelmingly better.

A friend mentioned the opportunity to work at Mustard Seed Farms 12 hours per season per adult and then you can get all the fresh organic produce you want for free.

Hm.  Interesting


These are the 3 varieties of cauliflower we witnessed this season.  The green kind wasn’t as available, but there was an abundance of the orange and purple, and of course white cauliflower.

The thought of J’s feelings on this?  A clear tossup.  If his mood was good, I could see him liking the idea of being part of this.  If his mood was not good, I could see him being a little less than willing to be signed up for more work, being that he already works up to 60 hours a week.


We decided to give it a go.  We each had to work 12 hours.  Farmer Brown called J to get him on a job once he saw that J spoke fluent cabinetry.  J was good with it, and even seemed to be not minding the time he went out there, getting away from the house, the kids and working on his own.

For my part, I had to overcome stasis to get going on hoeing. (pardon the rhyme). But once I got going on it, it was ok.  I don’t think I achieved that state of mind where I ever liked it, but it was ok.  Coming home with a bag of veggies made it ok.


Now we are reaping a generous weekly harvest.  Fresh corn, broccoli, zucchini, squash, beans, flowers, raspberries, tomatoes if we wanted them, cauliflower, onions, potatoes, lettuce, cantaloupe and honeydew melons.  I love, love, love my weekly trip to the farm.  Going somewhere and getting a huge bag of this free organic produce, did I mention for free??


As a cook, I am beside myself with glee.  Sometimes I even go 2 times a week, just because I love it so much.  And then the food I get to make… I haven’t even begun to explore the possibilities.  Soups, salads, curries and these amazing colorful pasta dishes… I need more recipes because the veggies are there.  We have easily whacked our grocery needs down a chunk, we just eat what the farm gives us.  We only go to the grocery store for dry goods or milk (or, dare I say, chocolate) Costco takes care of most of our other stuff.


J likes going there to work, because he gets to do what he likes, cabinetry.  It is a sort of respite for him, and they are very appreciative of the work he does.

So how highly can I recommend this?  If one is a lover of food; fresh, organic, lovely fruits and veggies I am not sure that I could recommend it highly enough.  There is the consideration of the time a family will need to put in.  We decided next May that we would get going early and get all those hours out of the way so that we could just enjoy with our legs kicked up for the rest of the season.

So but what I need now are recipes.  Recipes to use up all those succulent vegetables that I have at my disposal.  Any suggestions?

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Sally says:

    Wow… you’re a walking advertisement for Mustard Seed! It almost makes me want to sign up next year… almost. 🙂

  2. sarah says:

    I think I want to give it a try next year.


  3. Aj says:
    Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian”
    “Simply in Season” from the Mennonites

    To name a few. 🙂

  4. zhenya says:

    This sounds wonderful! Too bad its kinda far from my house…

  5. Heather says:

    Sally, it really depends on how childcare could work, doesn’t it? If you have a friend who you can trade with, say both of you are signed up, it becomes not only easier, but sort of like “I get to go hoeing today!” as you leave the kids. Then when the friend goes, watch her kids. strange, but a change of pace is actually nice.
    Thankyou AJ, I get a rec about that asparagus to zucchini and I am looking forward to checking into it.

    Zhenya, if you go to they have a map of local CSA (community supported agriculture) opportunities by zip.

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