A Surprise From the Surplus Bench

weekly CSA produce share
With this haul we are planning arugula and grapefruit salads.

We probably mention the surplus bench or basket from time to time. As the name implies, it’s a location where surplus items are available to take free of charge on a first-come first-served basis, within reason. Often, there will be some less-popular items that were left over from the previous week, but, sometimes, as was the case this week, there will be a little special item sent down from the farm. This week, it was small packets of hollyhock seeds.

Interesting, right? Why hollyhocks? Well, during one of the open houses at the farm, we saw a large stand of hollyhocks growing in the field. Now, we know they aren’t a food item, and assumed that Farmer Frank grew them to attract some beneficial insect, or that they enriched the soil, like legumes, or perhaps they kept some weeds at bay. We asked Farmer Frank why he grew hollyhocks, and his answer was simple: “I think they’re pretty.” And we think that answer says a lot about the difference between commercial farming and our CSA farm.

Our produce:

  • Grapefruit (2)
  • Quelites (1 bunch) — traded for more grapefruit
  • Arugula (1 bag)
  • Black beans (1 bag)
  • Salad mix (1 bag)
  • Braising mix (1 bag)
  • Cauliflower (1 head)
  • I’itoi onions (1 bunch)

And two packets of hollyhock seeds to plant in the spring.

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