in this week's box:
heirloom cucumbers (i had no idea such a thing existed, and when i opened the box, i initially couldn't figure out what the long, skinny, slightly curved, striated green things were. it took a big sniff and a little nibble to finally figure it out!)
3 ears of sweet corn
a bunch of basil
heirloom tomato mix (see photo below, which also shows a hint of the cucumber)
2 sharlyn melons (my melon mystery is finally solved--these are the same as the one in last week's box)
check out the tomatoes! this week's notes from the farm were on monocropping in the tomato industry--in thinking of a typical grocery store, it's clear that there's not a wide variety of tomatoes offered for mass consumption. rather, it's the non-heirloom breeds--which can be produced in greater quantities b/c of higher disease resistance and less fragility overall--that are exceedingly commonplace. monsanto, the nation's dominant agricultural cooperation (also the leading producer of genetically engineered seeds) is responsible for "buying up and then discontinuing crop varieties developed over decades that have allowed diverse, regional producers to flourish. in general, the varieties they continue to produce are much more expensive than those they eliminate. more often than not, they are developed assuming maximum use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides--many of which are produced by monsanto itself." but of course.
the danger, of course, is of setting up national dependency on a single crop. i can kind of remember learning about the irish potato famine in school--a disease called late blight killed all of the potato plants in ireland, and an estimated 1,000,000 people starved to death. late blight happens to be sweeping through the northeast and mid-atlantic states this year due to excessive wet weather, and is devastating tomato crops. thankfully it's not causing mass exodus & death this time around--states hit by blight are able to bring in tomatoes from other states such as my own, which happens to be experiencing an excellent tomato season.
"over a hundred years ago, the irish potato famine taught the world not to depend on a single variety or single crop. in just another decade or two, most of the world's entire food supply may be controlled by a single company."
on a lighter note, we had tomato, basil & mozzarella salad last night for dinner, seasoned with a couple cloves of garlic from an earlier box, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. it was quite good. and lucy has slowly started taking to tomatoes--she'll eat the cherry ones plucked straight off the vine in our garden. proof that fresh = best. obviously.