Advice for Graduates, CF style

Photo courtesy Beard Papa

It's that time of year.

People are graduating left and right, and you need to send cards, presents, or -- the favorite thing to give, at least it was in my college days -- lots of advice.

Since we at Cranky Fitness love to give out advice being helpful, I'll pass on to you the very last piece of good advice that I received before I walked down the aisle in that funny black robe. What I was told was this:

Vegetables start to lose their nutrients within 20 minutes of being picked.

(This advice is not as weird as it sounds; the woman behind me in line to graduate was an organic farmer.)

Since I've started picking weeds harvesting useful vegetables in my yard each morning before I head off to work, I've noticed a definite improvement from the point of view of my taste buds. I do not love vegetables -- we're not even "just good friends" -- but even I can taste the difference between leafy greens that I picked an hour ago and leafy greens that I buy in the store, which were picked days ago and driven/flown in from somewhere a long ways away.

They tell me that frozen vegetables are full of fresh vegetable goodness and nutrient-ness, and they may well be right. Froz. veggies are just not as crisp. Maybe they'd qualify for the runner-up position if you can't find a local source of really fresh veggies.

How to find a local vegetable?

Farmers Markets and CSAs

This link helps you to find a local farmers market or CSA (In this case, "local" means somewhere in the continental US/lower Canada, and "somewhere" means not too close to a desert.)

No, CSA is not the name of a government organization concerned with covert or indeed overt operations. In this case, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Somebody else grows the food and picks it, but instead of driving it to the store so that it can sit on the shelf for a few weeks having Muzak played at it, the food can be delivered straight to your door. (And what you choose to do with your food in the privacy of your own home is really none of my business. Really. I don't want to know.)

Get a window box

Grow vegetables in containers

If all else fails, you can always raid your neighbor's vegetable garden.
Worked for Peter Rabbit.

Fancy and local

Oh all right. If you're too honest for that (or if you read about What Happens to Bad Bunnies), then try an upscale grocery store. They're getting quite proud of carrying local produce. (Unless you live in a desert, in which case you might want to go back to growing stuff indoors near a sunny window. Deserts get loads of sunshine.)

I realize that we can't get fresh veggies year around (unless "we" live in California or somewhere of similar climate). But that's all the more reason to go for the gusto green beans while you can!

If your graduate isn't satisfied with this advice, this would be a good time to tell them about how much harder things were in your day. Uphill through the snow to school... both ways... and having to live in the dark ages before cable TV, back when twitter was something birds did, you young whippersnappers don't know what it was like...

Oh all right. Do you know any good ways to get fresh vegetables without going out and plowing the back 40?

Photo credit: Futurilla

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