Sunday, August 16, 2009

Refusing Free Veggies

This year, we built lots of raised beds for vegetable gardening. Last year I was in a car accident that did a real number on my knee, so I decided I wouldn't garden much if I had to be down on my knees to weed. It just hurts too much.

So we built up instead, into nice high raised beds. (Most of mine are higher than the ones you see above; some are knee-high, some are waist-high.) It's more expensive to set up, but hey, I'll actually use the garden this way and therefore get more fresh fruits and veggies into my family. I can live with the extra capital outlay when I look at it that way.

This has been GREAT. I love the raised beds! And they are so much easier to plant and harvest from. I think that will be a big deal to me as I get old and creaky, and will help keep me gardening longer.

We planted spinach, lettuce, peas, potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans, cukes, broccoli, peppers, corn, pumpkins, canteloupes, watermelons, cabbage, and about a thousand tomatoes. We also planted (or have existing plantings in) strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, pears, apples, grapes, and plums.

(Yes, we have a fair-sized garden area now. But even when we had a house with a small yard we managed to do tomatoes, cukes, peas, potatoes, lettuce, green beans, and spinach on a regular basis, often in containers or very small raised beds. You don't have to have a huge yard for it.)

Well, now we are harvesting our larger garden like mad, and of course we have more food than we can eat. So whenever I go somewhere, I take along a bag of tomatoes or green beans or cukes or whatever (no, I don't try to pawn off zucchini; we don't plant it cause I can't stand the stuff).

I view this as a lovely gift I can offer to other people if they'd like some, and certainly it represents some major time, effort and money from me.

To my shock, a lot of people turn me DOWN!! Fresh veggies, organically grown, vine-ripened......you'd be paying a MINT for this in the stores. And I'm having trouble giving it away, can you believe it? To people who don't have room for gardens, even to people who are pretty marginal in terms of income. You'd think they in particular would love to have some fresh-grown veggies as a treat....but no.

Do people really hate veggies that much?

I know I have a reputation in my house for being a bit anti-veggie, because there are many veggies I can't stand and won't eat (squash, brussel sprouts, etc.). I'm not a huge salad fan either; I do eat salads, just not with much enthusiasm some days. So I don't always get in the three-to-five-veggies-a-day I really should get, though I try. (And I usually make up the difference with fruits, yummmm.)

But gees, I'm a vegaholic compared to some of these people. I can't believe they are turning down this beautiful organic stuff!!

Well, the food bank won't turn it down, so I'll probably take it there. But I'm more than a bit miffed....and mystified too.

This really surprised me. I understand that not everyone loves tomatoes, of course; even two of my own kids won't eat them. And I understand that some folk like their food out of a can instead of out of the dirt. To each his own. I know that not everyone will welcome this food, and I expected that some would turn it down, which is fine....but I'm most surprised at how many have refused it.

Do all those people really hate veggies like that? Is our national veggie intake really that bad? (No, trolls, the turn-downs have not come from fat folks, but mostly from skinny folks.) I know that we as a country could certainly eat more fresh fruits and veggies, but most people I know personally grow at least some of their own food at home or buy it at farmer's markets. I guess I thought that kind of intake was fairly normal among most people. Apparently not.

I guess I'm especially miffed because some of these people are very ungracious in their refusals, acting like I'm trying to pawn off giant zucchini or gross Christmas fruitcake on them or something. You'd think I was trying to insult them or inconvenience them in some way.

Hey, a little gratitude here!! I'm offering something of significant value here, grown with my own sweat and toil and money; no one said you had to take it. If you don't want it, don't take it....but you could be at least a little appreciative and gracious in your refusal!!

Grrr. Yeah, I'm a little miffed.

Oh well, I know my mother-in-law won't turn down anything; she cooks and freezes and preserves everything. However, she does have a limit on her freezer space.

I do put up some freezer preserves and applesauce myself (and hope to learn to do some canning next year), but I'm too busy this year to really preserve everything we grow. But I just have sooo many wonderful tomatoes on hand right now (with many more about to ripen as well), I may have to investigate making some home-made spaghetti sauce and freezing it. (Anyone got a good recipe they want to share?)

At least the food bank won't turn down any extra stuff we don't use. Someone should get some benefit out of this lovely stuff.

Question: Would you turn down fresh home-grown veggies if they were offered to you? (I would if it was zucchini or other ones I didn't like, but assuming it was something you liked, would you be glad or upset if someone offered you fresh veggies?)

54 comments:

Lexi said...

If I lived near you, I'd take all of your extra veggies from you! With a new baby, I didn't get my garden planted this year. I eat pretty much all veggies. I LOVE zucchini and brussel sprouts. I even finally found a recipe I like for kale, which was the last veggie I didn't like. Too bad shipping veggies is so difficult.

Could you blanch and freeze some of it for winter? Or make giant pots of soup to freeze? There has to be a way to keep some so you can enjoy it all year long. I highly recommend the book "Preserving Summer's Bounty." http://www.amazon.com/Preserving-Summers-Bounty-Freezing-Canning/dp/0875969798

Boobsihazthem said...

I would be glad! I'd love to be able to afford a lot more of this stuff. We have a small roof terrace, but I don't have the resources/materials to set up some container gardens.

So...I don't get it either.

limesarah said...

It would depend on what kind of veggies they were -- we have a CSA share, so if they're something that doesn't freeze well, we may actually already have more vegetables than we can eat before they go mushy.

But if it's tomatoes, MINE! Our farm was hard-hit with tomato blight.

April D said...

Mmmmm I wish I could take those zucchini and squash too! Unless it was brussel sprouts or lima beans I'd have to say I'd gladly take up freshly offered veggies! Free summer tastiness? In a heartbeat!! But perhaps you just happen to have a group of folks who feel about the veggies you have as you do about Zucchini and are just not adept at politely expressing their refusal? I hope so!

For a spaghetti sauce I'd suggest a few cloves of chopped garlic, a chopped onion, some chopped basil and oregano (dry works too!) and all those tomatoes chopped up. Start with a bit of olive oil and saute the garlic and then onions until translucent with a bit of salt to bring out flavors. Add the herbs and then the tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook just until vibrant in color and until it smells great. Cool and jar up for the fridge/freezer :) I don't do canning but I'm sure you could do them up like jars of jelly or something if you had the know-how!

I usually add lots of meats to mine too but the above is the base...add in mushrooms too if you love them :)

Hope you can continue to enjoy your bounty through the winter like this!!

Jen in CT said...

man, oh man, do I wish I lived near you. No WAY would I turn down your offer of fresh home-grown veggies. We live in a condo. It's against condo by-laws to grow food in the court yard (they even took down two lovely apple trees!) and our deck does not get enough sunlight for container gardening. :-( What I wouldn't give to have a good friend like you!

cynth said...

I would not turn them down and I gladly accept the dreaded zucchini. In fact I look forward to this time of year at work when people bring in the excess from their gardens to share with everyone.

Bacon's Mom said...

Considering we couldn't get our veggies to grow this year, I'd leap at tomatoes and peppers and cukes and lettuce. That sounds divine - and I HATE vegetables, as a general rule. (Bacon, luckily, is a veg-a-holic. I never worry about her getting the proper nutrition.)

As for spaghetti sauce, this is my all-purpose sauce, from my Italian grandmother:

Sautee onions in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and sautee just until you can smell it. Add crushed tomatoes, parsley, wine, salt, and pepper. Simmer until dinner time (I try to let it have at least two hours.).

You can add anything else you'd like - mushrooms are always good, but the best is browning up some sweet sausage and then letting it finish cooking in the sauce. My mother used to add a little sugar, as well, to take the bite off the tomatoes, but I like 'em plain. If you're a spicy food fan, crushed red pepper flakes would be excellent.

If you make a large batch, you can get several meals out of it, including lasagna, pizza, and chilli (with some modification, obviously.).

liz said...

Hand 'em over! I'll take 'em!

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? I'd be jumping all over garden surplus. Those people who are turning you down are crazy. Hopefully, they gave you a good reason.

julia said...

I wouldn't turn down free veggies!

Not even zucchini, which I actually like. :)

Lots of people really don't eat anything fresh, though. I'm guessing most of them weren't raised eating much of a variety of veggies, or perhaps were fed mostly overcooked or canned veggies, and genuinely think vegetables taste gross.

Don't let their unadventurous palates ruin your day!

(I wonder if some have the response that miffs you just because the items are free? Often people don't value things that don't cost them money.)

Anonymous said...

I don't know to whom you're offering it. If it's coworkers or neighbors, well, let's just say I would be THRILLED to get garden goodies from a coworker or neighbor. I can't imagine what they are thinking!

If though, it's someone that generally might be perceived as poor or a minority they may feel it is a judgment upon them and they do not want to be the recipient of charity. Receiving charity, being the object of charity is an exercise in humility. If you are not prepared for it it is a humiliation.

That said, it's probably not the case at all. It's probably that you coworkers are loco! I wish I had you as a neighbor so I could get some of your veggies!

Frowner said...

Hey there! I'm a random stranger from the internet who reads the Notes from the Fatosphere thing. But I have an answer to your question:

I sometimes wish I could turn down gifts of vegetables and I'm both vegan and (right now) really strapped for cash. It's because I don't always have the time to cook them before they go bad (the fresh corn that needed to be cooked right away before the sugars turned) or because there's way more than I can use (the giant bag of cabbage that I only used half of, for instance).

Because I'm on a tight budget and very busy, I plan my cooking and eating really carefully, do most of my cooking on Sunday and just dash in and out eating from pre-made (vegan, vegetable-heavy)dishes all week. A big bag of lettuce on a Tuesday is a recipe for a slimy lump by Saturday.

Also there are some things I don't like--radishes, for example. Chives. Bib lettuce.

That said, I've gotten lots of nice vegetables from a friend with a big garden--tomatoes and carrots mostly, with eggplant and squash yet to come. (For eggplant I will find a way to cook mid-week)

I don't know why other folks refuse fresh vegetables, but for me it's that sometimes I can't fit a fancy gift that requires a lot of preparation into my schedule at the drop of a hat, and I hate to see things go bad.

MigiziNse-ikwe said...

Turn down fresh fruit or veggies that were organically and home grown? Hell no I would not! Unless it was something I didn't like, I'd take it home and be all like "Whoa! Look at the yummy I picked up!"

Do you have an applesauce recipie? That idea intrigues me, as there are several apple trees around that need to be harvested that wont be and the fruit will just fall off and rot. I'd rather get it and do something with it than have it go to waste.

Miss Minx said...

I don't know what's up with the refusals, especially the rude ones. I love free stuff, so I'd definitely take all the vegetables on offer.

However, if I were going on holiday shortly thereafter or something, I would decline, but offer an explanation at least, and look forward to the next time around.

Rose Campion said...

If someone offered me a bag of fresh veggies, I'd totally take it. It's too bad, really, that I don't really know anyone with a garden. I can't even grow a few tomatoes in pots here in my condo, because I've got no outside area big enough.

SC said...

"there are many veggies I can't stand and won't eat (squash, brussel sprouts, etc.)"

Maybe you're doing the equivalent of offering squash/sprouts to them.

wellroundedtype2 said...

Hi! First off, if I lived any closer to you, you would have to chase me out of your garden like a fat rabbit -- I would take anything you offered and I would try to mooch even more. We didn't put in a garden this year and I spent a small fortune at the farmer's market this week because it all looked so good. I made a stir-fry and eggplant with tofu dish from the bounty.
But, that said, what seems to work in these parts is leaving the veggies in a place where people who want them can take them. One advantage of working in an office. Maybe there's a place, aside from the food bank, where you could leave them -- like a social services or unemployment office. That way, the people who want them will take them (and the employees will probably take whatever the clients don't want).
I understand that it can feel like people aren't grateful, but maybe they don't know exactly what to do with them, or maybe feel "proud." Giving and taking things can carry so much power, which I know is not how you intend it, but I think on the receiving end it can feel that way. A food bank is one way that it gets diffused -- the donators and the receivers don't see each other.
Enjoy your bounty. I would love to take some of it off of your hands if I were closer by!

Anonymous said...

I would LOVE some homegrown tomatoes, cukes, etc. right now. Our backyard borders a produce farm ( I can literally walk out of our gate onto the farm) and we have toyed with the idea of planting at least some tomatoes in our relatively large yard, but we just haven't had the time. My mom does grow tomatoes, but hasn't had so many that she isn't eating them all. A coworker had brought a tomato that her mother grew into work, and I commented on it, so in her kindness, she gave it to me. It was wonderful! Because we live in close proximity to a farm, there is a farm stand only a few blocks from our house. I have resorted to buying tomatoes and cukes from there. Great, but I would love some freebies! Send them my way, please!

Eve said...

Heck no I would not turn them down. You don't live near Boston, by any chance?

Anonymous said...

Darnit. I wish I could accept your veggies. Lurve me some fresh-off-the-vine tomatoes.

Regarding preserving, my mum is a master at this. One thing she does with tomatoes is to quarter them, and freeze them. Just that easy. Defrost, and the peels will come right off, then simmer for 8 hours or so, and you have the bestest sauce evah. Add spices, onion, garlic, whatever you like in your sauce.

Enjoy your bounty!

Sandy said...

Depends on what it is. Like you, I don't like all veggies...but I would take cucumbers and tomatoes, green beans, okra...

I can say that I have had the same experience with people and veggies. I used to live down south and we always had veggies...hell my dad lived in the middle of Nashville and his whole backyard was a garden.

When I moved up north my eating habits changed drastically. No on up here eats veggies in the can or out! They may eat canned green beans...but that is it. I struggle with food because DH won't hardly eat anything. I used to sit down with a big bowl of pinto beans, mashed potatoes and cornbread with maybe some spinach and vinegar on the side...can't do that much anymore because he claims that it stinks up the house.

*shrug*

Of course, when we got a Cracker Barrel up here I was ecstatic since I could get my fried okra again...I can't even find some of this stuff in the grocery store if you can believe it. I love hominy...but can't find it.

thenewthirteen said...

I definitely would not be caught turning down fresh veggies. In fact, reading this post, I only wished you were one of my neighbors! *lol*

When I was younger I had the common hatred of most veggies, but now only broccoli and any of the more bitter lettuces are on my yuck list. I even like brussel sprouts; sliced in half and roasted in the oven with olive oil, garlic, and a little salt they are heavenly!

Congratulations on your great gardening (enjoy some raspberries for me!). I have no doubt that your donation will make some family at the food pantry very happy!

Bonnie said...

Heck no I wouldn't! I've been fresh veggie deprived since I left home and my grandmother's wonderful garden! Load me up with tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, etc. I'll even take some nasty zucchini to feed to my husband!

Anonymous said...

i've turned down fresh veggies a few times. i routinely turn down fresh tomatoes from my mom's garden b/c she can't seem to recall that i don't like them. and i turned down fresh zucchini and squash from a client (i'm a massage therapist) b/c 1) i don't know them well enough to be accepting food from them and 2) i don't want to encourage produce as a tip since what i really need is actual money.

Shotgun Mary said...

I often turn down free veggies in the summer because I just can't handle all the ones I get! Everyone seems to have a garden (myself included) and about now, when everyone is harvesting, we've reached critical mass. As a result I see alot of my friends and neighbors at the farmers market. I don't can or preserve so having lots of veggies on hand can be an issue, especially once they start decomposing.

hoppy okapi said...

Sorry that you're not having much luck giving away the veggies - I would happily accept them given the chance! I've developed quite a farmer's market addiction this summer and am spending $$ every time I go, so I do wish I knew people with yards and gardens.
As for tomatoes, I'm not sure how well this will freeze, but I just made a yummy tomato/eggplant sauce - saute about eight cloves of garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil until soft; add 3-4 tomatoes (cut into large cubes) plus about 1 Tablespoon spice mix (curry powder or whatever you fancy); after about 15 minutes the tomatoes should be reduced a bit and the sauce flavorful; pour into a 8x8 pan, add about 1.5 cups of diced eggplant (salt eggplant for 30 min between paper towels before this), and bake for 30-40 minutes until delightfully roasted. Serve over pasta, as a side dish, or as a sandwich with some melty cheese.

Kallipygia said...

Wow. You're doing something amazing - growing a garden - and generously sharing, and you're getting attitude from people? Sadly, I can't say that I don't believe it. I live in one of the US's major ag areas, so our farmer's markets and produce stands rock; yet I know people who seem to prefer their greens processed into oblivion if they deign to eat fruits and veggies at all.
Personally, I can't imagine turning down fresh veggies; aside from okra and lima beans, I love 'em all. I have a sadly black thumb, so I'm extra thrilled when friends with gardens offer me some excess yummies. And even if I had to decline due to no means of transport (motorcycle + tomatoes - saddlebags = mess!) or room to store them at home, I can't image being anything but gracious and thankful that someone was kind enough to extend the offer.

Jennypenny said...

I so wish I had a garden this year. I usually plant a small one every year, but this year since I'm due in August, I knew I wouldn't be up for taking care of it. And we'll see on next year. I wouldn't turn down something I thought I would use. I go to the farmer's market every week as I can't stand buying veggies from the grocery store when I know there are awesome homegrown veggies out there that taste so much better.

I have in the past turned people down, when they wanted me to take a certain amount. Like a whole bag of something. And they seem annoyed when I only wanted one or two. Unfortunately, I'm the only one in my house that loves veggies, so I just can't go through a whole bag of something before it goes bad. I much prefer when someone tells me to feel free to take what I want.

http://Squidoo.com/DeniseAshurst said...

Hey Mama
I'd have been chuffed to have taken your veggies. Slugs and snails just constantly get the better of my greens and as for toms; didn't even gett any going this year.
Next time you invite any of them for dinner, refuse them your home-growns and then having everyone else being ecstatic as they ruminate!
And then talk about how you heardon the radio today reports about processed food and how toxins regularly permeate the distribution chain and can poison those in the top of the supermarket food chain and the dime store ; D

Electrogirl said...

If it's something I like, and know how to cook? (Some of the veggies in the grocery store leave me baffled. What is that spiky yellow thing, for instance?) Absolutely! Like you said, produce of any sort is costly, especially organic.

That being said, I don't want more than two or three people can eat. It'll just go to waste that way. If I don't know what is or how to cook it, I'll say so. And if I don't like it (no squash! For the love of nectarines, no squash!) I will say so as nicely as I can.

Homegrown fruit is even better. A good friend's parents have a tangerine tree. In middle school, most of her friends (including me) wheedled and begged and tried to trade for those wonderful juicy tangerines until the friend in question got fed up and refused to give away or trade any of her tangerines. Forget the candy or Twinkies, most of us wanted the homegrown fruit!

Heidi said...

I would absolutely take the food, even zucchini, of which we currently have plenty. Am a (fat) veggie fiend.

Anonymous said...

You don't say how close of friends you are with the folks you are offering veggies to and for me that would influence my decision. If you are not close with people (and maybe even if you are) I feel like food offerings could be really fraught with issues surrounding both not wanting to be seen as in need of charity and also not wanting to be "told what to eat." I'm not saying you are doing these things, just positing a theory as to how they could be interpreted. I for one am very defensive when anyone comments on my food choices, which is something I'm trying to work on.

Twistie said...

Hell yeah, I would take free, home-grown, organic veggies! I'm not proud, I love most veggies, and my income isn't so huge that I couldn't use the help with the grocery bills.

Also, I have black thumb. It's like the opposite of green thumb. I look at plants and they keel over and die. That means I'm not going to be growing my own anytime soon...but I still want the fresh veggies.

If you lived in my neighborhood, every veggie you've mentioned could find a home at Chez Twistie. I love most of them, Mr. Twistie will eat most of them, and my brother the medieval historian who resides with us likes the one or two Mr. Twistie and I aren't wild about.

badhairlife said...

Personally, I would ADORE home grown fresh veggies!

However, I know what you mean. I had a bumper crop of tomatoes, peppers and herbs a couple summers ago, and I practically had to beg people to take them.

If you need help, several cities' foodbanks have a program whereby volunteers will come and pick fruit and veggies at your garden - 1/3 goes to you and the rest goes to the Food Bank.

deeleigh said...

I'd take 'em in a split second.

Annie said...

It would really depend on what the veggie was and how full our fridge is at home. We already belong to a CSA which usually brings so many vegetables to us every week that we have a hard time eating it all. But there are certain veggies that I can always seem to find a use for, or veggies that have a longer storage time I would love to accept.

If we didn't have the CSA I would love to be offered home grown veggies like that! But maybe that is part of the problem, the people who want homegrown organic veggies are already set up to get them somewhere else?

Ms. Heathen said...

How can anyone turn down cukes in this heat? Seriously, perfect summer food right there. I wouldn't turn down most veggies, though I don't do fresh tomatoes, zucchini, squash, or eggplant. Maybe the people you're offering them to don't feel like cooking right now?

I wish I could can food where I am right now, there was a phenomenal sale on peaches this week and we loaded up. I would have loved to make peach preserves, I can't stand most store brands of fruit spreads. Too sweet!

Max said...

Good God, no! I used to work in a secondhand bookstore, and there was a dear lady who used to bring me a big bag of homegrown (sigh) tomatoes along with her for-trade romance novels every week. This was ten years ago, and I still miss those tomatoes.

I guess a lot of people just aren't into veggies. I'm vegan, my husband is lacto-ovo vegetarian, and once our baby is on solids, he'll be some combination of the above. As a result, we eat a LOT of veggies, just because it's our main source of food. We get the "but what DO you eat?" question A LOT.

blueberryhil said...

I am thrilled beyond belief when anyone offers me fresh veggies! I think that many people can be intimidated by veggies straight from the ground and don't understand how great the flavor is.

GourmetGoddess said...

I have never turned down a home-grown veggie! I very rarely have people turn me down when I offer, but then again, I bring them to work. I had quite a bit of theft from my garden last year, as well.

As an aside, I am building raised-beds for next year's garden as well. Any advice on how to build the higher ones? Most of what I am seeing online is for the shorter ones - like what is pictured.

jaed said...

If you're offering to strangers, they may be concerned because of that. People are paranoid about these things and unfortunately it's not completely irrational. On the other hand, if you're offering to neighbors or officemates or people who know you, well...

You can roast tomatoes and freeze them. Core them, cut them in 6-12 wedges depending on size, toss in a bowl with a good glug of olive oil and a little salt and some chopped herbs (optional), and roast them at 250° on an oiled pan or Silpat for about an hour to an hour and a half. They should be slightly shriveled but still juicy. You can freeze them in ziplocks and use them for spaghetti sauce, to fill an omelet, toss into a soup or stew, etc. The roasting really brings out the flavor.

Rixa said...

Not only would I happily take your veggies, I would be thrilled to weed your garden in exchange for those vegetables. I think okra is the only vegetable I just don't care about that much...but anything else I am happy to have.

New Moon Birth said...

Read your post this morning and then the front page of the Seattle Times, and thought you would chuckle at how hard it has been to give away good organic veggies here too! it is not you!

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009674796_mobilemarket17m.html

Whiner said...

Would you turn down fresh home-grown veggies if they were offered to you?

I might actually be more likely to turn down nice looking fresh veggies than a horrible fruitcake, because I would (falsely, perhaps) assume that you could find someone else to give the veggies to who would want them MORE.

I would feel guilty if I received your veggies and then they went off because I didn't have time (or know how) to use them.

OTOH I would take zucchini because I like zucchini and I know a lot of people don't! And I'd probably take tomatoes because my husband goes through vine-ripened tomatoes at a good clip, we can always use tomatoes.

Other than that it would depend on what was offered and whether I thought I could make use of it.

BettySue said...

Yes! Between the heat, lack of water, lousy soil, quail, jack rabbits, my overall brown thumb, and now the cows, we have only gotten a few tomatoes. I would love someone to have too many and need to share!

Frances said...

Never, I would NEVER turn down gorgeous vegies from someone's organic garden. My mum has had a great little vegie patch for years and you can taste the difference between her tomatoes/green beans/capsicum and the ones you buy in a store. There's no comparison.

For your spaghetti sauce (though I'm sure people have already given you heaps of recipes), get some cloves of garlic, an onion, fresh basil (including the stalks), some red wine and your tomatoes. Fry the chopped garlic, onion and basil stalks in some olive oil until soft. Add a few glugs of your red wine and simmer for a few minutes (so the alcohol is cooked away). Then add the chopped tomatoes and torn up basil leaves and cook until it's a nice, thick pasta sauce.

This is a good base. If you like, you can add some chopped pancetta or some mince meat (beef, or pork and veal) after you fry your garlic/onion/stalks. You can also add some tomato paste if you want to thicken up the sauce.

Meowser said...

Would I turn them down? No. (In fact, if you still have some, I'll be happy to come and get them.) But a surprising number of people do not cook. I mean, ever. That's people of ALL sizes (and not just women, either). Or, they have very finicky people (of all ages) living with them who wouldn't touch the veggies and don't want to prepare them for just themselves.

I would never be insulted at an offer of free veggies unless it was framed in an insulting way, like, "Here, YOU could really use them most of all, har har." But I'm sure you didn't say anything remotely like that.

tami said...

I'd be thrilled if someone offered me fresh veggies! My square foot garden produced almost nothing this year (it's my first year, and I'm just barely figuring out what I'm doing) and we're disappointed not to have a bountiful harvest.

Meanwhile, learn to can! It's so fulfilling! Last year I canned a bunch of applesauce, got tired, so I called up a friend who was going to freeze some applesauce and I had her come to my house to learn how to can it instead. She was so excited she had her IL's buy her a canner for Christmas.

Jen Anderson said...

Of course I'd happily accept veggies! And just like you can cook and freeze them, so could I.

Aside from pasta sauce, and blanching the veggies, I'd make vegetable bean soup and freeze that. Be sure to leave it in the fridge overnight before freezing--the texture is better that way.

Not to bash skinny people, but many of the naturally thin people I know are clueless about nutrition and don't eat their veggies.

And there is no excuse for rudeness.

MamaOnABudget said...

NO! I'd take whatever you were willing to share! My husband is like you - a lot of veggies that he doesn't care for. But my kids and I would go nuts and get creative - and he'd eat those he liked, too.

I can't believe people are turning down free food - especially free PRODUCE (hello? That stuff is $$$ in the store!) in today's economy. I'm just shocked!

Anonymous said...

We grow vegies herbs and have fruit trees. Leaving stuff with a free to take sign at work is usually a successfull way of getting rid of excess- I work at a school. For Apple Sauce- Peel and slice apples then simmer with a small amount of wayer (ie 6-7 apples no more than 1/2 cup) and a couple of tablespoons of sugar. Stir occasionally untill becomes mushy when you stir. Can puree if you want to. I put portions into snap sealed ags and freeze as it is a good space saving way of freezing.I do the same with apricots and they are YUMMO in winter warmed up. Pasta sauce without the meat is a good way to use tomatoes as you don't need to freeze, just put in jars and you can keep it for winter. Another option- check with your local High School. Our school teaches Home Economics/ cooking and for the senior levels they are happy to take vegies and herbs.

Carrie said...

It's a shame folks are being rude about it, but I can totally see turning down fresh veggies. For some people, eating fresh veg just isn't in their comfort zone. They would have to figure out how to prepare it, hope there were enough folks around to share it with them, and then finally eat what might be unfamiliar and potentially unappealing stuff. If they didn't get around to eating it, they would feel guilty about having taken it in the first place. It's a potentially loaded situation.

My parents had a CSA share last year and were always offering me fresh veggies, which I seldom took because I live alone and it doesn't usually make sense to go to a lot of cooking effort just for myself (I'm working on that :D). But yeah, people shouldn't be rude about it...

Anonymous said...

Not sure where you live but we would Love fresh veggies.

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DaisyDeadhead said...

Yeah, I am with the others here. I wish you could be my special friend! LOL

Recently a friend brought me a lovely basket of veggies, and I was beside myself with joy.

Keep up the wonderful good work!

PS: I think people are 'scared' of stuff that doesn't come from a store. They have no idea what they put on veggies in the store, or THATS what they'd be afraid of, not your organics!