Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Price of Fresh Produce

As I was strolling through the park last week, I saw the most paculiar thing-wild green onions, growing like mad all along the upper path between the dog run and 140th Street.

Now, I suppose it's not terribly strange, but it was odd seeing vegitables growing fee in the park-in a city setting. I was absolutely facinated AND I began to notice them all over, including in the dog run.
My curiosity overtook me and I made up my mind to dig a few up and possibly re-plant them at my apartment. Who wouldn't want fresh green onions in their kitchen? I mean, after all, the only fresh thing we seem to get around these parts is Fresh Direct.

So, a few days later, on my way back from the dog run, I grabbed a stick and began digging up a few "test" onions. After a few minutes of scooping away earth and a couple of odd glances from park goers, I pulled up my first batch and threw them in a plastic bag.

They were quite healthy looking and smelled incredibly fresh. I was excited to wash them off and possibly throw them into a stir fry that evening. When I got home, I went straight to cleaning and trimming my precious find and I noticed that the green onion odor began to grow.

I stepped outside to dispose of some recycling and when I came back, I realized that the smell had not only penetrated my apartment, but the entire hallway and downstairs area! All I did was wash them and leave them to dry on my cutting board, yet it was absolutely pungent!

Regretfully, I had to make the quick decision of getting rid of them all together, as I new the smell would only grow if I cooked them up in my wok. I wrapped them in a couple of bags and sadly tossed them in the outside garbage.

It took more than a day to rid the house of that smell. I found myself in quite a conundrum, thinking, "Is this smell normal? Is this the price I must pay for fresh produce, straight from the earth? Or is it some bizarre toxicity caused by the city soil of our rotting big apple"?

I'm not a farmer or expert on this kind of thing, but it seemed safer sticking with what I know. So, I sat at my computer and clicked away, filling my virtual Fresh Direct shopping cart, odor free.


William_Guffman said...

This is a great article. Maybe Scott knows what this plant is!

Anonymous said...

City Harvest is looking to start a coop. You may want to contact them about becoming a volunteer.

ashley said...

As a mom of three growing children I found that when I would buy produce before we could consume it the produce would go bad. That doesn’t surprise me seeing as how everything goes bad before you can eat it nowadays. Even if I would juice the produce it did not taste as fresh as the day I brought it home. I researched the reason and found that there is device that works in your refrigerator that will help prolong the shelf life of organic produce plus it kills bacteria. It is the best thing I have ever owned and I think everyone should own one. I found it at It’s called the Mini Mate. I have had mine for over 60 days and it has already saved me $20.00 which is a fraction of what I paid for it. Has anyone else ever used this before?