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Two Decades of Kids and Counting

By Sally Torbey

About this blog: About this blog: I have enjoyed parenting five children in Palo Alto for the past two decades and have opinions about everything to do with parenting kids (and dogs). The goal of my blog is to share the good times and discuss the ...  (More)

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Fruit and flowers

Uploaded: Aug 8, 2015
This summer, in between a minimum of twice weekly trips to the airport (our five children have been coming and going from various adventures at random intervals) and too-many-to-count trips to Bed, Bath & Beyond (three of our children are moving to new cities or new living quarters), we have been enjoying the fruits of others' labors by being part of community supported organic farming at Hidden Villa in Los Altos.

Once a week I pick up a box of gorgeous locally grown fruits and vegetables delivered to a neighbor's home. Being part of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a treat and a challenge! I never know from week to week what goodies we will find in our box, which for someone like me with somewhat limited cooking skills is a challenge. Fortunately, a day or two before the box is delivered we receive an email letting us know the contents of this week's box. I am very happy to get this information because without it I would be scouring the internet to identify some of the completely unfamiliar produce we receive, like the herbaceous leafy vegetable purslane and Aztec spinach.

Along with the content list, we receive a chatty and inspiring note from one of the farmers, and, most crucially, a straightforward recipe suggesting how to use the box's contents. We have discovered that purslane is great in potato salad and amazed ourselves by re-creating an eggplant spread a la Alice Waters.

We have always enjoyed shopping at Farmers' markets, but tend to stick to what we know: familiar greens, peaches, and berries. The box stretches and motivates me to experiment with items not usually on our menu, and getting to know the farmers who toil to produce it makes me want to not waste so much as a lettuce leaf!

Along with the fruits and veggies comes a beautiful bouquet of flowers so freshly cut that they beautify the house for weeks, lovely to come home to after sitting in construction traffic on Hwy 101!
What is it worth to you?


Posted by PR, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 8, 2015 at 10:37 am

You have inspired and delighted us again--thank you, Sally!

Posted by Sally Torbey, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Aug 8, 2015 at 10:38 am

Sally Torbey is a registered user.

Thanks, PR! Enjoy the fruits of your labors!

Posted by Allen Fisher, a resident of Los Altos,
on Aug 8, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Not sure that you've been made aware of the Tower Garden. These systems are getting lots of attention in the media, farmers markets, Urban farmers, schools and the locavore movement. It?s a vertical aeroponic growing system. It's even got kids everywhere involved in growing and selling produce and providing food for people in their communities. We purchased orders from I look forward to your thoughts.

Posted by LJ, a resident of another community,
on Aug 8, 2015 at 4:56 pm

What a great way to experience new tastes! Are all the kids equally willing? Grated cheese for the holdouts perhaps.

Posted by Sally Torbey, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Aug 8, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Sally Torbey is a registered user.

Hi Allen,
Thanks for reading and commenting. Fascinating and inspiring gardening strategy. I love all the photos of where folks place their tower. What have you had success growing and where is your tower?

Hi LJ,
The adolescents in the house aren't as enthusiastic about the leafy greens, although I'm lucky if they leave even a single sweet strawberry for me!

Posted by Debbie, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 9, 2015 at 9:01 pm

A fun read Sally. Thank you for sharing about the produce box.

Posted by Maria, a resident of University South,
on Aug 10, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Cooking and eating has to be fun for the family and you make it possible to do it healthy too!

Posted by Sally Torbey, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Aug 10, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Sally Torbey is a registered user.

Thanks, Debbie, fore reading and commenting!

Thanks, Maria, you inspire me by your delicious and healthful cooking!

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