Today I was talking on the phone with my brother–who lives in a different, colder part of the country than I do–and out of the blue, he said, “We haven’t had asparagus yet this year because it’s still from Mexico.” He was referring, of course, to the fact that grocery store goodies, even when they’re on sale, are often not grown anywhere nearby. Blueberries from Chile. Lemons from Costa Rica. Asparagus from Mexico. We all know this. Some of us take that into account when buying them. Some of us don’t. That’s a topic for another day. My brother and I are apparently agreed on this point, though we don’t talk about it very much.
Anyway, I bring up my brother’s asparagus reference because I did not grow up eating asparagus. And because it was one of the few veggies I didn’t like, I don’t know why he mentioned it today. But guess what? I was able to respond to him with exciting news.
(Wait for it.)
WE’VE GOT LOCAL ASPARAGUS!
For real. This stuff was picked (cut? harvested?) on Tuesday, during a break in the crazy weather. What’s more, this asparagus was grown by a very special community. Very special. That’s why I’m writing about it.
Quest Farm is a local “working farm community where adults with developmental disabilities live in a nurturing and enriching environment.” The mission of the farm is “to provide a loving home/workplace for adults with developmental disabilities where they may reach their full potential spiritually, physically, mentally, and vocationally.” This is an important and much-needed place in our local community. And, in addition to the many skills the farm provides to the folks who live there, the farm also grows and sells asparagus in the spring and mums in the fall.
J, as one of the farm’s board members, found out there would be asparagus available for purchase on Tuesday at their monthly meeting, so he came home with two pounds of it. (I like it now, by the way. It’s amazing. I am completely serious when I say that if you have never eaten asparagus that was not purchased at the grocery store, you have never really tasted asparagus.)
It will not surprise any regular readers of Texas Schmexas that the asparagus was really just an “in” to get me talking about Quest Farm. (As Bill Cosby* says, “I told you that story, so I could tell you this story…”)
Here’s the thing. Toyota is giving away a free Toyota to a handful of non-profits this summer. They’re calling it “100 Cars for Good,” and the winners are determined by numbers of online votes. Non-profits will be matched up on particular days and “compete” for the cars. Quest Farm is in the running to win a brand new, handicap-accessible Sienna van, and their voting day is Monday, July 18th. That’s a long way away, I realize, but Quest Farm has created an “event” on Facebook that you can join in order to receive a reminder about the voting as July 18 approaches. Click here to go to the event page to RSVP “yes” by saying “I’m attending”—you aren’t really “attending” anything, but you’ll get reminders to vote. Easy as aspara–I mean–cake. (Note that the official voting on July 18 will take place through Toyota’s Facebook page, so you do need to have a Facebook account to vote.) I hope you–and all the folks you tell about this–will consider participating.
Now, friends, I’m off to eat some more asparagus.
* I live with someone who quotes the old Bill Cosby records a lot.