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The Chef’s Garden to the Rescue and The Veggie U. Event

Posted by CMH Gourmand on March 2, 2011

There was an ides of February. It did not see it coming. Up until a viciously rapid downward spiral, I had successfully fought the good fight against winter (sledding, curling, CMH Tobias adventures, donuting, dropping pounds, etc). I decided that I would send myself to New Orleans on the 15th as a Valentine for myself. I was ill within three hours of arrival. The intensity and duration of sickness was the worst I can recall for this century (lose 8 pounds in 48 hours with my NOLA diet plan!). I returned to Columbus on the 18th to a city that was cold and gray and dismal and dark and abysmally bleak. I was in a foul mood to say the least. This was the most wintery week of the season and time of intense internal discontent.

During this period, I had forgotten that I had vegetables coming my way. When I was at Chef’s Garden and Veggie U back in October I found out that they will ship to anyone – even me. I came home from the cubicle farm on the last of the very dark days to find nine pounds of vegetables waiting for me at my door.

The box was full of produce known as the Heirloom Salad Selection: mixed beets, a variety of lettuces, three types of garlic, watermelon radishes, microgreens (aka salad toppers) and mixed carrots (in non gray colors of purple, green, yellow and white). It seemed to be a self-refilling box because as I continued digging into it, I kept finding more pretty produce. My first act was to eat a carrot. I then set about to make a salad using parts from everything in this care package of vegetable goodness. It felt so satisfying to eat something that was fresh and pulled from the ground about 24 hours before I devoured it. I needed food, real food, fresh food that was Ohio born and bred and nourishing for my soul. At a very fundamental level, creating something as simple as a salad was wonderful and was a tangible strike back at the weariness of the week and the month and the season.

There are other wonderful things going on at Veggie U, the Chef’s Garden and The Culinary Vegetable Institute. You can support Veggie U by buying incredible produce from the Chef’s Garden. You can also support Veggie U and the great food education work they do with fourth graders by attending their annual fundraiser dinner. This year the event includes thirty chef stations, artisan food crafters, wine, food royalty demonstrations and drive bys, a silent auction and much more. Here are a few impressions on past years from some folks that know food, eating and fun.

Dineomite at the 2009 event

Mr. Ruhlman’s Report from 2009

Jeni’s Scoop on the event

This year the event is on July 16th. Some tickets are sold at an early bird rate which are a value considering everything this event has to offer. Tickets do sell out so the early bird gets the deal and gets to go. You can get all the details you need from Veggie U.

I gave some of my remaining heirloom produce away to friends. The watermelon radishes were a favorite because of their wonderful color; photos (at least mine) do not do these color bombs justice. I still have pounds of garlic, beets, carrots and a few radishes left. My first thought is soup. If you have other suggestions or recipes to help me finish off my bounty let me know – soon – because I am looking forward to tasting my remaining horde of freshness this weekend.

If you would like to order your own horde of vegetable heaven – click on this link for FarmerJonesFarm & Chef’s Garden

6 Responses to “The Chef’s Garden to the Rescue and The Veggie U. Event”

  1. Jane said

    Those watermelon radishes – sautee them in some butter then
    sprinkle with kosher salt. Perfection 🙂 Enjoy! p.s. So sorry to
    hear about your NOLA flu 😦

  2. Amber said

    Which box did you order?

    CMHG Response: I received a version of the Salad Selection. But I received mixed lettuce instead of spinach due to a minor weather fluke. The quality of the vegetables and the quantity make this a good value.

  3. Farm Crier said

    Happy we could help get you through the doldrums of
    February, Jim. How about roasting the beets with butter or olive
    oil and a sprinkle of your favorite seasonings?

  4. Twixlen said

    Did you see the picture that Kate posted of her lovely watermelon radish? *so* lovely!

    Thanks for sharing your bounty – it was awesome to have such fresh and lovely veggies (I still have a carrot!).

    CMH G says: I did see Ms. Kate’s photo – she takes great shots of all things.

  5. […] then, I will keep my friend (Jim) close and his source (Chef’s Garden) […]

  6. katedjupe said

    Did you name me (photographer, chef, cool) because that is totally awesome and kind?! Thanks for kind words and the watermelon radish and carrots – we used them in a vietnamese noodle dish and they were incredible (I will share next time).

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