imperfect produce

We're always looking for ways to eat locally, sustainable, and affordably all at the same time. The newest trick up our sleeve? Imperfect Produce.

It essentially works like a CSA but rather than gathering produce from a single farm or co-op, they purchase and distribute produce that can't pass the stringent aesthetic requirements of grocery stores. And let me tell you...besides a few dings here and a couple smaller pieces there (and far larger ones too!), it's actually turned out to be far better produce than what I can find at our local grocery stores. Not to mention that it's at about half or a third of the price and gets delivered right to my apartment building. Local, sustainable, simple. Three of my favorite things.

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I could gush for a very long time but it would never convey how excited I am. It's been two years now since I've gotten to work regularly in a farmer's market and my heart has missed the excitement of trading for whatever's left at the end of the day and finding new recipes for the spoils.

I didn't really know how much I'd missed it until our first box arrived and filled the gaps in our fridge, pantry, and counter with luscious greens and boxes of berries for jamming.

I sense our weekly stone soup dinners will return with a vengeance in the fall as the temperature dips and we find ourselves with an abundance of vegetables begging to be turned into hot meals for everyone.

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Have you ever gotten a CSA or tried Imperfect Produce? What are your tips and tricks? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.


This post is fueled by my love of abundant produce and sustainable living. All opinions are my own. I have not received any compensation in any form for writing this blog post.


everything i need to know i learned in special ed

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it's okay to change it up sometimes

I wear my hair nearly exactly the same every day: pulled back, parted to the right, and pinned up on top of my head in a (what I like to think of as) artistically haphazard way. On a recent morning however, I woke up with my hair naturally parting on the left, and much silkier than usual. Embracing the change, I let my bangs fall neatly to the side and cleanly pulled back the rest. Walking to work and catching glimpses of myself in moving bus windows, I felt polished and put together. 

After an hour of prepping lessons, the students filtered in one at a time and puttered about doing their morning work. All was peace and calm as the bell rang and we gathered for our morning calendar time. Then, out of nowhere, one of the second grade boys widened his eyes in anxious shock and blurted out (to his credit, as he raised his hand): "Why is your hair so crazy!?" 

I took a beat as I swallowed an odd mix of feeling rejected and utterly confused -- "but my hair is so much more put together today!" -- as I worked to formulate a reasonable, appropriately measured response.

"You know...sometimes people just have crazy hair and that's okay. It isn't something that we need to worry about."

He considered that a moment, acknowledged the thought, said "okay," and settled back into calm. Everyone moved on with our songs, seasons, and counting as I thought over the moment and how quick I myself am to be uncomfortable with change of any time.

And you know? It seems to ring true. Sometimes people have crazy hair, or preferences, or opinions...and that's okay. Most of the time it isn't something we need to worry about.


Thoughts? Similar experiences? Leave a comment. I'd love to hear them.


a closer look

A closer look at a few of the watercolors from my first public show.