A while back I found out about Growing Power, here's an excerpt from their site:

"Growing Power is national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities. Growing Power implements this mission by providing hands-on training, on-the-ground demonstration, outreach and technical assistance through the development of Community Food Systems that help people grow, process, market and distribute food in a sustainable manner."

They offer super cheap market baskets weekly and deliver them to various farmer's markets around the city for you to pick them up! Since Garfield Park Conservatory was having their last plant sale of the season, I went ahead and ordered a sustainable basket to be picked up there. Come Saturday morning, I was overcome with excitement for my veggies. We got to the conservatory and picked up a large brown bag with my name written on it. I signed over a check for $28 and was on my merry way. Promises of "approximately 10-12 varieties (18-22 pounds) of certified organic and sustainably grown produce…" filled my head, making me giddy to get home and cook something! Then, I suddenly thought, "man, this bag is pretty light! I was expecting almost 20lbs worth of… wait a minute…" My bag only included 8 varieties and weighed closer to 10lbs ;( After looking through the bag a bit, Andrew took an apple and I decided to pull out the lone cucumber and, sit down for this one guys, IT HAD A PRODUCE STICKER ON IT! *GASP!*

"Product of Mexico"

Seriously the saddest three words of my Saturday. What happened to the locally and sustainably grown promises?! It was a very sad moment for me. I felt like I'd been duped. Simple, gullible Jaimielee… you just paid $28 to have someone go the the grocery store for you. What were my 8 varieties? Corn, asparagus, tomatoes, potatoes, green onions, broccoli, apples, and a Mexican cucumber.

Looking beyond the yield of my bag, I went on to the plant sale and bought lettuce, sweet basil and a pair of (forgive my ignorance if I'm wrong) hostas (probably wrong).

Such cuties!

I wish I had better sun exposure in the apartment or better yet, a yard. I'm tempted to ask my neighbors to let me use a couple square feet of their completely unused, under appreciated, overgrown with weeds, and neglected yard. Can you tell I'm jealous? Then I'll be able to grow some Puerto Rican cucumbers.


  1. The two cute little red/green guys? Those are a type of coleus. They're pretty hard to kill, and mine likes bright indirect light. It got crispy leaves in direct sunlight, so maybe the lack of sun exposure will be a good thing for that one at least! (found your blog through Burdastyle, I'm ReneeBeth on there.)

  2. Ah, thank you! I've been shamefully calling them hostas, knowing full well THEY'RE NOT HOSTAS! I put them on my back porch which gets partial sun and they've grown so much! They've even flowered which I had no idea would happen. Thanks for stopping by my blog :)


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