I’m excited for you to meet Fat Bastard. He’s the size of a small tennis ball. Which means he isn’t the size of a tennis ball… He’s the size of a golf ball- and a half. He’s the size of a large plum… He’s his own man and his own size and he doesn’t need to tell you or anyone else about it. He’s the big fella at the party who just sits in the corner and is quiet most of the time and after things get going, ends up being hilarious, but still quietly. And only if he feels like it.
He came from our CSA box. That is a Community Supported Agriculture box. If you already know what that is, please *skip ahead to find out about who Fat Bastard is dating and his hobbies. A Community Supported Agriculture box (try to say that five times fast) (you totally can) (I just have trouble with it) (but practicing just now helped more than I expected) is a box full of vegetables from a local farm. Sometimes it’s organic produce and sometimes it has fruit, meat, soaps, candles, or cheese in it. It varies from town to town and farm to farm.
What makes it Supported by the Community is that local people “join” the farm by purchasing a box per week that gets delivered to their door. But they buy all the boxes for the season in advance. Whatever is in season is in the box so it’s always changing. And if a crop fails, their box is less full, and if the farm is thriving, so does their box. This helps non-farmers start to understand and appreciate how farming truly works.
For example, you start to see that you only get plums for a few weeks in the summer, but they’re damn tastier than plums in the grocery store. And if there are no plums, you’ve waited all year, just like the farmer, in anticipation for those gloriously ripe, tender, juicy, colorful plums and the freaking BIRDS ate them! Or there was a tree disease, or plum bandits in the night or… Clearly I don’t know enough about why a plum crop wouldn’t happen, but you see how sad you would feel? And hopefully you’d empathize with your farmer and be more knowledgeable when you see your food as it does arrive in front of your face. “YOU MADE IT, FOOD! YAY!”
A friend once told me that it takes a year to grown a pineapple. ‘WHHHOAAOOOO,” I said. And then I thought about it. It takes a year to grow all fruit. Trees just have more fruit on them and all the fruit on the tree doesn’t ripen all at the same time. And every tree isn’t ready at the exact same time. So it seems like we get many oranges over a longer period of time, than say, a pineapple, that grows in the ground alone. Like an extreme fat bastard**. But if we think of the one orange that we so quickly devour in passing, if we had made a documentary about its life, it would have taken our film crew a year of visits before it arrived in our mouth. I think if we appreciated our food in that way, it would be good for us.
Anyway, our CSA box is amazing. Our farm lets us buy a box for 20.00 each week instead of paying in advance for the whole year. That is what makes it possible for us to have these boxes on a tight budget. The farmers go to the Hollywood Farmers Market and we walk and go pick it up from them each week. Its much more fun when your “grocery store” is outside in the sun with upright bass players, children dancing, and goats. And the box is packed full with organic vegetables and fruit from local farms. The vegetables are from South Central Farms in Bakersfield and the fruits are from King & King Ranch in Fillmore. The fruit isn’t certified organic, but I plan to call the ranch and ask if their seed is genetically modified. I like that I can reach them. (Or that it feels like I can!)
Another nice thing about our CSA is that South Central Farms sends a newsletter email each week with what will be in the box, and recipes!!! So when you don’t know what that gnarly, awesome, alien ball of purple and green cabbage is, you learn that is kohlrabi. And how to eat it. Pretty sweet.
So Fatty Fatty Sweet Bastard is from our CSA box and therefore from King & King Ranch. The week he arrived they said the avocados in the box were Bacon or Hass avocados (I labeled it wrong). Sometimes they only say one type, and sometimes they make us guess! Either way, he’s the fattest of either kind that I’ve seen. He fills my hand!
More importantly, I kept him in the fridge for 2 months in a tupperware container before I planted him. I had been wanting to start growing trees, but put it off for two months, oops. So I was very curious to see if he would grow at all. Some seeds need to be in a fridge for a few months to grow at all because they have to feel like winter happened (isn’t that WILD!?), but I didn’t know if avocados were pro or anti fake winter.
So Fat Bastard just sat there. And stared at me. And not even really with a smirk. Just dumpy. And wouldn’t budge. He lived right next to Wilbur, who (see the previous post) was the fastest growing, most excited, happy, golden retriever of a tree. Which made Fatty seem even more non-participatory. Not cranky, just sleeping, maybe? But they say it can take 3 months for the seeds to do anything. In two days, it will be his 3 month anniversary. And about two weeks ago, Fat Bastard awoke from hibernation, shook is bulgy bootie, and grew a ROOT!
I am very proud of him. He made it through the dark winter and into the light. Welcome, dear friend. You, who we call “Fat Bastard”.
*He’s dating all the other avocados in the kitchen that aren’t his species, because avocados like to mate with species of other avocados apparently. Brings a whole new meaning to “not my type”. Also, his hobbies are sitting, swimming, and giving birth.
**Also, I just looked up how to grown your own pineapple and my friend was close, but it actually takes two to three years to grown one pineapple! And I was totally wrong: A pineapple isn’t a single fruit being a loner fat bastard in the ground, it’s a bunch of tiny fruits all huddling together! Cute!