It Has to be Picked Today – Edamame


I watched a program on TV Japan called “Tameshite Gatten” which each week, looks at something people use all the time, and takes an hour to thoroughly explain it. This evening they were covering fresh soybeans, which are usually boiled in salt water, and are called “edamame”, which literally mean “beans on the stem”.

Many stores sell edamame, but they are usually sold precooked and frozen in the US. What was interesting about tonight’s show is that many in Japan will only buy fresh edamame that are picked that day. The reason for this is that within hours of being picked, edamame loose their sweetness. When picked fresh, the amount of sugar in them is a bit over 3%. But with three days of being picked, that level falls to nearly 2%.

It would be hard to find consumers in the US insisting on buying only beans that were picked that day, and refusing to buy beans that were picked three days ago. Why aren’t consumers in the US more demanding of the groceries they purchase? I often wonder about that. I’ve yet to see someone in a supermarket ask the grocer if the produce was picked that day or how many days ago it was picked. The same is true for eggs and meat. There seems to be no demand for fresh produce.

Plants are living things, and even after being picked, they still breathe. To breathe, they use up the sugars that are in them. However, since they are no longer attached to their root systems and to the ground, they aren’t able to replenish the nutrients they use to breathe, and their quality degrades.

Quick cooling and shipping produce in cool, oxygen and carbon dioxide restricted containers will slow this breathing, but with each passing day the quality of the produce degrades. It’s best if you can pick your produce at the time you make your meals. The question is how do we do this? What needs to change with how people get their produce to enable them to have produce picked just hours before eating it?

Fetching Lunch

Eggs laid within the hour, sweet tomatoes, fresh chard, all the makings for a summer lunch.


On the way back inside, I spot what I thought was some paper by an apple tree, and it turned out to be a very late blooming iris. Iris and apples, not two things you usually think of together.


The apples are a long way from being ripe, but the summer sun is turning them red.


Rare Salmobbit Discovered

Picking baby kale for Tweets Café is always fun. This week there are baby kale, baby chard, baby arugula, and ruby streaks. Stop by at Tweets this weekend and enjoy a salad with produce picked today from a man and his hoe®.


And while you are at Tweets, pop next door to the Edison Eye and check out this art by Mandy. What is it? A Salmobbit? You never know what you’ll see in off the beaten path Edison.


Picked Today


It’s Thursday, time to deliver eggs and produce picked this morning to Tweets Café. This week I have three cartons of Ruby Streaks, a carton of kale and chard, and some shallots, and of course eggs. In few weeks I’ll start making an extra delivery of fresh salad greens to Tweets on Saturday. Eventually, I plan on delivering fresh salad greens every day they are open and expanding my service to other restaurants which want to serve their customers produce picked that day.


On the way home, I dropped by Bow Little Market, a country market held on Thursdays in Belfast, Washington. This is the fifth year for the market and it has grown a lot since it first began.


Bow Little Market was started by Chuckanut Transition, “a group of rural, independent and capable people learning to live cooperatively with each other and our natural world.”


Bow Little Market is held next to Belfast Feed Store, on North Green Road near the intersection of Old Highway 99 and Bow Hill Road. The nearest freeway exit is exit 236 on I-5 north of Burlington, WA.


Out of the Garden Today – June 10, 2014

So what should I make for supper tonight? It’s an answer we all answer day after day. For some it’s going to a restaurant. For others, it’s take out. For others, it’s what is in the fridge or in the cupboard. For others it’s what they picked up in the grocery on the way home from work. For me the answer is in the garden.

Tonight I found raspberries, Chrysanthemum greens, garlic scapes, shallot greens, arugula, choy, sage and rosemary. Everything but the rosemary is going into a stir fry. The rosemary is going into rosemary crackers.


After “grocery shopping” out of the garden and making meals with just-picked produce for years, I’m spoiled. It’s nearly impossible to find food so fresh when we eat out. Very few places have gardens full of produce, which the chefs can go into and gather the produce they need to make your meal.