Enjoy the August Harvest
In his effort to liberate India from the British Empire Mohandas Gandhi employed effective political tactics based on principles of non-violence. A generation later, in the United States, the Reverend Martin Luther King preached a strategy of non-violence as he challenged systemic racism and a culture of war. Some people question the wisdom of non-violent political action and ask, “Can pacifism work when peaceful idealists challenge political actors, like Hitler, who have no problem murdering their opponents?” It’s an interesting question but beyond the scope of today’s newsletter. Instead, I’d like to talk about recycling. That said, I assure you that non-violence provides a simple, effective and satisfying approach to employ when opening and closing the waxed cartons that we deliver our produce in. Sometimes when I’m sorting through the re-used cartons I’m shocked at how torn up some of them are- as though wolverines mangled them. It doesn’t have to be that way.
The boxes we use to ship our produce in cost north of $1.75 per carton. When we are able to use the boxes over and over again that $1.75 is amortized over the multiple uses. Each virgin box comes with creases stamped into the cardboard to ease in the folding and unfolding process. Nothing needs to be torn for a box to be successfully opened or closed. To open a box non-violently, just observe where the crease is on the tabs that form the lid of the box and draw back with a pinching motion to free the tabs from the slots in the lid they’ve been pressed into to close and secure the lid. Voila!
To fold the empty cartons up for easy storage simply invert the empty box, observe the crease in the tabs that close and secure the bottom of the box and press them back to unlock the carton. With the top and bottom open the box simply folds up. Stacking the empty, folded cartons, helps keep the pick-up sites presentable and clean. We can save thousands of dollars if we can reuse the cartons many times. Ruined boxes cost money since we have to gather up the damaged cartons and then take them to the dump. They are waxed and therefore, not recyclable in Santa Cruz County. And new boxes keep climbing in price. The paraffin used to “wax” the waxed cartons comes from petroleum so carton costs are tied to the price of oil. Have you noticed how much it costs to fill up a gas tank these days? Paper isn’t getting cheaper either.
Recycling isn’t just good economics- it’s also a gesture of respect to the planet that sustains us. At Mariquita Farm we’re doing whatever we can to avoid wasting resources and we recycle what we can. Please read our list because we cannot take back all the recycling in your home, just the items we can reuse. Here’s a list of what we can re-use. And let us remind you we cannot take back items that are dirty or soiled.
IMPORTANT: Please stack the boxes neatly and leave all other returned items in a tidy manner in the crates at the site. Our hosts have invited us to use their homes and businesses as produce drop spots but we can’t turn them into unauthorized recycling centers.
List of Items we can re-use at Mariquita Farm:
- The full or half strawberry cartons and green plastic baskets that we ship cherry tomatoes in.
2. The white or brown tomato boxes we ship Early Girl tomatoes in. Please return the empty tomato boxes without unfolding them, as they stay stronger for re-use that way. They must be clean and unsoiled.
3. The plastic clamshells that we put tomatoes and sometimes peppers or other items in. Please do not send us clamshells that you receive from other places. We have one size only. They must be clean and unsoiled.
4. If you purchase flowers do not take the container they arrive in. Each bouquet has a plastic bag attached that can be used to transport flowers home in, if needed, and powder which will help prolong their beauty once you put them in a vase.
5. We can always use clean brown paper grocery bags and if you want to recycle the smaller handled bags that your side products from us come in you may also leave them in the crate.
6. We will take egg cartons if they came from us; do not send us egg cartons unless you bought them from us.
7. Lastly, we cannot take back plastic bags of any kind. Please find other ways to use them at home.
Thank you so much for making an effort to reuse these items. Not only will it keep the costs down but also it will save resources for all.
Now back to food, which is what we love to talk about the most. Strawberries make a comeback this week after the birds harvested them last week. Tomatoes are here to stay for a while. At the market customers sometimes ask, “Why are they called “dry farmed?” They look shocked when we tell them that they were transplanted into moist soil but not given any additional water the entire time they are growing. These plants send their roots deep into the mineral earth to find water. The minerals and trace elements found in the deeper soil result in the great tomato flavor you get when you pop one in your mouth or slice one onto a salad. These days our meals are filled with tomato salads and Shishito pepper appetizers. Pan fry a few shishito peppers in Marguerite’s Olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of our herb salt and you have a very good tasty treat.
Enjoy the August harvest!
Your friends at Mariquita Farm
—© 2021 Essay by Andy Griffin. Photos by Starr Linden
As the weather is getting warmer, the sun is rising earlier and the harvesting begins with the sunrise, we will be closing our East Bay/Peninsula shop by 6 PM on the Wednesday evenings before the Friday delivery. We close our San Francisco & Mystery Thursday shops on Wednesday mornings by 8 AM and our Santa Cruz/Los Gatos shop by 8 AM, on Monday mornings. Please get your orders in early so you don’t miss out on the harvest! Thank you all again for being such a part of our bountiful farm!
If you haven’t ordered a Mystery Box recently, now is a great time to get in on spring deliciousness! LadybugBuyingClub