Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I am missing the fresh organic food from my childhood, but not the work.

Growing up almost everything I ate would be considered organic these days. Not that I knew that at the time. To me it was just hard work and the way things were. I had no idea that other people did not eat like we did. We had a large piece of land in the outback of BC. There was a very large garden, where everything was grown naturally. Even our compost was natural, a mix of food scraps and chicken manure, not a chemical in sight. Just before dinner I would go out and pick what veggies we wanted fresh from the garden. Eggs were collected once a day. The goats were milked twice a day. Everything was fresh and natural. The chickens, turkeys, goats and pigs were free range and grain fed.

What a shock it was for me when I moved into the big city and had to buy my food at a grocery store. Everything tasted funny. Nothing was fresh, and definitely not organic. I did not know how good I had it until I lost it. To the good old days with fresh organic food. But then I also remember the work involved. Weeds, hand pulled, no pestisides or chemicals used on our farm, milking the goats, collecting the eggs, feeding the animals and cleaning out the chicken coop. We even did our own canning. I am quite happy not to be doing that anymore. Though I do miss the great food I could do without all the work. Not to mention I would have to move out of the city to have the land to grow and raise my own food.

I would love it if we had a company in Canada that would do all the work and deliver it to my home like Abel & Cole. They only deliver in the UK. I would like to get what they call their organic veg box. Each week you get a box of fresh vegetables. They even have boxes for one up to 4 to 5 people. There is a nice mix of vegetables that changes each week. I like the fact that they are the vegetables from small local farms, just like what I grew up on. I could even get a box with a mix of vegetables and fruits. This would also make a wonderful gift basket. I see all these places that sell fruit gift baskets and deliver them, I think an organic gift basket is a nice variation.
They also have free range chicken and other meats. Let me tell you if you have never had a free range chicken before you don’t know what you are missing. It just tastes better, same with fresh organic milk, eggs and yogurt. I liked that they had information about the farmers in a section call the face behind the food; it made it more personal knowing whose food you were buying and how it has affect them. I liked the story about Nick and Christine, and how special their cows are and that by selling the organic milk saved the farm, and the cows.

It was fun looking around their web site, it did bring back memories, and even though they don’t deliver here I will be checking out there site just for the recipes. They have a recipe for Gooseberry Fool that I would like to try. It would be nice if a company tried to do here what Abel & Cole are doing in the UK. I think a lot of small farms would benefit and I would like it because I would know that when I was buying something from them I was getting a good healthy product and helping out a local farmer at the same time. Able & Cole has been doing this for over 20 years. They have to be doing something right.

I know that there have been some companies here that tried to do a grocery delivery service but I think their product was to generic, something I could buy at any store without the delivery charge. Maybe Able & Cole needs to branch out to Canada.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Not the usual Fathers Day Gift ideas 2009

Every year I struggle with what to give my Grandfather for Father’s Day. I know that most people don’t give Fathers Day gifts to their Grandfather, but I started when I stayed with them when I went to College. The problem I have always had is that my Grandfather is one of those people who buys what he likes so he already has everything. This year I found a web site that has just changed it from desperately trying to find something he will like that my budget can survive to having to pare down what I would like to give him to one that I give him this year and earmark the rest for next year. Though it is more the matter of picking which one do I give him for Father’s Day, then his Birthday and Christmas this year.

It is nice to have to spend more time deciding what gift to give him then trying to find one he might like.

There are two gift baskets for him I am trying to pick from: Gourmet Delights and the Hamper Gift for Him. Both have a nice selection of things he would like. I know he would enjoy the wine and the specialty foods. I am more drawn to the Hamper Gift for Him simply because the snacks are something I know he would enjoy, and with the Gourmet Delights I just think he would like but I am not a 100% he would like as much as the Hamper Gift for Him.

I know he loves Chocolate but I never thought to give it to him for Father’s Day. It always seemed to be a gift for Mothers day. The packaging never looked right to give to my Grandfather. Now I have 4 different Chocolate gifts I would love to give him: Jessica Walker Chocolate Tower, the Chocolate Heaven Gift Box, Guylian Chocolate Hamper or the Chocolate Pyramid gift box. I know my Grandfather would love any of these but I like the box the pyramid one comes in. I am sure he would love the Guylian Chocolate Hamper because it has a nice variety of chocolates. I just know if I send it to his office it would never make it home.

I am going to have to take some time to think this one over. Though there is one gift basket that stands out for me: the Ale and Cheese Gift Basket. Cheese is an addiction for my Grandfather, and I think he would enjoy the ale. It seems to have the perfect combination for him. The more I think about it the more sure I am that this is the right one for this Fathers Day.