According to Ziploc — yes, the company that makes the baggies you keep your sandwiches and weed in — Hartford is the freshest city in America… and the Asian Persuasion and I would like to take some credit for that.
“Fresh” cities are those where residents are seeking and eating the freshest food options available, through farmer’s markets and gardening habits.
This isn’t all that surprising when you consider the fairly high concentration of farmer’s markets, roadside produce stands, and farms in the Hartford area. Despite a delusion that they’re “urban” West Hartford-ites love a good local food movement. Head a little southeast of the city through Glastonbury and farmers will practically jump in front of you car with pitchforks to force you into their produce stands.
But even right in downtown Hartford there are plenty of people working to make the city green, and make sure its people have fresh food to eat. Last weekend, three of those people were the Asian Persuasion, The Pilot, and me.
Yes, we volunteered as part of the Knox Park Foundation, transplanting seedlings and getting some herbs and vegetables underway in the greenhouse. I planted more cabbage than any reasonable community could be expected to eat outside of Ireland.
There were lots of crazy looking tomatoes and cucumbers I’d never heard of. The seeds for many of the herbs were so tiny one could reasonably mistake them for dust and just toss them on the ground. But in a few months this food will be distributed to the members of the CSA and soup kitchens around the city. The AP and I will also be harvesting our own striped tomatoes and “West India Gherkins” thanks to the leftover seeds we got to take home.
The folks at Knox were also nice enough to feed us breakfast and lunch, and a quartet from the Hartford Symphony Orchestra braved the less than ideal conditions in the greenhouse to entertain us during lunch. So if you’ve got a free Saturday be sure to check out the Knox website for volunteer opportunities. Giving a little bit of your time will probably get you a sandwich and maybe even some free seeds. And if you’re really lucky, you’ll get a quick flash of some serious boobage thanks to a hungry 2-year-old and his seriously committed mother.