Stuff and Nonsense: around connecticut


Showing posts with label around connecticut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label around connecticut. Show all posts

4.16.2020

Pandemic Groceries: Sardilli Produce & Dairy


Two Hartford-area wholesalers have begun selling boxes of produce, meat, and dairy to the public for contact-free curbside pickup and this is, frankly, a godsend for me. I don't enjoy grocery shopping at the best of times and now, constantly aware of other people's inability to properly social distance, it is one giant clusterfuck of anxiety and dread. I'd used Instacart a few times at the beginning of the pandemic and found the shoppers very efficient and professional, but the company treats them shabbily and, frankly, I don't want to be the reason someone becomes exposed to COVID-19. So, yes, when I heard wholesalers like Sardilli Produce and Dairy were offering curbside pickup, I signed right up.

Sardilli Produce and Dairy offers all fruit, all veg, mixed fruit and veg, dairy, and meat boxes. The contents of the boxes are listed on their website so, if you want, you can menu plan before you even get your box. The company seems on top of things and is quick to post when a box is no longer available or when the next opportunity to order for pickup will be.


When I arrived today to pick up my boxes (dairy and mixed), there were plenty of orange cones and (masked and gloved) staff to point me in the right direction. I pulled into the check-in area and, through my closed window, showed my order number to a (masked and gloved) staff member. Another (masked, gloved, and socially distanced) staff member put papers under a windshield wiper, denoting what I needed, and then I drove off to the trucks. There, more (masked, gloved, and socially distanced) staff loaded my trunk with boxes and I was on my way. The entire process was extremely efficient and fast, taking less than fifteen minutes.

It is safe to say I am hooked on this, having gone ahead and ordered a meat box for next week. If only Sardelli sold a bread, pasta, and rice box my pandemic life would be pretty okay. (Please don't tell me how I can make my own bread. I don't have an oven).


Lynn, you say, this is all very nice and informative, but what about the goods? Are they worth it? Yes, I say, yes. Everything is perfect, not a blemish or bruise to be found, and the dairy has best buy dates in May and beyond. Altogether there's enough stuff to feed as for two or three weeks and, aside from the iceberg lettuce and cherry tomatoes, the produce is all long-lasting stuff.

Here, have a list:

3 lbs Cara Cara Oranges
1 Bunch of Bananas
3 lbs Apples
1 package of Strawberries
1 head of Iceberg Lettuce
1 Package of Multi Color Cherry Tomatoes
2 lb Haricot Beans
3 lb Brussels Sprouts
2 lb Carrots
5 lb Sweet Potatoes
3 each Peppers (green, red & yellow)
1 Each Celery (bunch)
2 lb Onions
2 each Shallots
3 each Cippolini Onions

1 Half Gal 2% Milk (Mountain Dairy, CT)
1 Pint of ½ & ½ Cream (Mountain Dairy, CT)
2 Dozen Eggs Cage Free
1 Butter 1 lb Block (Cabot, VT)
1 Quart of Yogurt Fage Plain
1 52 oz Tropicana Orange Juice No Pulp
1 8 oz Block White Cheddar Cheese (Cabot, VT)
1 - 8 oz Shred Mozzarella (Cabot, VT)


From the boxes, I brought my dad a dozen eggs (plus a third of the brussels sprouts and green beans), because his local grocery store has been out of eggs for three weeks and, at nearly seventy, I don't want him shopping around when I (mostly healthy, probably) can fetch it for him.

3.13.2020

Elizabeth Park: Spring Greenhouse Show


Who else can't wait for the end of this exhausting, gray winter? I had some time today after therapy and decided to do a little extra self-care with a wander through the Spring Greenhouse Show at the Elizabeth Park Conservancy in West Hartford. The colors! The scents! A half hour visit left me refreshed and filled with fantasies of the bulbs I will plant in my new gardens.

Elizabeth Park Conservancy hosts this show every year and it is a simply stunning display of flowering bulbs and other seasonal blooms. This year the floral display included varieties of French hyacinths, muscari, tulips, daffodils, pansies, trellised sweet peas, culinary herbs, and hanging baskets, as well as a collection of tropical plants and succulents. The week-long display concludes with a sale of everything in the greenhouse for completely reasonable prices. Admittedly, I have yet to make it to the post-show salad, because I forget to book the time off!

What I'm saying is, the Spring Greenhouse Show is well worth a visit.

Tulip 'Foxy Foxtrot' & Narcissus 'Tahiti'

Tulip 'Spring Green' look so striking next to bold, purple hyacinths

Multiflowering Tulip 'Shogun' are an inviting mix of apricot & melon

More Tulip 'Foxy Foxtrot' with its soft ruffled petals

Leucojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant' looks like a great mashup of Snowdrops & Lily-of-the-Valley

Lathyrus odoratus 'Watermelon' (I think), an heirloom variety from Renee's Garden

3.09.2020

An Evening With Dr. Douglas Tallamy


Recently I had the good luck to attend a presentation by Dr. Douglas Tallamy, professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware and the author of many publications, including the recent Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard.

Dr. Tallamy spoke about the vital need for a homegrown approach to conservation. With eighty-three percent of the land in the contiguous United States privately-owned, we must integrate native plant species into our yards, balconies, or window boxes to create conservation corridors he calls "Homegrown National Parks."

Such parks would boost the wildlife diversity in North America tremendously by making suburban lawns and gardens more productive for insects. Insects eat foliage, birds eat insects. The more delicious bugs to nom on, the more populous and healthier the birds. If we don’t increase the number and quantity of native plants in our landscape, then the populations of insects will continue to drop and that is very bad for the birds and everything else.

According to Dr. Tallamy the best plant you can add to your landscape is the oak, because they support more than five hundred species caterpillars ("bird food"). Asters and goldenrod are also strongly suggested, as they support the most species of insect herbivores and pollinators. Conveniently, asters and goldenrods are usually drought-resistant and deers avoid them.

Overall, it was a fascinating evening and I recommend getting a hold of a copy of Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard.