First Look

Greenling Brought the Farm to My Table, But What the Hell Am I Supposed to Do with It?

Greenling is a company out of Austin that just started delivering farm-fresh produce and other foods to customers in an around Dallas. The concept is to bridge the gap between those who want to eat organic and local but don't have the time or wherewithal to attain it. And since they already operate in central and south Texas, sometimes they pull produce from those areas, adding a little variety.

Yesterday around 7 p.m., their small, refrigerated truck showed up outside my house, as scheduled, and John, dressed in overalls, brought me a bin full of fresh produce. We were giddy.

Here's how this was supposed to play out: My family eats healthier while at the same time helps small Texas farmers. The scene is picturesque: wel sit at our dining room table and nosh on big plates of fresh, organic, local food, while farmers across the state sip tea on their front porch, in a swing, watching the sun set with dirt proudly under their nails and a little more scratch under their matresses.

Reality: Farmers probably use banks.

Also: After a thorough investigation of my bin, I still have no idea what half this stuff is. And I have no idea what to do with it. Which leaves me wondering: How does easy food from the grocery store compete with local food that will require more research and time to prepare (find recipes, clean, chop, etc)?

My produce box came with a list of the specific items in my bin (see last photo). And I can go online to watch a video of every farmer that provided the food. With a little homework and Google image searches, I can figure out what the mustard greens are. The truth of the matter is I should know what bounty Texas soil hath brought. So it'll also be a learning experience, I guess.

But there's another problem (the excuses are really piling on): Tonight I have dinner plans at a cool hipster spot (hey, they serve local food!). Tomorrow is Friday, and Friday is Pizza Night, not Tender Greens, Baby Arugula and Brussels Sprouts Night. Then we have Super Bowl weekend. And to think just yesterday I laughed at an article titled "How to Eat Healthy During the Super Bowl." Why would anyone want to do that? Isn't that the whole point of the Super Bowl?

Next week, though, we'll get after it. Assuming I can figure out what to do with this stuff. I'm open for suggestions. If you can identify any of the produce below and have a recipe, please send it my way. Because by this time next week all this stuff will not be rotting in my fridge. (Unless it is.)