Wednesday, September 02, 2009

pick-up truck

My pick-up truck. I can haul all sorts of stuff home on it. In particular, I enjoy pedaling home with the bartered bounty from the farmers' market. I bring various fermented goods (english muffins, beer, cider) and as was the case here (August '08), came home with not only food but also building materials. I was in need of bamboo (at least, in theory) for my garden projects. At first, I wasn't sure how I'd get the bundle of eight foot lengths on my truck, but some careful bungee work made for a solid haul. Not wanting to challenge other bikes to a jousting contest, I made my way slowly home among quieter streets. I was so proud arriving, I asked for a photo.

The following month, there was a clearance sale on soybeans. They were cheap! With a beer involved, I think they were a buck a plant. I brought ten home. It was not unlike lurking behind a hunting blind. (The perspective is bad here, but riding home at 5+ feet in width, I made sure to ride way out in the middle of the lanes.) Testing my camouflage, I took busier streets. It was a breezy day and the plant stems blew all this way and that. It brought back thoughts of having a sling-shot as a kid. It was so much fun, I took a picture when I got home.

The beginning of August this year found the farmers' market once again overflowing with fruit and veggies. Well, it was overflowing before that, but by August, the seems burst and if you are around when things close up at the end of the night, you might find yourself coming home with 20 pounds of tomatoes, 20 pounds of peaches, a cooler with a few pounds of tofu, cheese, leftover thai food, and a canvas bag of various veggies. Overall haul was near 80 pounds, including a backpack not pictured.

Then, this load. Damn. I think it took me twenty minutes just to get it strapped on my truck. Requiring no less than five bungee cords, two panniers, two plastic milk crates, and one small wooden crate. 60+ pounds at least, but fluffier than the last load. I made sure to check all the bolts on my racks before taking off. Making it home, safely, yet again, I took a moment to be thankful for my able-bodied-ness in regularly bringing such stuff to it's temporary home, where it will be ingested and recycled, turning into fuel to pump my legs back to the market.

I love my truck.


Ryan said...

Do you have a good source for apple juice for cidermaking over there? I'm looking at making my first batch and can't seem to find anybody seeling juice for non exorbitant costs.

Monkey Wrangler said...

Yo Ryan: By "over there" do you mean the berkeley farmers' market? I've heard of folks making cider from Pomo Tierra juice (Bernie at the Thursday and Saturday BFM market), it is pasteurized and bottled (4 gallons for $28 last I heard), which "sets" the pectins in it possibly rendering it forever cloudy. The cider is great though, you can't beat the quality, just a cosmetic issue that you might not care about being your first batch and all.

I've purchased 5 gallons of juice at a time from Smit Orchards before (giving them a clean bucket to fill). The juice was unpasteurized, but came to me cold and a few days old, which was precisely what I was hoping to avoid. I used a dose of sulfites to arrest whatever was growing in it and then pitched my own yeast.

If any or none of that helps, find some family who might have an over-abundance of apples, or possibly a friend with a tree in their backyard who will let you glean from them in exchange for finished product.

Hope it helps. Whatever happens, let me know what you do huh? I love exchanging notes with folks.

Ryan said...

Yeah, I've checked over here at the Ferry Building and the cider purveyors were a little too expensive for my blood.
There's a guy down in Watsonville that has all the weird heirloom varieties but I'm not sure I want to go through the juicing process.

Chilebrown said...

You are my Urban Supper Heroe!

Mimi said...

You must have calves of steele after hauling all of that stuff on your "truck".

Monkey Wrangler said...

Ryan: The juicing process is worth it if.....the only way to get juice from the varietal you want is by doing work yourself. It will hurt, yes. But 3-5 gallons of cider will help alleviate this.

Chile: Shweet! To the rescue!!!!!!

Mimi: It's calves of brass ma'am. Not nearly as hard, but if I dare say myself, perhaps just a bit statue-esque.