It is summer.
The days are long. Your cares are few. And there is a ton of amazing produce available at your local farmer’s market.
In short, it is time to veg out.
What better way to do than with a post that celebrates everyone’s favorite summertime dinner guest — the vegetable.
These oh-so-palatable mealtime companions are colorful (not boring), fresh (a little sassy), tender (sometimes delicate) and, like the best guests, they don’t stay around too long.
Whether grilled to perfection or chopped raw in a salad, these vitamin-packed power players remind us of the best summer has to offer.
Check out all the amazing veggie-inspired products below. They will help you keep that summer state-of-mind all year round.
Back to the Roots – Made in Oakland, California
From the creative minds of two would-be bankers, Alejandro Velez & Nikhil Arora, comes a kit that allows you to grow your own pearl oyster mushrooms.
Remember that bean plant you tried to grow in a wet paper towel as kid? Well, this is nothing like that. This kit will actually produce something delicious and edible.
Back to the Roots (left, $19.95) is a self-contained mushroom garden. The cardboard kit houses the fungi potential, soil medium, spray mister and a recipe or two.
All you have to do to grow up 1 1/2 pounds of mushrooms is open up your kit, set it in a window sill and mist it twice a day (mister provided). And presto! In as few as 10 days, you will be harvesting your first crop. (Each kit will produce multiple crops – some have produced as many as 4.)
How does it work? Well, simply put (and without bogging you down in the science of it all), it is magic. The mushrooms grow on soil made from 100% recycled coffee grounds. (See, I told you it was magic!)
Back to the Roots gets its grounds from Peet’s Coffee & Tea and is on pace to collect, divert and reuse 3.6 million pounds of coffee grounds in 2012 alone. (That’s a lotta Joe!)
So, not only does Back to the Roots make it possible for you to enjoy the pleasures of fresh, in-home grown mushrooms, it also helps you reduce waste and generally make the world a better place.
Buy your kit today and start growing a better planet.
Claudia Pearson – Made in Brooklyn, New York
Noted illustrator Claudia Pearson, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Elle and Travel & Leisure, has turned to the kitchen for inspiration. There she has found a seemingly endless variety of shapes, textures and colors.
Her Radish Salad print (left, $45) is one stunning example of her fruitful exploration into the beauty of food.
The 12.5″w x 19″h (paper size) poster is screen printed by hand on 100 lb charcoal brown paper. It features a bevy of radishes, a spoonful of ricotta and a bottle of sherry vinegar.
Claudia Pearson’s Radish Salad poster is more than covetable, accessible decoration for your kitchen or dining area, however. It is also an illustrated recipe.
Charles Fradin Home - Made in the USA
Proclaim your love of all things verdant, lush and leafy with Charles Fradin’s Market Tote (left, $198).
Charles Fradin understands that just because you are obsessed with fresh, doesn’t mean you (always) have dirt under your fingernails.
He has created the ultimate tote for those who want to keep the “style” in the buy-local lifestyle.
His 24 ounce canvas Market Tote features an orange suede bottom and green vegetable illustration that make this bag (and you) stand out from crowd.
With its generous dimensions (15″ h x 20″ w x 7″ d, not including handles), this bag is ready to haul the season’s freshest produce home from the farmer’s market or to pack away a weekend’s worth of essentials for an impromptu get-away.
(The Market Tote is also available in other themes and color-schemes — from cake to custom.)
Wherever you take the Market Tote, you will take with you Charles Fradin’s commitment to a beautiful, comfortable world. (And who doesn’t want a piece of that?)
Coup – Made in New York, New York
(It is much less painful.)
(You won’t believe this because you are not as cynical as I am, but there are people copying Elektra’s good idea. Make sure you buy your Lettuce Turnip The Beet goods directly from her. You can use the links in this post or visit her in Soho.)
The Lettuce Turnip The Beet t-shirt’s message and styling are sure to attract attention. In fact, they already have quite a few celebrate fans. So go ahead join the revolution (dare I say, Coup).
Proudly proclaim your quirky commitment to vegetables and/or music and/or being quirky.
Coup’s Lettuce Turnip The Beet design is available in/on a variety of colors (from basic to neon) and sizes (infant to plus) and garments (fitted, baseball jerseys, tank tops, v-necks, crew necks, and onesies). (All blanks are American Apparel and thus 100% made in America.)
Buy one for yourself and one for your favorite vegan, vegetarian, farmer, chef, designer, musician, hipster, geek, humorist and/or attention-seeking t-shirt lover.
Low Country Produce - Made in Lobeco, South Carolina
As anyone who has ever tried it knows, nothing is more soul-satisfying than a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. This simple meal can make gray skies blue and turn frowns upside down.
Thanks to Low Country Produce (LCP) there is now a more grown up, sophisticated way to indulge in this feel-good classic. (No can opener required!)
LCP’s Green Tomato Soup (left, 16 oz for $8.00 or 32 oz for $11.50) is made with a secret blend of green tomatoes, ham stock, capers, cayenne pepper, garlic and olive oil. The flavor is more complex than its red canned cousin Campbell, but no less life-affirming. It is sure to be your new go-to tomato soup.
(Fair warning: You may need to step up your grilled cheese to match the complexity and sophistication of LCP’s soup. Trade in your standard cheddar for one (or two) of those unpronounceable, artisanal, often intimidating cheeses from your local market. And give your loaf bread an upgrade — think sourdough, ciabatta, pumpernickel or rye.)
Like all of LCP’s products, the Green Tomato Soup is made of only all-natural ingredients picked and prepared at their peak. Each is crafted by hand in small-batches and represents the best traditions, ingredients and flavors the low country has to offer.
From Our Old Friends
Green Toys – Made in the USA
Sometimes you really should play with your food.
Above: Salad Set ($19.99) is 20 pieces and includes (1) serving bowl, (1) salad plate, (2) serving utensils, (3) lettuce leaves, (3) sets of cucumbers, (2) tomatoes, (2) red peppers, onions, mushrooms, and fold-your-own oil & vinegar and salt & pepper. All pieces are made of food-safe, 100% recycled plastic milk containers; contain no BPA, phthalates, PVC or external coatings; meet FDA food contact standards; and are dishwasher safe.
Original fifty post: The toddler.
Planet Dog - Made in USA
Above from left to right: Orbee-Tuff® Artichoke ($12.45) and Orbee-Tuff® Eggplant ($14.95) are non-toxic, recyclable and easy to clean. Both toys feature a treat hole where you can stash a tasty morsel that your 4-legged companion will enjoy trying to retrieve.
Original fifty post: PE