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Picking Up Produce on Side of the Road

January 7th, 2012 at 03:57 am

When I returned to my gate from my home town on Jan 2 I stopped to pick up three heads of cabbage along the side of the road. In my younger days I would have found this to be rather embarrassing. Now it doesn't bother me in the least. Right now it's cabbage season and the trucks frequently hit bumps in the road and lose their cabbage. I'm not the only one around those parts who pick it up. In late summer it's onions, I'm often on the side of the road picking those up too. Hey, it's free food!

31 Responses to “Picking Up Produce on Side of the Road”

  1. DeniseNTexas Says:

    I don't see any real difference between that and others picking asparagus or other food that grows wild. Smile It's found food and as long as you aren't beating others over the head to get it, it's all good. Enjoy!

    I bought a head of cabbage recently and am thinking of baking some of it but am not sure what else to do with it. What do you do with it?

  2. ccraw Says:

    I love fried cabbage and the cabbage soup I posted. Those are my favorite ways to cook it but I also love cole slaw too....I just love all food!

  3. DeniseNTexas Says:

    Fried sounds good, especially fried with onions in a lot of butter with a little bit of chopped turkey ham in it. Mmm! Cole slaw is one of my favorite foods. I don't eat it often but I might make some of that, too. Thanks. Smile

  4. Campfrugal Says:

    Yum, stuffed cabbage. I would have grabbed them also.

  5. rob62521 Says:

    Good haul for you!

  6. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    That makes me laugh with appreciation. Around here, the agricultural roadside offerings are usually feedcorn or soybeans.

  7. EarlyRetirementJoy Says:

    I confess . . . I actually picked up a whole pumpkin on the road the day after Halloween. It was a reflection of my new frugal ways, but I haven't told anyone where I got it. It's still sitting in my kitchen waiting to be turned into pumpkin muffins. Best pumpkin muffins I've ever eaten, BTW, are from the Fannie Farmer Baking Cookbook: [url]http://www.recipe-source.com/baked-goods/muffins/00/rec...

  8. -Jerry- Says:

    My wife just tried to make cabbage chips the other night, but they didn't turn out so well. I think we need a better way to dry them out than with our kooky oven, which often seems to lead to wild fluctuations in temperature. Regardless, I like your idea of gleaning free food from where it is available. There are a lot of fruit trees here in our city, and in late summer it is rare to see someone using the ripened fruit. People are willing to let it rot on the tree (or the ground) rather than appear to want some insurance of free food. Amazing.

  9. LuckyRobin Says:

    I just read a recipe last night that called for drizzling chunks of cabbage with garlic butter and roasting it in the oven. I've never had the opportunity to pick up food that fell off trucks (we grow mostly berries, which don't survive a fall), but I've definitely harvested wild blackberries and chives from off the side of the road or in public parks.

  10. LittleGopher Says:

    Ha! We have mostly livestock and poultry going by in trucks - not at all something I'd like to glean from the roadside.......or maybe I should say, I'd like packages of meat or poultry, but not the real deal - my girls would try to make the animal a pet, if it should so survive the topple off the truck Smile

  11. DeniseNTexas Says:

    LuckyRobin, my favorite way to cook cabbage is baked. I cut it in chunks, drizzle it with either garlic butter or olive oil then plenty of garlic powder and just bake at about 300. It's delicious!

  12. ccraw Says:

    I have never tried baked cabbage but those recipes sound delish and I'm going to have to try them! I also have a juicer and have juiced cabbage along with other fruits such as apples and oranges etc and you get amazing energy. I haven't used my juicer in a month or so, I need to keep doing that also.

  13. DeniseNTexas Says:

    If you try the baked cabbage, make sure you cover it with a lid or foil. I sometimes keep it covered the entire time and sometimes just for the last few minutes of cooking.

    I haven't tried juiced cabbage. Hmmm!

  14. ccraw Says:

    If you decide to juice the cabbage and are afraid you won't like the taste juice it with other tasty things, my favorite juicer juice is apples,carrots, oranges,berries,grapes and cabbage combined. Of course you don't need much of each thing. Juicing can get pricey but if you really get into it you can ask the produce people at the grocery if they have bruised etc. fruit. I just get creative and try whatever sounds good to me. I had to cut back because it's a real pain to clean the juicer between juices when I have alot of traffic on my gate and you want to make sure it's clean when you use it each time because of bacteria etc.

  15. baselle Says:

    I would have picked up the cabbage too, and heck if you consider it "unsanitary", just take off the outer leaves. I have two favorite ways:

    1. Shred the cabbage, saute it in olive oil with onion, a bit of garlic, paprika, caraway seeds if you got them, then nestle chicken parts in the cabbage, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked. If you think its not red enough, add a small can of tomato sauce, lemon juice or wine to make it saucy.

    2. Shred the cabbage, saute it until soft in olive oil. Boil egg noodles until al dente, drain noodles, toss with the cabbage with some more olive oil. (Its a non-insane version of haluski - the insane versions call for a boat load of butter and bacon even) Serve as a side.

  16. LuckyRobin Says:

    Denise--How long do you bake it for?

    Baselle--That second one sounds very interesting. Must be quite a contrast between the noodles and the crunch of the cabbage.

  17. frugaltexan75 Says:

    My favorite way to eat cabbage is steamed in butter/water. Cut up into sections, put in a pot of water w/butter and cover (not sure how long, my mom always did this, I did it a couple times but a long time ago)

  18. DeniseNTexas Says:

    LuckyRobin, I bake it at about 350 or so. I use a countertop toaster/convection oven for it and it works beautifully.

  19. ccraw Says:

    You guys have some excellent recipes. I'm going to do the baked cabbage today. I'll let you all know how it turns out.

  20. baselle Says:

    LuckyRobin - You saute the cabbage so it is about the same texture as the egg noodles - the shredded sauteed cabbage bulks up the noodles. Its kind of a version of pasta primevera. Smile

  21. My English Castle Says:

    One of my friends still gives me grief for stopping and picking up a head of cabbage on the side of the road. They must roll like crazy, yes?

  22. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    we've done this on occasion as well, around here there loads of avocados, lemons. Agreed a bit embarrassing, but I'm not one for worrying much about appearances to others !!

  23. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I have a feeling responses to this blog could roll on and on for a long time. Apparently there is a lot of lost produce out there on the roadsides. I saw a single orange here in the midwest and knew I had to come report it. Smile Traffic was too heavy to consider stopping for it.

    I have a childhood memory of a ~dumptruck~ that lost part of its load of cucumbers in town when I was about 5 years old. I thought they were pickles and it was just a marvelous sight to me.

    And then my DH has a story of being on a motorcycle behind a truck that was tragically losing live chickens out the back every 50 yards or so. Frown

  24. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    I have a wonderful memory of a 6 week camping trip we took to the States when I was about 5 or 6 years old. We came upon a truck that had been in an accident and it was full of Miller Beer. The truck driver told my Dad to help himself until someone came to help right the truck. We didn't have a lot of money at the time. My Mom, Dad and all 4 kids started running to pick up as much beer as possible. Six years old and picking up bottles of beer in the middle of broken glass strewn across the road. That was best vacation my Dad ever had! So free cabbages - go for it!

  25. baselle Says:

    I'm with Joan - now I feel a compulsion. Its not just out in the boonies that this happens. During my super-long walk on Sunday, I made it to a Seattle produce stand, bought a few items and was walking away when an escapee onion from the stand rolled down the parking lot, just missing my foot (I was startled enough to not be able to stop it), and rolled onto 65th. It was kind of sad, it was in the middle, many cars missed it, but one clipped it and it skittered to the other side of 65th. I was tempted but it was twilight and was out of my way. And again, if you consider it unsanitary - take the first layer off and the rest should be fine!

  26. monkeymama Says:

    I am sure plenty of produce spills onto the interstate by my house - I am sure it is pulverized immediately so I have never noticed any produce. That said, see a LOT of tomato trucks:


    I don't know why they transport tomatoes like that. Not tied down, not covered - just see them all the time. Interestingly, never seen any on the ground. But, the speed limit is 70mph and I am sure they are pulverized when they do hit.

    I am sure tons of other produce passes on the interstate every day, in sealed containers.

  27. DeniseNTexas Says:

    I've seen trucks loaded with tomatoes a few times, MonkeyMama, and I always want to hijack one! Wink

  28. CB in the City Says:

    Okay, I'll join in. I have picked up three perfect peaches, a perfect apple, and the other day I passed up some fingerling potatoes only because my hands were full!

  29. LuxLiving Says:

    What I wanna know is where the heck are the roadside cabbages in my neck of the woods????????? Everyday I'm rollin, I'm lookin', but the cabbages they be hidin'.

  30. ccraw Says:

    I don't know luxliving! I had a day off from the gate and saw several cabbages on the side of the road but they were dried and shriveled, I couldn't believe they weren't picked up by someone. This was in another town though on my way to my hometown.

    I drove a few miles behind a truck carrying cases of broccoli and I kept trying to will a case to fall off but he didn't lose anything...darn!

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