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« Poulet Offerings, shaking it up | Main | Ici, Finally Here! »

01 September 2006


Hi Shuna,
I used to live in Berkeley (left last year) and used to go by Poulet every day.
Your writing is sweet. I do hope that your rememberance of Labor Day unionist beginnings do not enamour you fully and completely with the unions in modern day. In my opinion, unions had their place in the day when workers were exploited in western society. Today, the labour laws are so good that if a workplace has a union, they (the employer) deserve it. In general I am very anti-union and I do not even believe we need a Labour Day celebration. Every day is a celebration with sweat and tears for the people who work with their hands and feet, and with stress and high blood pressure for those who work with their heads. In any case, in most cases it is a combination of both!


Another fine piece! The photo of the golden sunset color peaches takes my breath away. Eggbeater rules!

Hello Perla,

Thanks for stopping by. On some level I know from where you speak to modern day unions. In some cases they have very much hurt the industries whose workers they are trying to protect.

But in all fairness there are still quite a number of workplaces/industries that could use a union! Mine, for starters. Or the the garment industry (my first real job was in a factory in NYC's garment district. I was paid $3.35 an hour, along with all the other workers, many of whom were trying to feed children on that salary.) which is still so froaght with indentured servitude. Or sex workers-- The Lusty Lady in SF/Seattle is one of the only unionized strip joints with a union. Or grocery stores. Whole Foods was the first non-union supermarket to break ground in CA. and it's no coincidence that, because of WF, Trader Joe's and Berkeley Bowl are not union either.

For people who may want to retire with more safety than, let's say, a minimum wage job might offer, unions are helpful. They work well in most hotels, especially for the "behind the scenes" folks, many of whom are recent immigrants and/or are beyond an age that is deemed "fashionable" by most face-to face businesses, like retail. Or for teachers, who would be completely on their own to fight for fair wages and insurance without the union. (As you can see even the union has not had much luck in paying them what they are worth, and look at the state of public education today.)

Let us not be fooled, unions still hold great importance in the "Western" world, and beyond!

Oh've singled in on my two most coveted farmer's market treasures this season. The Tip Top farm okra and Dirty Girls' dry farmed early girls. As I write this, I'm sitting with my dinner, which includes an extra large helping of Tip Top's okra "braised" in tomatoes (not the early girls as I reserve them for eating out of hand).
Thanks for more inspirational writing.

Hear hear on the union issue. They don't always do what they are supposed to, but there are good reasons for their existence. I could go on ad nauseum but I won't. Lovely post Shuna! P.S. - I have been checking my mail box, but no t-shirt???

Hi Shuna,
This is your blog and I will not hog it with anti-union messages. Suffice it to say that if one gets enough education, one does not need to be in a position when others dictate to you when to have your lunch break etc. I have nothing to do with the fact that someone chooses to have 5 kids, and make 3.50/hr. I do not have to care about their retirement. If an employer cares enough, they will not have a union in the workplace. If they do not have the basic human cares, then they do deserve a union. That's when I see the union as an evil organization, designed to "enhance the degree of caring" of employers. But should unions be used to enhance caring in people? I think not. This used to be the job of religions, parents and the like. It seems that no one has the job of introducing a high level of caring in our society. Teachers do not do it. I do not want to get started on the teachers' unions. The state of today's education may be so bad BECAUSE of the unions and not because of the teachers.

Oh well. I will drop this subject and will definitely work on this Labor Day weekend. I need to improve my retirement prospects and I have to work hard for it!
I am serious. I want to have a care-free retirement and I do not expect anyone to hand it to me on a platter.

Have a nice weekend.


Great post Shuna! Very wide-ranging and fun to read (and look at).

At the Berkeley market today I'm going to buy a bunch of vegetables that I have never (or very rarely) bought: purslane, ridge gourd, opo. Since it's tomato season, one of my dinners will be South Indian and feature a fresh and fiery rasam, and the ridge gourd and opo will fit in as side dishes somehow.

And it's time for Gravenstein apples. They are among my favorite apples, but it seems too early for their appearance---it's still summer!

At the Berkeley Saturday market, Vong farms (they set up on the Milvia end) has great mounds of okra each week.

Every time I see a Pink Pearl apple I think of my friend Paul, the first San Franciscan I knew to succumb to the AIDS epidemic. He lived near the corner of Pink & Pearl, over by Market and Duboce, surely the pre-eminent queer address in SF.

That is the most stunning apple I have seen. I've just moved to NYC (from Berkeley) and I must say, I miss the produce.

Addressing the Union issue.

I know I speak for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, when I say that unions are still necessary. And I don't mean for just working-class labor or large scale govt. supported industries.

This no-education, choosing to have five children argument sounds classist and teetering on a form of prejudice.

"Caring?" Is that what unions were designed to dofor businesses who could not? No, I think not. Decency and advocation, that's what unions are for. Marriage is a union, and that's what it's supposed to be about.

Sure I've worked for businesses that would supposedly love to be able to "care" for their employees in a way that pays the rent and helps them feel secure about their health. But few businesses actually do.

A Union in the modern day is not the be-all, end all solution, I know this. But being anti-union is a strong stance in a country not particularly known for providing "caring" workplaces/industries for people before dire straits and extreme intervention were necessary.

Just like humans themselves (individually.)

Thank you for engaging in discussion, if you read around, you'll see it's what eggbeater is all about!

Way to pimp the produce, Shuna!

Hi Shuna,
I enjoyed your talk on the Chris Pirillo show very much.Reached there through
You sound so real and down to earth .


three years ago, I heedlessly waltzed through the glories of California's farmers markets. Now temporarily relocated to Kansas City, this post hammers home how lucky I was... yesterday I paid an exhorbitant price for squash, a red onion, and a few colorful beets. No beautiful apples or mango plums or lamb at these markets.

thank you for your vivid words and photos. I will come back, I promise, and I shall never again take for granted the fabulous bounty of my homestate!


The flavor of the apple you left in my pocket (pink pearl) still wanders around in my head. I need a pink pearl tree.


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