Last Saturday I made my first visit of the season to our local farmers market. I get such a kick out of seeing all the lovely fresh produce, and I was looking forward to seeing what was on offer after such a long, cold winter.
The organic stand where I buy most of my veggies was open. I picked up fresh greens: salad mix, Swiss chard, and kale—a mix of curly and the smooth dark-leaved varieties. A bunch of asparagus—it seems late for it, but everything will probably be late this year. That’s fine with me; we haven’t actually had local asparagus yet this spring.
There were even tomatoes, though these were marked “not organic.” I took a couple of little ones; local produce is less likely to have been sprayed, and a lot goes into the process of official organic certification, so maybe their greenhouse plants still had a few hoops to jump through.
I bought scallions/green onions from another vendor: nice big, fat white bulbs that will be lovely with salads and other cold dishes.
Funny, cooking wasn’t on my radar of things I thought I’d enjoy when I left the day job, but it’s been a big part of my new life. It was such a pleasure to get home with my finds and start rinsing the kale, getting it ready to steam for a yummy kale sandwich (tortilla spread with my favorite mustard; greens topped with freshly squeezed lemon juice and garlic powder). I’m not eating completely vegetarian, but I’m enjoying more vegetable courses than before.
Most of all, I love the feeling of unity with the earth that eating and buying organic gives me. It makes everything hang together: the health of the soil, the planet, and the health of the people who tend it and eat it. It gives a feeling of harmony, and puts me in mind of one of my favorite “saints”: poet-farmer Wendell Berry, whose writings celebrate the earth and those who care for it.
Welcome, Summer and Spring!