We are so lucky in sunny Florida to have a growing season that just won't quit. Except when it does. Sadly, on Saturday, we said goodbye for the summer to our local organic farm. (We're not the only ones who love this place and mourn its seasonal hiatus.) The fields were still full of deliciousness, but their days are numbered with the rising heat. So Big B, little b and I loaded up our market bags and meandered the aisles one last time, stocking up on only the best our climate has to offer.When we were laden with lacinto kale, arugula, green beans, sorrell, strawberries, blueberries, and two dozen farm fresh eggs, we looked out across the fields of Romaine and saw a familiar straw hat.
Little b's preschool classmate has a daddy who works this farm. He was kind enough to give the boys a tour, and explain how the plants are grown, harvested, and sold. He showed them how the heat brings more bugs to the plants, and showed them the cover crop (sorghum) that would soon replace the remaining jewels of the fields, destined for local vegetable co-ops. And he let them sample lettuce, chard, onions and basil, straight from the earth.
After only a few minutes in the fields, the boys were hot, thirsty, and ready to leave. This was a great lesson in gratitude for farmers everywhere, folks who work long, sweaty, buggy hours each day to bring us the divine nourishment we so often take for granted. A thank you note promptly ensued:
The bounty was too good not to share. We created a little sampler basket for Great Grandma Ruth, and drove southward to bring some summer sunshine her way.
"Shake the hand that feeds you."
--Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto