Today marks the end of harvest, of our first full-season (extended season!) community supported agriculture share. Last winter, we wrote a check to a small, organic farm located near Rockford, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes outside of the city. This season we reaped the fruits of the field each week, partnered with a passionate team and Mother Nature.
Come harvest time around the first of June, a box of abundant vegetables were delivered to Lincoln Square in the pick up nearest my work. And so a routine grew and developed. Each Wednesday morning, I'd drive through an alley, at first unknown, until it soon became familiar, it soon became a glorious pathway with hydrangea blooming along the fences, sunshined leaves littered in fall, a dainty green gate marking our bounty's arrival. Chickens pecked the ground in the quaint backyard, a hammock swung in summer splendor, a modest path lined in sage, lavender, mint.
Every Wednesday morning, just after getting her getting dressed and on occasion just before, J. and I selected each vegetable one at a time, admiring its shape, size, color, smell, taste. My heart swelled even today when upon plucking out a scalloped green bunch, she exclaimed, "KALE" before taking a big bite. Now normally we wash all our veggies prior to eating, but the gloriousness from farm to table, at times, must not be interrupted.
We believe strongly in organic food, fresh, edible plants grown with regard to the earth, consumed with regard to our bodies. We believe strongly in small, passionate, family-owned farms, worked with hands over machines, attention over pesticidal poisons. We believe strongly in supporting our local economy, our money lining the pockets of friends, families, individuals working ethically and compassionately, not huge corporations that profit at the expense of others, raping their workers and the land in the process.
As this initial seasons draws to a close, as I grow willfully anxious about returning to a grocery store, I am so thankful for my spiritual excursions, my Wednesday rituals, a box of dirty old vegetables that rooted me to earth, taught me how to cook, how to nourish those I love, and how soul-rewarding it can be to teach a toddler the difference between a cucumber and a zucchini, the Grateful Dead humming along behind us.