Vegetable Dreams

It’s amazing how simple things can bring us joy.  And it’s wonderful to realize that no matter our age, there are still new things to savor in life.  Currently, I’m savoring fruits and vegetables.

I recently told a friend that once a week I receive a box of organic fruit and vegetables from a (sort of) local farm. It’s about a hundred and thirty miles away.

Her reaction: “Why would you do that? Isn’t it terribly expensive?

I’d originally signed up just to see what it was about. When I received that first order, I was almost overwhelmed. I’d been just a tad enthusiastic with my selections. I spent a long time washing and storing all the bounty. Now, after a number of weeks of deliveries, I am totally sold and I’ll tell you why.

First is the question of why I prefer organic. I don’t use any chemicals in my garden. Still, I don’t generally worry about eating chemicals (herbicides, pesticides, and artificial fertilizers) on fruit and vegetables I get at the store. I wash them and peel them. But I do worry about the excess chemicals draining off farms and contaminating our groundwater and wetlands. It doesn’t change much when I choose organic, but it does change something.

I hate shopping in any form (except in bookstores). Too many choices, too many people, too many lines. There are many things more interesting that I could be doing with that time, including writing. The delivery means I don’t have to go to the store as often.

I get to try fruits and vegetables that I’d never even heard of before: Romanesco cauliflower, finger limes, kiwi berries, Amarosa fingerling potatoes (they’re pink inside—one source says that when cut, they look like pepperoni), three kinds of mushrooms, six different kinds of apples—all but one great. Not everything was a success. Have you ever heard of a black Spanish radish? Me either. It was about the size of a baseball with a black skin and a very strong flavor. No reorder on that one.

The best thing about the vegetables, though, is the flavor. I’ve never had carrots or radishes or broccoli as good as the ones I receive except when I’ve grown them myself. And the potatoes! These vegetables are fresher than anything I can buy in a store, and that sure makes a difference in taste.

In answer to my friend’s question, then: yes, it is more expensive than shopping in the local supermarket, but I am definitely getting value for money. So every Thursday night I leave my porch light on, and every Friday morning I wake to find a lovely box of fruit and vegetables waiting by the front door. Oh, boy!