Peppers. From my garden. The hotness. So hot right now. People are snapping them off the shelves and slathering them on their body. They are making $10,000 shoes out of them.
Not really. But, I am pulling them off of their plant.
I am picking peppers.
And. Even better: I am enjoying growing things. Partly because I love to eat, and having veggies right out my kitchen window is infinitely satisfying.
But also because I am learning.
I am learning about the care and commitment that growing requires. I have to remember to hand-water my garden in the cool of the evening or that sleepy bird-chirping waking-up hour of the morning. Every day. Even when I am tired, hungry, or grumpy. I have to squat down and pull out the weeds, lest they strangle my precious collards and crookneck squash. I have to cultivate the soil – reaching my fingertips into the dirt to muss it up just enough to absorb water more easily. I have to carefully position my lemon boy tomato in a tomato basket so he does not topple onto the muskmelon. I have to gently guide my snap peas toward the trellis, helping them find a foothold as they reach toward the sun.
All of these things, though routine for a practiced gardener, are, for me, new. Novel. Special. My care of these tender leafy greens feels somehow intimate – compassionate – singular. These are my charges, these plants.
They depend on me to
protect them from the elements,
provide them with sustenance,
pluck them when they are ready.
I feel proud when I glance out at my sprouting bounty. Because I have taken good care of them, and so they will take good care of me.
Of course there are so many clichéd statements I could make about how these growing things represent the cultivation and care that is necessary in relationships, about how hopes and dreams also need daily watering and protection from harsh sun and judgment.
I won’t go into those here.
But I will say this: for me, farm to table is about more than fresh food.
It’s about a sense of care.
Commitment. Delicacy. Tenderness. Hope. Beauty.
at the end of the day,
you also have fresh peppers to put on your eggs.
Farm to table: feels good.