For as long as I can remember, corn has been one of my favorite summertime foods. As a kid, I loved to sit on the picnic table in our backyard shucking ear after ear of the patchwork white-and-pale-yellow Olathe sweet corn my mom would bring home by the bushel. Later I’d slather it with butter and salt and sink my teeth in the way my dog attacks a meaty beef bone.
When I got my braces in fifth grade, I learned to eat corn on the cob one row at a time to minimize the hardware-cleaning process (corn was officially forbidden by the orthodontist, but I really think I outsmarted him on this one; don’t ask about my Milk Dud incident). I always thought eating something as nutritious as a fresh vegetable — especially since I loved it so much — was worth it.
A few months ago I wrote a blog post about how the more I learned about industrial agriculture and food processing, the more I felt like Neo in the movie The Matrix. Once Neo is exposed to the reality of his world (that humans are actually raised purely to create energy for machines, and a virtual reality has been created to placate the people in their “pods” so they never become aware of their predicament), he can’t go back to his previous existence — even though he probably really wants to.
Photo by Wendy Worrall Redal
Is there anything that says “spring” more effusively than a tulip? As soon as colorful bunches start popping up in the grocery store in February, I quit thinking about wet snow, gray skies and winter’s lingering grip. However pretty a bright bouquet of cut blooms is, there’s nothing like surveying row upon rainbow-striped row of these spring floral icons in full, growing glory.
It’s not that my mind isn’t teeming with important thoughts. It is. I read literature. I watch documentaries. I bandy about intellectual ideas with my Ph.D.-waving friends.
But that doesn’t seem to stop my mind from obsessing about the little things.
For example, just this morning I was picking up a few things at the market. I noticed a bottle – from an eco-conscious company – of fruit and veggie wash.
It was with much excitement and trepidation that I picked up my first CSA share this week. The pickup was at a local Quaker meeting house, and I thought I was in the wrong place until I spied the steady stream of people toting greens-filled tote bags. I headed in their direction to find a harried-looking farmer, dispensing bags of veggies from huge plastic tubs.