PRATIE PLACE

Sunday, June 10, 2007

[Hannah:] Why We Shouldn't Take Our Rural Fantasies Too Seriously, Part II

As I wrote earlier, I recently joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), which basically means I bought shares in a farm for the upcoming season. I paid Farmer Len up front for the whole season, and every week from June until October, he is going to bring fresh vegetables and organic herbs into the city and I can just go pick up whatever is my share.

Farmer Len warned us not to expect too much at the beginning of the season, because, like, there's not much that's harvest-able yet. So I really really tried not to expect too much.

Still, it was REALLY REALLY SAD TO SHOW UP AT THE FARMER'S MARKET AND SEE WHAT I WAS ALLOWED TO TAKE HOME:

--Ten grape leaves
--A bunch of oregano
--A bunch of chives
--A handful of lettuce
--A handful of kale.

Clearly, Farmer Len is doing his best. But this was a little bit tragic. It was even more pathetic when the volunteer staffing the booth told me, "We have a freebie this week: clover flowers! Go ahead and take some clover flowers home!"

I don't know what was sadder - the idea that someone expected us to be excited about taking home clover flowers (they weren't even on a stem - just those white flower-heads sitting in a wicker basket) - or my mental image of Farmer Len desperately scanning around his just-planted fields for something to satisfy the 150 New Yorkers impatient for their first fix of the rural life for the season. ("I know... I'll pick them some clover flowers!")

I had a little fit about this, but really, he did warn us that this was exactly what a harvest was going to look like during the second week in June.

And if you think about it another way, if I'd gone to the Union Square Whole Foods for a bunch of oregano and a bunch of chives, I would have paid $10.50.

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