Friday, July 12, 2013

Every Time I See Vegetables, A Produce Auction

I'm standing at the Chesterhill Produce Auction. The auctioneer calls out, Five, five, five," as he looks for the next bidder. Rows of plants, vegetables, and fruits are spread along an open air room. At the far end another auctioneer is at work. One auction is for larger quantities and the other for smaller. I'm watching the auction for smaller sizes. 

Two Amish men help the auctioneer, one holds the current item for bid and tags the item while the other sorts out the next item for auction. An Amish woman records the bid amount and the bidder's number. The Amish men's pants have no zippers. If I had to sew my own clothes, I'd be interested in pants without zippers. The Amish woman's dress appears to be held together with straight pins.

The produce is gorgeous. The drive is scenic but curvy of the inducing car sickness kind.  I bid on bags of basil leaves, boxes of peaches, and spring for some sweet onions, garlic, and beets. As I load my car, horses and buggies sit together in the parking lot.  

Back home my husband comments that many of his patients eat fast food which is a shame in light of the bountiful and beautiful food in the community. However, real food is work. First you plan it, then you buy it, and then you cook it.

I stare at my produce pile. I see the hours of prep work before me. I pickle eggplant, cucumbers, onions, peel garlic bulbs, and pit cherries. The peaches and plums can wait. I forgot to put dill in the pickles. Mm, guess I need to try that again.

Food puts some off. One friend commented on Facebook that she hated pictures of food. In my faraway place with lighted screen,  I nodded in understanding. Food is complicated in that it can make you fat or unhealthy. However, more food involvement can be helpful.  If you want a better relationship to food, you have to relate to it. Making jam, pickles, or dinner is a way of participating with the world and the moment that no Hot Pocket will ever touch. Food is complicated. Produce is full of potential. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I was grateful for having had a glimpse of it at a produce auction full of vegetables.

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