Eating Our Vegetables

city flower

On Saturday afternoons at our house, the scene can look like something out of a Flemish painting. James comes home from the Greenmarket and unloads his spoils onto the kitchen table. Last weekend there were the season’s first squash and their blossoms. There were radishes and lettuces of three different sorts, garlic scapes, and beets. He’d even made away with a loaf of bread and slice of farmer’s cheese, both bartered. April to October, James sells produce for a farmer-friend at the Greenmarket and we eat like kings. In the city--and let’s be honest, anywhere--this eating stuff can be difficult. Not the actual chewing part, or the enjoying delicious food part, but the decisions about what we eat and where it comes from and who grew it--those things can get complicated.

For our part, we try our darndest to source food directly from farmers themselves. With the exception of some much-craved avocados and grapefruit, this means we also try to eat food that grows as locally as possible. We’re the first to admit that this approach is sometimes difficult to keep up. There's a lot of thinking about food that has to happen and sometimes, that's exhausting. On a hot summer night, it’s easy to convince ourselves to skip the cooking altogether and head out for dinner instead. Sometimes, that is precisely what we do.  But as a young couple still grappling with the costs of paying off graduate school loans and living in the big city, we’re not exactly feeling flush these days.  We've had to get a little bit creative. For us, the solution to the food question has been James huffing it to the farmers’ market to sell produce. This marks his third season working for a farmer and this coming weekend, I’ll be joining him. The two of us, hawking veggies and herbs in exchange for enough food for the week and then some. I’m not proposing that this is a solution that would work for everyone, most people, or even very many people at all, but for us, it’s just right. We'll see you at the market.