I just love a quiet Saturday drive to my neighbouring farm lands where honesty stalls and pop up shops abound. Yesterday we meandered towards Dural stopping along the way to buy dahlias in the crispest of white and a mottled pink that reminds me of Indi’s rosy little cheeks as they become smeared with the juice of the fat, sun ripened strawberries she slurps on along the way.
We managed to find some delicately sweet white- flesh nectarines, vine ripened egg tomatoes sold by a lovely little Italian lady who hardly spoke any comprehensible language other than “tomatoes is very good”.
In the basket we also placed free range eggs, some bottles of green tomato pickles and thick plum jam, a swag of green beans and a brown paper bag full of sugar plums.
It feels so grounding to me to forage in this way for seasonal, organic and local produce. The flavour of fruit and vegetables grown by these small farms is so much more intense than anything you buy commercially and I like to know I’m supporting local producers. As they stroll you meet you at their gates you can see the commitment to their labour in their soil worn hands and earth filled fingernails, the way they handle their produce is almost sensual and erotic-the love they have for a beet as they turn it, inspecting its perfection and caressing it’s green tipped leaves makes it all is so evident.
We have fresh flowers in the house every week with this way of shopping, wild bunches of thorny roses with an intoxicating scent and petals that dance on the tabletops after a week or two $5, buttercup yellow sunflowers 2 sprays for $5 and of course the dahlias with their layers of downy softness only $3 a bunch.
Sometimes I go overboard because it’s so hard to resist the passion of a fellow biophiliac and then the race is on to eat, preserve and incorporate the surplus into edible versions of their former goodness. Last week we supped on blueberry pikelets as a treat mid-week and our purple stained lips were testimony to our enjoyment of these power packed super berries.
My next home based venture is to start growing potatoes, I’ve collected the eyes growing out of some overripe spuds and have placed them on the old school fashioned wet cotton balls to see if they sprout.
Two of our four pullets are laying and while the Isa Browns have surrendered to me and I can pat, hold and easily clip their wings and dust their feathers, blondie and blackie remain elusive and quite aloof. They aren’t so shy with the tasty snacks I provide daily to coax them into the safety of their coop while the red fox bellows his blood curdling scream at me in the darkness of the bush for thwarting his plans to dine on chicken tonight!