Strawberries and other lovely things

June 10, 2011

Yesterday, on my carpool ride home, my coworker and I stopped at a corner farm (Noggins, if you’re in the NS area).

I don’t get to go there much, to be honest. I ride a bike or carpool, and if I carpool, I don’t ask for favours like stopping off at a particular place to pick up something unless it’s dire straits. The Farmer’s Market here is every Saturday, and guess when I work? Every Saturday. My boyfriend goes for me and we get all our veggies and meat there, but I definitely miss the social interaction, and the beautiful way the vegetables and fruits are displayed, with such pride and care. Not like at the grocery store, where I have to painstakingly analyse every tag and bag to make sure it’s from Atlantic Canada – at least. Else, I don’t buy it. It sucks sometimes. I don’t buy bananas, oranges, avocados, and other such fruits that I love. And for those that say, “Oh my god, how can you not buy bananas? They are such a good source of potassium!”

You know, there are many other sources of potassium–and every other vitamin and mineral, in fact–that you can find in vegetables and fruits that grow well in temperate climates.

It’s not an easy step to take, cutting out tropical fruits, because now we group apples and bananas together as if they were from the same group. They’re not. Oranges used to be a once-a-year treat for children, only at Christmastime. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them. I love them. But I don’t feel right.

(Sidenote: I just about died when my boyfriend and I went to Malaysia and Taiwan. In the latter, there was a fruit man who spoke no English and we spoke little Mandarin, but we still managed to get fantastic fruits from him almost daily. The exceptions were when he fell asleep while watching his little T.V. he had hooked up outside.

In Malaysia–Kota Kinabalu, more specifically–they had every kind of fruit and vegetable you can imagine, many that I’d never seen before, and plenty. The young girls who worked at the reception in our hostel thought we were insane when we’d return from the Filipino market with armloads of fruit and a knife from the dollar store to cut it all up and eat it for supper.)

Night Market in Malaysia

I guess my point is… this is how I feel food should be enjoyed: in season, in the place where it is originally grown. I’m not opposed to say, growing tomatoes in Canada even though they’re originally grown in hotter, Mediterranean climates. But I don’t want to eat one in Canada that’s from Mexico, the U.S., or further. They sell basil at the grocery store that’s grown in Israel, packaged in Ontario, and shipped to Nova Scotia. I don’t even want to think about adding up those miles.

And back to my Noggins trip. I was talking with my coworker about whatever we were talking about, and we both stopped mid-sentence when we saw one of the first stands in the corner market: strawberries. They are finally in season, and they sold for $3.75/quart. I bought two, and have almost finished off one already at home. They were grown in Port Williams, which is less than 10 kilometres from my home. And my god, they were delicious.

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