After nearly six bountiful months, my summer farm-share program has come to an end. Last Saturday, I drove up that bumpy dirt road for the last time, marveling at how the landscape had changed since I first visited in June. Back then, everything was green and growing, the ground hidden beneath layers of herbs, flowers, and the leafy tops of root vegetables: and now the leaves have fallen, the brightness of the blossoms are difficult to remember, and the families exiting the barn carry bags filled with pumpkins and squash instead of strawberries and tomatoes.
Over the months, I’ve grown accustomed to blocking off my Saturday mornings for farm visits–it’s become a comfortable, friendly, familiar part of my routine, and I’ve always enjoyed the opportunity to slip away from the main town and lose myself in a raspberry patch or beanfield. I loved catching a glimpse of the cows or the farm dogs, and occasionally indulging in a bit of people-watching: imagining the stories of the smiling strangers searching through the lettuce bins to my left and right.
During the course of my share, I had the opportunity to sample leafy greens of all varieties (salad mix, arugula, kale, chard), tomatoes (heavenly sweet little sun-golds, big beefsteaks, cherry & plum), peppers, cucumbers, summer squash (zucchini, yellow squash, UFO-shaped patty pan squashes), strange alien delicacies like purple kohlrabi, white and sweet potatoes, radishes, carrots, raspberries, strawberries, basil, parsley, string beans, sugar snap peas, and an incredible amount of winter squash that I can’t even begin to list. I was eating better produce than I’ve ever had before–and all locally-grown and organic!
I don’t know whether or not I’ll still be in the area next year, but if I am, I’ll most certainly make sure that this final November trip to the farm will not be my last.