Strawberries have come in fast and heavy and as quickly come to a halt in less then three weeks. However, the work and care done the other 49 weeks is what makes those three weeks possible. People do not see the toil and hard labor that it takes to bring organic berries to the market. However, when you find people that really get it their appreciation is humbling and empowering.
I do not always talk about the human interaction that goes on at the farm and farmers markets. Most all of it is positive; I still do not like the whole haggle thing, mainly because there is no haggling on an organic farm. You follow the tenets, you do not haggle on whether you do or do not meet minimum space requirements for birds, you give them more then they need. You do not cut corners, or fudge when growing fruits and vegetables organically. The guidelines are mostly clear, but if you follow how farmers grew before WWII chances are you are organic. If you mimic Mother Nature, you will be successful in growing. I wish I could point to the road of riches in the industry, but we have yet to find it ourselves. Nevertheless, what I experienced this weekend at the market was magical, heart warming and intrinsically gratifying.
A mom stopped by with her two-year-old daughter, we had strawberries and serviceberries for sale and the mom let her two year old eat a serviceberry then a strawberry. The look on that child’s face enjoying the berries was pure delight with an emotion that was honest and pristine, one that only the purity of adolescences brings. Her smile was large and she was not stopping at just eating one. Her mom quickly bought some strawberries to let her eat them. Her daughter was having none of that; she was going back to where she knew the berries were good.
Eventually, the mom distracted her enough to start eating the ones she had purchased at the same time apologizing profusely about her daughter eating too many berries. “Truth is,” I said, “I could stand here all day and watch her eat those berries”. I looked the mom in the eyes and said, “We do what we do because of you, your daughter and her children and everyone that will come after us. Seeing her joy is payment enough, you do not have to apologize,” I said. The mom may not have understood my statement but I saw why our struggles matter, defined in the simple smile of a child enjoying a piece of natural unadulterated fruit. It was fruit that had no amendments whatsoever, no sprays, GMO’s, nothing, just raw berries at their best.
It was a heartwarming experience for me, a simple reminder of why we took on this job in the first place. It was also a sign that we are doing something correct, that our food is tasty, healthier, safer and fresher then the industrial food complex could ever chemically engineer. It doesn't hurt that we have gotten off to the best start in ten years, something, which we really needed from a confidence standpoint.
Later, when I got back to the farm, I told my wife the story and she said, “Well, you know it is good when a two year old keeps going back and I could not have agreed more.
Buy Local: Stop GMO and you will stop the poisoning of our earth and our bodies.