The NY Times is running an article, by Kim Severson, entitled “A Locally Grown Diet With Fuss but No Muss”. The gist of the article is summed up in this sentence, ““The highest form of luxury is now growing it yourself or paying other people to grow it for you,” said Corby Kummer, the food columnist and book author. “This has become fashion.”
OK, first it was no knead bread that took the country by storm, and now we hire a gardener to tend our vegetable garden and then we go to our guru, or shrink, or medicine man to wonder why life feels so unsatisfying? I’m sorry, I just don’t get the point of having that nice young man leave a basket of ‘my’ tomatoes on the back porch. The fun, the satisfaction comes from seeing it grow, nurturing the plant and then picking it. Right? If you eliminate the work, where does the pleasure and the satisfaction come from? You are still disconnected from the food chain while pretending it’s all clean and natural and wonderful, and you never even broke a sweat.
I’m having enough trouble justifying supporting green markets and local markets, because there is no way that individual farmers, bringing small loads of vegetables to one tiny market is leaving a smaller carbon footprint than the big producers who economize on every step of the distribution process.
I’m guilty. I shop at the local market because I like the experience of interacting with the farmers, and most of the time, the produce tastes better. But, is it greener and carbon cleaner than what is on sale at the COOP (an Italian grocery store chain)? Probably not.
We’re trying to plant our own orto (vegetable garden) and so far we’ve used up a tank of Roderigo’s fuel on the weed whacker, and made 3 trips to town for tools, and we haven’t even turned the earth yet, let alone planted anything.
Trust me, I don’t have any answers for the green market conundrum, but sure as hell, I know that the tomato I coaxed along myself is one that I’ll honor and cherish much more than having Trevor do the work for me.