This week on the Farm
It seems fitting that this week is a bit toasty, I mean in the 80s. After last week, I was all in for fall and soups and stews, but I have to admit, the warmth is nice. It is a great hiccup between a fabulous summer and the arrival of winter. We have two more Summer CSAs after this (the last meat CSA is next week, 10/5), so it seems fitting that we get all the temps as fall works its way into winter.
This time of year is like one long goodbye, but the good kind of goodbye. What is that kid’s book, Goodbye Moon, where the narrator goes through all the parts of the house in an effort to put the kiddo on the road to snoozetown. Good night door, good night mouse in the corner, good night moon. You know the one I am talking about. Well, it is like that on the farm right now, but referring to vegetables.
Good night basil.
Good night eggplant.
Good night melons.
Good night parsley.
Good night fresh herbs.
Good night green beans.
And, you know what, I am not sad about it. Reflective, yes. Will I miss these flavors and tastes, definitely. But am I excited for those flavors I haven’t had all summer (winter squash, Siberian kale, parsnips). It is like when you were hearing that story as a youth. You knew that the moon would be there tomorrow. The door would still be there when you woke up in the morning. I know that next season the flavors of summer will come back. Basil will return to my life with its spicy, licorice, classic flavor. Eggplant will continue to challenge me as I combat my innate ability to overcook it. Green beans will return with their crisp breath of fresh air flavor. Do you remember peas in June? They are now only 9 months away from exploding in sweetness in your mouth.
This saying goodbye to some flavors is one of my favorite parts of seasonal eating. I mean if we got snap peas every day, who would care that they came into season and were fresh and crisp and ready? If you could have garden fresh tomatoes daily, year round, they definitely wouldn’t be the treat they are right now.
The counter to the goodbye is the hello. I still can describe to you the dish I had with the seasons first strawberries and green peas. (It was in California in April while visiting my folks, so could be considered cheating, but that is okay, the veg and berries were farm fresh there!) So sweet, such a blast of crunch and flavor and that tart sweet joy that is strawberry paired with the crunchy, watery, sweet of the snap pea. I actually stopped, mid chew and closed my eyes, shutting out the whole rest of the potluck I was at. This was my first of the season moment. You can’t get that moment eating from the grocery store. It is only possible if you eat seasonally from farmers markets and CSAs (or your garden, of course).
Yes, I am an optimist :). But that optimism and the joy I find in the first of the season moment of all produce is why I am already excited to welcome winter (hello root vegetables and hearty greens) and am 100% okay with saying goodby to summer produce. Although, I have to admit, I am grateful that it is a goodbye in stages and it doesn’t all go at once.