Category Archives: Food

The Boy Who Gave Me the Middle Finger

Recently at one of the farmers markets I sell at, a woman and a teenage boy approached my stand, paused for a moment to whisper together, and then stepped forward. The boy was maybe seventeen, the woman in her mid-sixties.  I couldn’t place their relationship. The boy spoke for them, and he was shy.

“We were just wondering,” he said, “about those peas. If they’re the edible pod kind.”

I said they were, and taking a pea from a bowl full of them, I held it up, called it a snap pea, and showed them how to remove the string. Then I ate it.

“Would you like to try one?” I asked.

They both shook their heads no. But then the boy immediately changed his mind and said yes. And he followed through. He selected a pea, and, removing its string, popped it into his mouth. The woman and I watched him.

“The funny thing is,” he said, “is how we were just talking about this. I said you can eat the pods, she said no you can’t.“ We laughed, and I noticed the boy had a habit of rocking on his toes.  Every time he said something, he would lift himself with his toes.

Another thing I noticed (I had picked up on this immediately) was the kid’s shirt. He was wearing an oversized, black tee shirt. And plastered in huge on the shirt from the collar down to the hem was a yellow image of a menacing young man giving the world the middle finger. The finger was gigantic. It was the largest middle finger I’d ever seen. When the boy had reached for his sample pea, that finger was inches from my face. Continue reading

Polar Pop

At the convenience store awhile ago, a car pulled in next to mine and it was a grandmother driving and in back in a car seat, a grandson. The woman was maybe forty, the boy three, and after parking and gathering themselves, they went together into the store and I thought nothing more of them.

But then they came out again, slowly. The grandmother was holding the kid in one hand and a supersized Polar Pop in the other. Coming around to the passenger side of her car, the grandmother reached through the front window and placed the Polar Pop on the dashboard, opened the back door, strapped in the kid, closed the door, and then walked around and got into her car and started it. And then, reaching for the Polar Pop and twisting around as best she could, she handed it off to her grandson.

“It’s all yours honey,” she said. “Mine you don’t drop it.” Continue reading

just in after having set out 144 cabbages in a fine light rain, the rows straight, the cabbages spirited, and me, the day done, with just enough energy to cabbage on

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Our Big Dena


Quetzal came skipping up yesterday mid-morning with both hands behind her back. She was glowing. “Which hand?” she asked.  “Left,” I said. She shook her head. “Right,” I said.  And so in slow motion she brought around her right hand and there it was, the season’s first, a perfectly ripe Big Dena tomato. We stared at it for a few seconds, and then she handed it off to me and we stared a while longer. It seemed like a new center of gravity, a small sun. Continue reading

With Soul and Earth Only

Imagine if every adult in America sat on a rock each morning and listened or prayed or studied their ankles. 6 minutes, say.  Or, to splurge a bit, imagine if every adult likewise attended each morning a garden of carrots and spinach.  6 minutes, say. What would come of 300 million folks sitting/gardening each morning for 12 minutes? 12 minutes with soul and earth only?


Art: Kerry Buck

http://www.kerrybuck.com/portfolio_item.asp?id=181&picture_title=Green%20Fields