“Honorable” Purchase

Even in the 21st century, a time when a national egg recall competes with propaganda delivered by the corn lobbyists in favor of that all-natural food additive, HFCS, and when the emergence of Chickie-Nobs seems inevitable, one can find local food. Real food. Food that smells like dirt, and worms, and chlorophyll.

Most larger metropolitan areas, such as the Toledo, Ohio area, run local Farmers Markets. Our area has one every weekend downtown, with satellite locations on other days.  But what if you’re sitting around one day, watching cooking shows on cable, and suddenly you develop a craving for eggplant? Fresh, steamed tender-crisp and salted green beans? Warm, fuzzy peaches that will fill not only your kitchen, but your entire house/apartment/yurt with its sticky aroma?

If your metropolitan area is surrounded by farms, especially family-run farms, you’re in luck.  Just about a 1/4 of a mile down the road from my mom’s house is Tucker Farms:

Tucker Farm Stand

You can buy the table upon which to eat the food!

Tucker Farms Roadside stand

Straight from the earth at room temperature

Tucker Farm

Hand-painted sign seems more accurate than glossy photographs in its rusticity

Because I’m such a “green” person, I keep reusable canvas bags in my trunk (of my car) at all times.  The plethora of bags may also be related to a teensy shopping addiction, but we don’t need to delve too deeply into that right now.  Armed with an empty bag, I went shopping.  Remember that hankering for eggplant? Boxes and boxes of various sizes awaited my wandering hand.  I find a great satisfaction in eggplant.  From the elegant sounding “aubergine” color, to the shiny firmness of its skin, the eggplant satisfies me visually:

Two boxes of eggplant

The nearer box were four for a dollar. Size: Adorable!

Eggplants in the sun

Warmed by the sun.

Of course, before I knew it, I was dumping basket after basket into my canvas tote, adding a plethora of veggies to my eggplant extravaganza:


One of everything, please!

hot peppers

I'm picturing picking a peck of pickled peppers....

full bag

I think I can fit a melon into the side of this bag if I just push hard enough.

Grand total: $17.  I looked in vain for a person to hand over my $20 bill to, but all I could find was a box with a slot. The honor system.  I put my bag in the car and searched for smaller bills.  I stepped back out to take some pictures, and when I sat back inside, the interior of my car smelled like dirt, peaches, and the color green.  I tucked the $20 bill into the honor box and considered the extra $3 as a tip for the extra aromas permeating my car.

Honor box

The honor system is still alive and thriving, at least in the Midwest.

I’ve been feasting on delicate, tender slices of young eggplant deep fried in a mixture of Italian-seasoned bread crumbs and cornmeal, fresh Caprese salad loaded with basil and sea salt, tender-crisp green beans, and peaches eaten out of hand that are so juicy I haven’t needed my Jack LaLane Juicer.  I spend a lot of time at my mom’s, and can’t wait for squashes, pumpkins, and sunflowers to make their appearance at the roadside.

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