I imagine I was quite the sight riding my bike home from the farmer's market the other day. My backpack was bulging with 7 pounds of oranges and 3 pounds of apples. The basket attached to the front of my bike was overflowing with flowering kale and carrot tops. I couldn't have been happier.
In the book The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan refers to a theory regarding the brain from Steven Pinker's book, How the Mind Works:
"...evolution has endowed the human brain with two (formerly) unrelated faculties: its superior problem-solving abilities and an internal system of chemical rewards, such that when a person does something especially useful or heroic the brain is washed in chemicals that make it feel good."
Well, my great brain has just figured out an easy, inexpensive and legal way to get high: riding my bike to the farmer's market and coming home with a load of fresh, local food. It is an act both useful and heroic.
I get no kick from champagne.
Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all.
But I get a kick out of you.
Yes, I get a serious kick from all these locally grown goodies. The cabbage was divine - I never knew cabbage could be so sweet. So sweet, in fact, that a small piece left on a plate next to the sink was covered with ants when I went to do the dishes. The fifty cents worth of whole walnuts I brought home provided quite the entertainment for Aidan, and a tasty snack for me. The kale that has started to flower will be a lovely addition to my green smoothies this week. And the sweet potatoes? I think they will become fries, served alongside a pot of red beans and rice.
This week at the market I discussed time travel with an organic farmer, learned how to select an orange (go for the oranges that are heavy relative to their size), smelled a jar of freshly ground garam masala, and passed up the first of the asparagus to come to market this year - at five dollars per pound, it was slightly out of my budget.
Speaking of my budget, I think I'm going to shave a little from our grocery store budget and boost our farmer's market allotment by ten dollars. Stefani's comment on my last farmer's market post really struck a chord with me:
"I just feel like with times so tight, I want to hand my money to real people, you know?"
Yes, I know. I get a kick out of handing my money over to the real people who grow my real food. And I can't wait to see what I bring home next Saturday - hopefully my bounty will include some asparagus. It would look so pretty sticking out of my bike basket.