Canvas Ranch

Last Wednesday I got lost in stop and go six o’clock traffic at the Mill Valley, Tiburon exit watching my gas gauge head slowly south. I was following directions to pick up our first bag of fruits and veggies from the community supported organic farm, Canvas Ranch, I’d subscribed to. I approached the directions four different ways before I pulled over and called for help. I was ready to run red lights across four lanes of backed up commuters when the woman at the ranch answered the phone. She was so calm.

Two minutes later with bag in hand I wanted to unpack it right on the spot, a strangers garage, it was so beautiful, but between their neighbors barking border collie and the fact that I was late for a panel discussion of the Farm Bill at the Ferry Building I resisted. Instead I pulled the items one at a time from the bag to the passengers seat at seventy miles an hour on 101.

The bag was topped with a bouquet of kale and rainbow chard and the spiky greens of a young garlic bulb and leek. Beside the greens was a thick bunch of red leaf lettuce. I ripped a handful off the top and began munching. Deeper in the bag I pulled out a bunch of little green onions, a fifty cent piece bundle of chives and a head of cabbage so heavy I swerved trying to get it onto the seat before deciding it would be smart to leave it til later.

I began eating the brown-bagged Bing cherries immediately upon finding them as I slowed to 45 on the golden gate bridge and it wasn’t until the toll plaza that I found apricots, smaller than the half dozen chicken eggs I’d carefully set on top of everything else. Later I realized some of the apricots were actually honey tangerines, sticky on the steering wheel but so sweet I began slowing at yellow lights and smiling at tourists.

On the short walk to the Ferry Building from the parking lot I ate another apricot and although every one was seated when I arrived I hadn’t missed a thing except strawberries, which I saw people eating from dessert sized paper plates and the truth was I didn’t want another thing after my local meal on the road straight from my first Canvas Ranch bag.

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