Dark Days Eat Local Challenge

"What are you going to do when the DDELC is over," a friend recently asked.

"The same thing I'm doing before the DDELC is over?" I wasn't sure if it was a trick question.

"Oh," she said. "I thought maybe you would go back to normal."

I've been reflecting on that. Normal.

I keep carrots in an office file drawer at work and last night I was digging in my purse for a pen and found watermelon radishes instead.

There are greens in the fridge to feed the worms in the garage. Doing dishes includes plastic bags and the art of propping them up into crumpling clear villages on the counter to dry.

I secretly slip grocery bags into my purse that coworkers leave in the kitchen to use at home for garbage and recycling.

Shaggy bread dough bubbles on the kitchen counter, potatoes sprout in the bottom drawer. The batteries we kept in the freezer have been replaced by raspberries and applesauce.

Our pantry has become a shelter for wayward winter squash, art and orphans all of them, which I've been placing in foster homes since the fall.

I buy nettles from a lady with a hundred tattoos, walnuts from a woman wearing a hat in the likeness of a furry chicken. I buy citrus from a Grandma with pin curls.

While I miss the athletic blond cashier at the corner grocery, I now know the guy that grows roots and greens. I have a crush on the man with the apples and the cheese guy seduces me with his accent week after steamy week.

My favorite brands are Dirty Girl Produce, Happy Boy Farms.

And I no longer check labels for calories or sugar content but instead I get tips from the farmers. "Last of the crop," or a whispered, "Sweet," as I fill the bag higher.

I quit using shampoo after reading the Herbwife's Kitchen and Green Bean's blogs and instead rinse my curls with a rosemary tea I brew from garden trimmings.

All of which seems quite natural. I've concluded this is as close to normal as I'll likely get, challenge or not.


Audrey said...

This stuff is pure poetry ... thanks for getting it just right.

Green Bean said...

As always, you paint such wonderful pictures with your words! After reading your description, who would want to go back to life at a grocery store!

BTW, I couldn't agree with you more. Cindy at Organic Picks wrote this week about the romance of the farmers' market and of living more simply. Your post exemplifies that. Nothing is more beautiful or romantic than shopping at your farmers' market, growing your own food, baking your own bread, getting your hands back into your own life.

kale for sale said...

Audrey - Thank you.

green bean - Like you I do love the farmers' market but I so wish I could get my hands into my own patch of dirt!

This morning the farmers' market was a drama rather than a romance with the high winds and rain. I appreciated every person that managed to set up in the storm and carry on. There were heros! And I have fresh food for the weeek.

Donna said...

Wonderful post. I think once we start down the path of searching out local food, we can't ever go back to the old "normal."

I wish I could get my hands in the dirt, too. I've got a couple square feet of shade to play with and I don't know if any of the seeds I've bought will actually grow in it!

kale for sale said...

Donna - I wonder what that whole I want to grow things in the ground thing is. Whatever the bug is, it's a hard one to ignore. Springs starts and suddenly I want to wear bib overalls and carry a rake. It's crazy. I look forward to hearing how your seeds fare. Good luck!

Chile said...

One person's normal is another person's abnormal. I like your normal more than most people's!

tammy said...

You have a crush, too? Okay, phew!

kale for sale said...

Tammy - You're fine. I've got more crushes than I count.