Late September, 2004
There is a definite sense that the summer is winding down now. Although the tomatoes are still in profusion, we’re seeing more root vegetables, like onions, something called celeriac that kind of looks like a giant turnip but tastes exactly like celery. Weird but good! The greens have returned with a vengeance, too, but I’m armed now: I’m cooking them till they wilt, and then freezing them so that we can enjoy them in soups, stir-frys, and stuffed calzones during the lean winter months, when I’ll have to buy produce from the grocery store again – an idea that seems positively criminal!
Late October, 2004
The season is over, and I’m so bummed! We’ve collected our last pick-up, small compared to the 20-pound tomato takes of high summer, but still a nice farewell: 3 sugar pumpkins, 2 stalks of Brussels sprouts, some hardy greens like kale and mustard, and a big bunch of Swiss chard.
My mind is already turning to how I’ll convince Ben that we must do this again next year. My arguments are as follows:
1) This was such a learning year! Next year, we’ll already know the routine, and we’ll have some idea of how to process the veggies, so we’ll be quicker and more efficient at it.
2) We won’t have a new baby next summer – a huge advantage, as we can look forward to far more sleep than we’ve gotten since July. Also, we can expose Owen to the great farm veggies from his very first tastes of solid food, which has to be good, right?
3) We’ve been eating so well, trying new veggies and recipes. Overall, Ben and I have eaten probably five times the veggies we’d ordinarily eat, and Luke has gone from zero servings to… well, some servings a week, maybe 2-5.
4) Luke’s improved eating will be a cornerstone of my argument to sign up for the farm next year. In just this, his fourth, summer, his diet has dramatically improved, he’s spending time at the farm and learning where vegetables come from, how they’re grown; imagine the gains he could make if we do this again!
How could Ben say no?
Interlude – December, 2004
“To get the early discount, we have to sign up by December 31st, and I know that you didn’t want to do this again this year, but…” I ended somewhat lamely.
I’d just presented my arguments to Ben, who’d kept his face impassive except for the little smile playing at the corners of his mouth. This smile, reserved for moments such as these, when I’m trying to convince him to change his mind in my plow-ahead, talk-really-fast-and-then-he-can’t-interrupt way, got bigger and bigger as I gained steam.
When I finally ran out of breath, Ben paused for dramatic effect and then said, “okay, we can do it again.”
“Really? No objections? Just… okay?”
“Sure, I think it was a really good thing for us to do. It wasn’t always easy, but it was really worth it. Didn’t you feel better because of our diet? I know I did…”
“Well, good! So, okay, I thought I was going to have to fight you on this, I’m so glad we’re agreeing on spending the big bucks again this year.”
“Well,” Ben replied, “you get what you pay for.”