14 September 2009


I told my husband we had three very orange pumpkins already in the garden. (It's my only summer crop that’s come in early.) They usually ripen in October and we set them on the front step for Halloween.

He said, “Can we eat them?”

I was thinking the same thing.

Two things are going on here. One is fact that we feel a certain level of deprivation. I think any time you make a change in diet you can’t help missing some of your standbys (for me, a bite of chocolate midday; for John, a handful of chips when he gets home).

The other reflects the extra effort required to stock up and prepare local fare. The shopping is limited to certain days (Tuesdays and Saturdays for the farmers market, Thursdays for our farm share, my garden when it gives – not the 24/7 supermarket), the shelf life is shorter (and my veggie drawer is stuffed), and the time commitment (to wash, chop, slice, knead, and cook all our fresh food) is relentless.

Both these things lead to hoarding our stuff. We push bananas on the kids (who eat our local dinners, but aren’t strictly on the diet) so we can eat the local plums for our after dinner fruit. When I offered to pack cherry and grape tomatoes in my daughters’ school lunches, I realized I was hoping they’d say no.

So when there’s a couple of pumpkins advertising themselves amidst my weedy garden bed -- well, we why wouldn't we want to eat them?

The pumpkins are on the front step for now. They’ll be on the menu soon.

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