Seth Brown | The Pun Also Rises: Vegging out

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As the Quarantimes continue, a lot of us have a daily plan to just sit around the house and veg. That's why I appreciate the farmers market.

I know that I ought to eat more vegetables, but for whatever reason I always find it difficult to motivate myself to buy many of them in the supermarket. Perhaps because so few vegetables come with chocolate chips. And when you do find those brown chips, they're not chocolate.

But now supermarkets are less appealing than ever before, thanks to the need to wear a mask, the occasional person who doesn't recognize the need to wear a mask, and the occasional person who recognizes you in spite of the mask and wants to have a conversation. Plus you have to watch out for people whose heads explode if they find out a syrup changed their logo.

So unless you want to go to the supermarket every week (no) or believe your supermarket veggies will survive for 2-3 weeks in your fridge (also no), you may be happy to know about the farmers market. Of course, most of you already know what a farmers market is: a place to buy organic candles and artisanal dog biscuits. But did you know you can also buy vegetables there?

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Back when I lived down the street from our local farmers' market, I would often walk over once a week and buy a few vegetables to fry up. But after a few days I'd have used up the vegetables and return to just eating burritos and chips. It was also mental effort to get myself to buy vegetables. That's why I decided to split a farm share with a friend. This turned out to be a totally rad idea. Well, maybe not totally rad. Rad-ish.

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With half a farm share, I was getting a nice bag of fresh veggies every week, without the mental effort. (also without the physical effort, because my friend was kind enough to pick up the veggies since I don't have a car, but this may vary depending on your friends.) I was finally eating more vegetables, without having to make the decision to buy more veggies every week. But since my partner also likes vegetables, the split share seemed like not quite enough, so this year we got a full share to ourselves.

As it turns out, this may be too many vegetables. The farm share is generously sized, but of course, you don't always get to choose what you get. Sometimes you get an ounce of radish and 200 pounds of greens that fill your entire fridge. Luckily, 50 pounds of greens cooks down to about 1 pan of stir-fry, so it works out okay. But my appetite for vegetables is not as great as, for example, my appetite for pad thai, which is boundless and infinite.

Still, the point is, I have food and food is good. Better than good, food is essential. And I think if there's one thing we've learned from this COVID-19 crisis — and goodness knows it isn't masks or social distancing, clearly we haven't learned that, which is why people without masks are gathering in small indoor venues and new cases are through the roof in some states — if there's one thing we have learned, it's who is an "essential" worker, and the answer is food people.

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And no, I don't mean the lady on the syrup bottle. I mean the people who keep the food in stores. The people who make the food at my local restaurants for takeout, especially the pad thai. And of course, most essential of all are the people who grow the food: Farmers. And conveniently, at the farmers market you can support them while staying outdoors and getting tasty vegetables.

Just watch out for those chocolate chips.

Seth Brown is an award-winning humor writer, the author of "From God To Verse," and is buried under a mountain of greens. His website is RisingPun.com.


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