Our local food system gets stressed right now, even in a normal year. Farmers fight the weather to plant spring crops, and summer food favorites seem far away. But unusual cold and rain this year have created more daunting delays.
We get spoiled in June/July through late fall. The food that disappears through nature’s revolving door during those wondrously prolific months passes another delightful surprise on its way out.. No more apricots? That’s ok! How about some peaches? Asparagus disappears, but then there are tomatoes! A riot of abundance lulls us into believing the magic won’t ever leave.
In California the magic never really goes away. We have fresh salads and fruit even in the dead of winter ( notice that phrase!). But those tough, resilient farmers out there trying to plant in the mud puddles with one eye on the sky need our support now more than ever. We can’t possibly eat well without their risk and their work.
Even Mexico and Arizona have been hit with severe weather this winter, providing more reason for us to support our local growers. In fact, enlightened self interest demands that we savor the sweetness of the fresh carrots and oranges that are here now, and the healing powers of the beets and nettles and kale. And so much more. Baby romaine, lemons, delicate broccoli, pea shoots, healing mushrooms, parsley, parsnips, and swiss chard. Food of the fortunate, for sure.