A few weeks ago I started bringing veggies to market along with my soap products. I’m not bringing a ton- we already have great veggie sellers at market, and there are only so many tubs and coolers you can fit in a Matrix. Still, the produce has definitely spiked my market income. After all, people go to markets for veggies first. Everything else is an afterthought, it seems.
Two years ago when I finally took the plunge and went from well-paid employee to floundering farmer, the decision may have been somewhat provoked by midlife crisis. I loved aspects of what I was doing, but my day-to-day existence, immersed in bureaucratic turmoil and low morale, was not exactly fulfilling. I knew that food was my passion… not just any food, but clean, local food that has the ability to affect health and economy. My therapist always told me I am an idealist, and armed with those ideals and a stubborn belief that I am capable of doing just about anything I put my mind to, I did what seemed to be “the right thing”. I started growing food.
Ideals are easy to forget when money is tight, the work is hard, the days are long, and the aches and pains are never-ending. I never question that decision, it always feels like it was “the right thing” for me, but I often lose sight of the “why”. It becomes easier to worry about what needs to be done in the moment than to take time to remember why I’m doing it.
At market yesterday I sold a bag of snap peas to a dad and his two young sons. I didn’t think too much about it until I spotted one of the boys a few minutes later from across the square. He was ravenously stuffing those peas into his mouth with a big goofy grin on his face like most kids would gobble a chocolate bar. The choked up feeling that hit me like a Mack truck completely caught me off guard. Watching that kid eat something I’d grown, and watching him really enjoy it… that was worth every blister and frustration I’ve experienced so far. It made me stop and remember what I’m doing, and why.
I hope every person gets to have that feeling I had yesterday at least once in their life. We spend so many waking hours trying to make a buck, but it becomes so worth it when you know you’ve made something more. Weeding feels much less onerous today.