Before I went working on a farm in France I didn’t think much of organic food. I picked up on the latent anti-organic-eco-yuppy sentiment that’s so strong in Berlin. I thought it was just another weird thing people did when they they had too much money, like getting enemas or having baby piranhas nibble the dead skin off their gnarled feet:
But on the farm I saw good people (Karen, Lee and their son Rohan) working incredibly hard to produce good food on their organic farm. What they do is real husbandry of the land or, as Karen described it, permaculture. So I/we decided to sign up with a box scheme when we got back to Berlin, to support farmers doing similar work near us in Brandenburg. So now on Wednesday of every second week, or whenever we order stuff, a friendly man knocks on our door with a giant box of vegetables that are so fresh they still smell like the ground.
This week we ordered a ‘surprise’ box of vegetables, which is to say, a box of whatever they wanted to give us. We were delighted to receive some purple carrots. These are carrots that have an extremely advanced protection mechanism against their biggest predator, the farmer. In order to avoid detection and harvest, these carrots turn themselves a deep shade of violet, in the hope that the farmer will mistake them for stringy old beets, and let them lie. Obviously in this case the farmer was wise to their tricks, and thus they landed in my kitchen for my delectation.
The vegetable box delivery does cost a small bit more than buying vegetables in a supermarket, but I don’t have to go to the supermarket as often now which means I end up buying less supermarket crap. I also hear less supermarket jingles, and you can’t put a price on that. So this endeavor is paying for itself, I suppose.
I’m relatively certain that I’ve really seen the light on organic food because it makes sense on all counts. And yet there is small part of me that wonders, sometimes, late at night while I’m nibbling on a beetroot: what if I am, in reality, nought but a poor man’s eco-yuppie? I’ll ponder the question further at my piranha enema weekend retreat.