Saturday, July 14, 2007

Looking at vegetables

After half a summer of farming, I'm afraid the most profound thing I have to say is that vegetables are really beautiful. I'm not the first to notice that food can have visual appeal - the different colors of beans and grains in the bulk foods aisle, the way broccoli turns brighter green when you steam it, the oranges and reds of salsa with bell peppers. But I'd never enjoyed food like this until I was growing it.

I wish I had pictures of the rainbow chard with its red and yellow stems and vibrant green leaves, or the shine on the skin of strawberry still hot from the sun, or the deep purple stain of beets when you slice them. Organic farms produce plenty of weird and imperfect-looking vegetables, but the lettuces especially look so perfect nestled in the boxes when we've harvested them (especially compared with supermarket lettuce, which is inevitably starting to rot). I enjoy the vegetables at least as much visually as I do any other way.

So, today's lesson: look at your food.