Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Perpetual possibilities

After three weeks in the box
Who knew that the vegetables and fruits we eat contain future gardens in them?

Don't answer that.  As I get older, I realize that there are numerous, embarrassingly large gaping holes in my basic understanding of the world.

Last week we walked into a grocery store known for carrying local produce and asked if we could buy a box of potatoes.  They led me to a back room where I bought a 50 lb. box of potatoes for $35.

So our potatoes are sitting in a closet in our bedroom growing eyes.  When the potato grows three or four eyes, we'll cut them into pieces and each piece we put in the ground in the spring will produce a plant with ten or twelve potatoes.  From one potato we'll get thirty!

The same is true for tomatoes, peas, beans, cucumbers, squash; the food for one meal contains fifty meals with family and friends in the future.

Growing your own seeds is hopeful.  It reminds us that there is perpetual possibilities resting behind the mundane present moment.  It holds out the redeeming truth that we can create a joyous bounty of the future if we do things right.

On the way out from the store where we bought our potatoes, I noticed the boxes of produce were from Chile, Argentina, Australia and California.  I couldn't stop myself from ruffling my "local food" feathers and asking the guy, "Nobody grows potatoes in New York?"

"Not in winter," he answered, looking at me like I had slept through grade school.  Fair enough.  I'm just getting used to this think-about-where-the-things-you-buy-come-from thing.

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