Pumpkins. Harvested from a vine or a can?

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“On the drive home from our morning’s errands we even passed a pumpkin field where an old man and a younger one worked together to harvest their crop, passing up the orange globes and stacking them on the truck bed to haul to market. We’d driven right into a Norman Rockwell painting.

Every dog has its day, and even the lowly squash finally gets its month. We may revile zucchini in July, but in October we crown its portly orange cousin the King Cucurbit and Doorstop Supreme. In Italy I had nursed a growing dread that my own country’s food lore had gone over entirely to the cellophane side. Now my heart was buoyed. Here was an actual, healthy, native North American vegetable, non shrink-wrapped, locally grown and in season, sitting in state on everybody’s porch.

The little devil on my shoulder whispered, “Oh yeah? You think people actually know it’s edible?”

The angel on the other shoulder declared “Yeah” (too smugly for an angel, probably), the very next morning. For I opened our local paper to the food section and found a colorful two-page spread under the headline “Pumpkin Possibilities.” Pumpkin Curry Soup, Pumpkin Satay! The food writer urged us to think past pie and really dig into this vitamin-rich vegetable. I was excited. We’d grown three kinds of pumpkins that were now lodged in our root cellar and piled on the back steps. I was planning a special meal for a family gathering on the weekend. I turned a page to find the recipes.

As I looked them over, Devil turned to Angel and kicked butt. Every single recipe started with the same ingredient: “1 can (15 oz) pumpkin.”

From the book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver

Do you know where your vegetables come from?  Did you know that there are small farmers who grow seasonal fruits and vegetables that you can buy called CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture)?  In Kingsolver’s piece above the newspaper article purported to be seasonal, and possibly support the pumpkin harvest of the community.  How did they miss the mark?  How might we be missing opportunities today to support the farmer’s of our own community?

Photo of a typical CSA box

Photo of a typical CSA box

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