A Market Stand Morning, Sheltering Close to Home, May 1, 2020 edition.

Good Morning! A day that starts at the McCracken family farm market stand is a happy day. As we anticipate, and worry, about re-opening closed venues and businesses, reel from the latest conspiracy theories about Communist China targeting democratic nations with Covid19 to disrupt the world’s economy, and wonder how comfortable we are leaving our inner sanctums, I chanted a mantra of positivity this morning. I intoned my dear friends Elba and Avelino Lopez’s motto: “It’s a good day to have a good day.”

Chatting with the young man who staged the mobile farm stand behind the Frostproof Post Office opened my heart ever wider. The new sun peeked over the trees, spotlighting glistening local blueberries, crisp beet greens, golden-tasseled corn fresh from the field, and firm young zucchini gritty with soil. I purchased more than we need. No regrets. Once we figure out our menus, we will let neighbors know when to expect delivery of the overflow.

My photos don’t do justice to the bounty, but I decided the still-life on our kitchen counter deserved to be shared. If you are wondering why I bought over-ripe bananas (actually they were a gift after I told the young farmer I would drop off a bag of cleaned and recycled egg cartons later today), it’s because I have a plan for them. Elba sent me her recipe for Chocolate Chip/Banana Breakfast Muffins. We don’t eat many sweets, but she tells me they are a perfect protein boost with morning coffee. Neighbors are forewarned—these will be in your care packages as well.

I’ve heard from several friends and relatives that they are taking more conscious care to wash their fruits and vegetables during this scary time. Although we don’t know if the virus can likely be transmitted via raw foodstuffs, washing your vegetables has many benefits. Among them, eliminating the wax coatings often put on foods to protect them or increase their cold-storage longevity. And, of course, getting rid of pests and grit, ensuring a more pleasant finished product. You may have noticed the tools I use to process my produce: a brush for scrubbing when necessary, Trader Joe’s fruit and vegetable wash (search the internet for make-your-own recipes), and white vinegar. Almost forty years ago, a local organic gardener who supplied our restaurant with flowers and produce instructed me to add vinegar to the soaking/washing water to clean vegetables. Did you know that vinegar reverses the clinging properties of sandy soil? No grit or sand has ruined a salad or stir-fry since!

I wonder what’s in your vegetable plans this first day of May? Feel free to share. And have a good day.

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