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Food Time!

Check it out..We made food! I was so excited for this morning’s harvest in preparation for the Wednesday night Farmer’s Market in downtown Boulder. It was Abbondonza’s first time at market this year with fresh produce. Up till now, it has just been seeds, starters and eggs. The crew was fired up as we entered the fields to celebrate the first bounty of the season. Rich, the owner exalted, “It’s Food Time!” I felt honored to be gathering today’s veggies. Months of work culminating in a single pick, pluck and pinch. Occasional oohs and ahhs would arise from the crew as they discovered an exceptionally lovely head of Romaine Cosmo Lettuce, perfectly shaped Baby Choy or a golf ball-sized radish. In one of my favorite farm films, Friday’s at the Farm, the narrator describes picking radishes “like you are pulling teeth from the mouth of God.” I love that image. Just as in every process on the farm, there is a lot of care that goes into the picking…you hand snap the spinach leaves, cut and trim the lettuce leaves and hand select the best radishes. For the spinach, it is about leaving the right leaves so it can regrow. There are soft, pale leaves at the base which protect the plant. Those you leave. And the real gnarly, crinkly leaves are actually young leaves so you leave those to mature picking only the ripe ones which are flatter but just as polished. Once collected, every piece is protected in the shade under damp cloths till it gets to go swimming in the rinsing pool. It’s a full on spa treatment for vegetables getting them all spiffed up for their first date with their new owner, you!