Is there anything that has more earthy beauty than a produce stand? Squash are almost the color of freshly-churned butter. Cucumbers are a soft shade of jade. Cabbage with ivory veins ribbed around the leaves seems to spread out like an embrace.
Part of the experience of produce stands is holding fresh vegetables up close to my face and smelling its essence. The experience is different when buying produce from big-box stores. I get a sense that some of the veggies travel long distances in refrigerated trucks and spend time in warehouses before they make it to the shelves. They often lose some of the color and aromas. Our produce stand is only open four days a week so there are times when we need lettuce or bell peppers that we buy from the larger stores, but if given a choice, I opt for the local produce stand. Our produce guy knows what to pick up and which to pass up.
In a few more months, we'll be picking fresh produce from our garden. Lettuce from raised beds in the backyard, and pole beans from the fence. It's the main reason we live so far from the city.
I'm not sure there is anything more beautiful that a backyard vine hanging full of tomatoes.