Saturdays are all about color, wonderful smells, tastes and abundance for me. I wake up and head over to the farmer’s market and to a new organic veggie shop I discovered thanks to my dear friend Elena. When I’m in the midst of all those incredible fruits and veggies, when I feel the warm sun in my face and the smell of Spanish melons fills the air, when I’m next to adorable dogs walking around and sitting in the sun waiting for their human moms and dads, right then and there I feel abundance. There’s something special about veggie vendors. They talk about their avocados as if they were their kids, they start giving you free samples because they’re desperate for you to know what they know, that this week’s tomato harvest was the best one yet. They’re more than happy to find that perfect watermelon that will be just right for tonight. Love is in the air, there’s no doubt about that. Kids are running around, strangers are exchanging recipes, and in those rare occasions when a vendor or farmer discovers you’re a vegetarian, you’re suddenly treated like royalty. They know you’ll be willing to buy the strange greens nobody knows what to do with, they know you’ll order some pretty strange stuff, and they know you’ll always be back for more. Did I tell you about the presents yet? I have to say that I’ve never left a stand empty handed. I’m not talking samples here, I’m talking about this amazing batavia lettuce I got as a gift today, along with a bottle of veggie and watermelon gazpacho, a huge bunch of parsley and cilantro and some yellow plums… and these were just the free gifts!
By the end of my hour long veggie excursion, I had two giant bags filled with all kinds of green leafy veggies, two bunches of herbs, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, three different kinds of tomatoes, arugula, nectarines, bananas, cherries, raspberries, lemons, asparagus, long Italian peppers, bell peppers, avocados, green onions, regular onions, and my presents. When I got my receipt I couldn’t believe how little money I had spent, so I splurged and got a couple of mangoes (a treat today since they were the only two expensive things of the day). I had to do some organizing when I got home because my kitchen was already filled with some collard greens, sweet potatoes, portobello mushrooms, butternut squash and cauliflower florets I had bought for dinner last night. I finally closed the fridge door and felt so lucky, for a myriad of reasons. One being, Spanish produce rocks! Another, being on this side of the ‘fence’, where veggies fill my plate and rabbits are for cuddling.
Suddenly I was sitting in my kitchen surrounded by rockin’ produce, and one of my best friends starts sending me some of the amazing photos you see today (the artichoke and basil photos below are all his doing). My dear friend ‘Flea’ isn’t vegan but he was the most amazing sweetheart in looking at all those veggies and thinking of me and our little blog. Again, abundance all around. Will you look at those ‘chokes?!
When you’re a vegan, you have to spend a lot of your time on what I like to call myth busting. It’s definitely one of the main reasons I started this blog, because when I heard all of these bits of information I was so shocked I was sure I was getting bamboozled. So many of the ‘truths’ we hold so dear are nothing but opinions and estimations, and I strangely loved how unrooted I felt as I was doing all my research. My neighbors got their share of high volume “whaaaaat??!!” and “no way!” comments at the wee hours of the night. Medical info and animal treatment horrors aside, the greatest myth busting I experienced was the diet itself. I was prepared to eat a very limited diet of salads and steamed broccoli, and I got -crazy steroid infused abundance- in return. Turns out that when you take away most or all of the animal products from your plate, there’s room for a whole lot of things, and when you go to the store to find something new to try, the strangest funniest veggies were actually staring at you all along.
Last week as I was thinking about all of this, I had an idea. What if instead of telling you a plant based diet is as abundant as it gets, I showed you? That’s right, starting on Monday, and every single day for a week, you’ll have a seat at my outdoor garden table, my wooden dining room table and my teeny weeny kitchen table. For one week, you’ll have a first hand look at every single thing I eat. How’s that for a show & tell session? You can take a look at all these coming posts in our home page starting on Monday, or if you missed one, they’ll be under our Going Veggie section and also our Healthy and Sustainable Eating section on the left menu bar. I can’t wait to have you guys over for dinner!
I leave you with this lovely quote by Ben Sweetland today. It was certainly my experience, that the first time I went to a farmer’s market after going veggie I had suddenly and mysteriously taken the tank car…
“The world is full of abundance and opportunity, but far too many people come to the fountain of life with a sieve instead of a tank car… a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel.”