What they do have — and what a surprise — are shelves groaning with locally sourced produce. I’m talking peaches and plums, zucchini (yeah, someone had an awfully prolific crop), onions, apples, half runners, a few things I’m not too sure about (sugar pears?) and look! The holy grail: Lima beans, unshelled!
Ohhh, yeah. So now I don’t care about shrubs and trees; I’m having the Lima beans. You hardly ever see fresh Limas these days. And this isn’t even a farmer’s market. It’s a landscape nursery, for crying out loud, but one that sure puts our local farmer’s markets to shame.
At any rate, I grab a bag and prepare to scoop up my beans when I notice a clear plastic container filled with already shelled Lima beans sitting in the bin. Holding it up, I look at the lone employee with one eyebrow raised, ready to ask if they have them already shelled. He shrugs. “Those are just for display,” he says. “No one seems to understand how Limas appear in the real world.”
Never mind that the sign says, “Lima Beans.” I take that to mean we’ve lost touch with what it means to produce and consume our own food. I’m a little staggered by that thought. I guess most people have probably only seen Lima beans in frozen bags at the grocer’s or in cans. Possibly dried in bags on the shelf.
There’s something sad about that. And I’m grateful for having grown up with parents who gardened, a mother who canned all summer long, and a dad who love buttered Lima beans. I inherited that love of limas; as a kid, I would even eat them cold.
Most of all, however, I’m grateful today for stopping by a nursery for a tree and coming out with fresh produce instead.