When my friend Meg stopped by yesterday, she commented on the bowl of cherries adorning my kitchen counter. "Cherries," she said. "Where can you get affordable cherries?"
"You can't," I told her. "I paid five bucks a pound for those."
Yes, a bowl of precious jewels, they are.
I was thinking about that conversation later in the day as I waited for a cappuccino at my neighborhood cafe. It occurred to me that I don't bat an eyelash over a $3.00 frothy coffee drink or the mediocre pastry to go along with it, yet on Sunday at the farmers' market, found myself pausing over the same amount for a pound of peaches.
Why is that?
Those peaches came from a small, family-run farm that grows everything organically on a spread not far from where I live. Plus, they're congenial, immensely knowledgeable about what they sell, and generous with the samples, which is more than I can say for the guy who sold me the coffee drink.
The peaches were fragrant, just firm enough, and after sitting in the sunlight of my kitchen, warm and juicy to the bite.
It's a privilege to eat such food. Yes, $3 a pound or $5 a pound for fruit might give me pause, especially when my kids can power through it before I even get out of the market. But making such a choice is voting with your fork for something that tastes as it should, delicious, and is hopefully grown with care for the earth and for the people who do the hard labor of getting the food from farm to table.
Plus I don't know about you, but I'd opt for cherries and the peaches over a flabby scone and frothy coffee any summer's day.