In January of 2018 I had a mad crush on a carrot. Yes, I am not kidding! And five years later, I still have a crush on that particular carrot. That’s a long time to be infatuated, isn’t it?
At the time, I was living in the Portland area and was a member of a CSA program. That is the acronym for “Community Supported Agriculture”. That’s when a person purchases a share of a local farm’s production at the beginning of the growing season in exchange for getting “farm to table” produce every week or two. Picking up that week’s vegetables was always a highlight of my week. The pickup location was in a big white dairy barn that was on the historical register. When I went through the wide double doors and inhaled the damp, musty air, I was bounced back to a different era. The colorful patchwork of vegetables mounded on tables looked like eye candy. Often the vegetables were unusual, such as black radish and kohlrabi.
The carrots. There they were, piled high in a big wicker basket, freshly dug, squeaky clean, and the color of the sun in a smoky sky. I couldn’t resist the temptation to try one then and there. Wow! This exquisite carrot was like no other I had ever tasted. Suddenly the world stopped as this sweet carrot catapulted me into a total being experience. All my senses were filled with excitement and joy. What a surprise! Later that night, I felt sorry for all the people in the world who could never taste a carrot like this. Then I wished everyone could. If I had a dollar for every time I thought about that awesome carrot, I would have a lot of money by now!
Laura, the farmer, mentions that the variety is Hercules. Oh. That explains it. A divine, God-like carrot. A perfect infusion of firm, strong flesh, smooth skin, and indescribable taste mingled with spirit. If paradise had a flavor, this would definitely be it.
The carrot’s sweetness, Laura tells me, comes from the winter’s cold. Do they sit in the soil trembling? Is this why I felt a shiver go up and down my spine with the first bite? Do they store the summer sun and, in their resting state, concentrate energy? Yes! Every cell of my body knows this.
Now that I moved out of the city and live in a rural area, I can finally plant carrots. Last month, I ordered some Hercules seeds in anticipation of a winter harvest. In a few months, my body will delight in this incredible gift of nourishment and bounty of blissful sensations. And I will have a crush on a carrot all over again.