The Farmer's Market in the Time of COVID
I listened to a podcast about the aspirational class late last week, and sure enough this morning I found myself visiting a local farmer's market in order to spend more on what can be bought for less. Perhaps experiencing trays of local fruit and vegetables, along with enticing treats and organic coffee would make more vibrant the grey days of working at home, alone in my study with my computer and a Nestle brand coffee machine and Coles brand corn kernels. Here I could buy produce direct from the person who grew it - without wholesalers or middlemen - as long as I remained 1.5 metres apart from them at all times. The SEO optimised website had promised a sense of community, and as I passed between food trucks and ducked under 1.9 metre high gazebos there were genuine smiles from behind the face masks, unlike the real supermarket where the self-service checkout machines clearly fake theirs.
At least, I hope the smiles were genuine. Most of the clientele around us had a cultivated, shabby chic which kind of matched the odd-shaped heirloom tomatoes, the dry aged beef, and the undersized summer apples we passed, which in hindsight I can see were also a little shabby and definitely cultivated. It was easy to feel out of place, unlike my home, with my computer and a Nestle brand coffee machine. At least the pod machine doesn't try to sneakily upsell me tiny cookies after I start to pay for our morning cups.
The real test would be how did it taste? Would this experience uplift my sense of self beyond the dross of being an adult all the time, and living in 2021 to boot? My bag of nurtured capsicums, Lebanese cucumbers (a complete misnomer), a sealed plastic bag of lettuce leaves grown in the time-honoured, traditional South Australian way (hydroponically) all went into my Sunday salad. The first forkful, well, about as delicious as something can be considering the circumstances.
Hopefully if I keep checking in with the COVID Safe App every time I go the government will let me know how many pesticide free tins of artisan four bean mix I buy throughout the year.
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The woman with the fake tan stepped into my office, sat across from my desk and lit a cigarette.
At least, she would, sometime in the next 20 minutes. Smelling the future has advantages, but precision isn’t one of them.