I love the smell of fresh basil. It rivals the scent of a fresh, full blooming jasmine bush. That was the smell that greeted me last night as I opened my door. We had just received our delivery of fresh produce from Ben's farm. I loved seeing all the vegetables co-mingling in a big box,a big ol' pumpkin in the mix, and not a plastic bag in sight. I felt extra good about my purchase knowing it had come from the farm to my home, and not from a corporate owned farm in Europe with thousands of miles of red tape and agenda in between. Anyone who has read Marion Nestle's Food Politics or What to Eat will get an eye opening look into how the FDA and corporate America shape our food choices. While I could extol the bad virtues either, I'll choose instead to focus on productivity.
The productive choice is to support Israeli owned farms. Learn all the halachot about bugs and checking, learn how to take maaser if necessary, and check out my list for suppliers of locally grown produce.
My dream would be to turn my balcony or roof top into a thriving urban garden. (Check out http://livingreen.co.il/en/urban-farming-israel-en/) I'd pick nana after dinner and make some classic Moroccan tea. I'd pick basil and tomatoes before lunch and make an authentic Italian sauce. I'd grab some nana after dinner and make some classic Moroccan tea. However, I am a realist. I can't even tend to a hardy plant like a fern for longer than two months before designating it to the plant cemetery of my apartment building lobby. There, Moshiach (or my neighbor), comes and magically resurrects them and even re-pots them if necessary. UntiI I cultivate my green thumb, I'll stick to Ben and Bodek2go.
It's always difficult to get out of our routine and sometimes our need for consistency or perfection can sabotage our efforts for change. We've grown comfortable buying at our usual store, or every Wednesday during our Shuk stop. We run out of stuff and only have time to go to the closest market. Then we feel like, what's the point? That's the balance part of healthy living you are working to achieve. Do your best, don't obsess, and enjoy. Try starting by ordering once or twice a month. Before long it'll be worked into your weekly routine. You will be supporting a farmer and his dream. That's part of living in a community and that makes us better people:)