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CSA delivers the taste of summers long past

Watermelon While I've never managed to read Proust's epic Remembrance of Things Past, I've managed to hear about the memories evoked from eating the madeleine cakes more times than I can count. Now I've just had a similar experience.

Yesterday, Heather and I met at the farmer's market to pick up and split our Gathering Together Farm CSA box as we've done pretty much every weekend for the past three months. I'd accidentally left my wallet at home, so was unable to buy extra melons, bread and tomatoes as I'd hoped. Heather had no cash to lend, but did graciously let me take the watermelon that was part of our box.

Having promised my cantaloupe-loving 3-year-old some melon, we cut open the watermelon for dinner. It was glorious. Surprisingly, it was not pink, but yellow. And unlike most watermelons you buy from stores, it had delectable flavor, extreme juiciness, a sweet perfume and loads of black seeds. Eating that watermelon brought me back a good 30 years or so (how did I get this old?). We were talking about how when we were little, watermelon only came once a year. And we'd sit out in the yard, getting all drippy and sticky, and we'd spit the seeds (our parents allowing us to do this, even encouraging us sometimes!). Or we'd tease the little ones saying if they ate the seeds that watermelons would grow in their tummies. It's hard to believe I'd forgotten all that stuff. And harder still to believe that all this time has passed since I'd eaten a watermelon tasty enough to evoke it. My kids also marveled at how it was yellow, and that so often the varieties that get sold in stores are selected because they travel well, have been bred to be seedless, or fit a picture of what something is supposed to look like. But taste like crap. Or worse yet, like nothing. That describes most of the melons I've eaten over the past several years (not counting the locally and organically grown ones we've had this year).

One luscious watermelon. Eating all this locally grown produce has helped me realize what summer is all about.

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