Spirit Matters by Shirley Barr – Farmer’s Markets & The Universe Provides

CFN – As a follow-up to last week’s column on the joys and trials of harvesting vegetables in the sun, I would like to report on my experience last Sunday’s experience accompanying Jamie Creskey of Hoople Creek Farm to the Brewer Park Farmer’s Market in Ottawa. If you haven’t had a chance to visit please do so before the season ends, since an amazing community has formed around the market’s new location. I had to get up at 4 a.m. in order to get to the farm by 5:30 a.m. for the drive in. Jamie had the van loaded up after picking produce the day before for twelve hours. We had to have everything set up by 8 a.m. and then take it all down at 3:00 p.m. A trickle, then a stream of people came to sample the canteloupe and watermelon, squeeze the tomatoes and meet a real farmer. So, I would like to share a couple of stories to illustrate how a farmer’s market builds community and the connection between farming and spirit matters.

A couple in their mid-30’s stopped by – they were gorgeous, glowing with health and vitality. Both had long beautiful hair, radiant skin and serene countenances. They stopped in front of the fruit display and she asked him what he wanted to eat. It appeared to me that he said nothing but she looked at me and said “he wants a cantaloupe.” “Really” I said, “and how do you know that?” She looked at me and then at him and said:” We’ve been together for nine years and I know how he feels and what he is thinking; he is going for this cantaloupe”. Her man looked at her and gave his approval. Then she proceeded to tell me that she had grabbed a cloth bag on the way out the door that morning and found two plastic spoons in it. She has no idea how they got there but they were exactly what she needed in order to eat the cantaloupe. Jamie cut it in half for them and scooped the seeds out, and then the couple wandered away eating the luscious fruit at the height of ripeness. Before the woman left, she said “The universe always provides”. She had told us that she works for a raw food restaurant and only eats one item at a time and it has to be perfectly ready to eat. If her appearance was anything to go by this method was definitely working.

The other story involves another woman who stopped by to buy some tomatillos, aragula and a cantaloupe. She had two large bags full of basil so I asked her what she planned on doing with them. She said she made her own pesto and put it in ice cube trays, froze it and then used it to blend into fresh pasta. We had a great discussion about how to make various kinds of pesto; she uses sun dried tomatoes in hers and says her pesto is to die for. She was glowing with joy as she recounted how her husband, who had an issue with obesity, had lost 50 pounds since marrying her three years ago. This, while she fed him pasta! Between you and me, I think they were doing something else besides eating, In fact, I love meeting happy people and always want to know their secret to success. One thing for sure is that a shared joy in eating can certainly be a connecting factor in a healthy relationship.


Shirley Barr lives and works in Cornwall, Ontario and is a member of the International Baha’i Community.

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