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Editor's Letter




Living just a short walk from a farmers’ market, I’ve gotten really spoiled, actually downright persnickety about my fruits and vegetables. There are at least four things I will only buy in season and from the people who grew them: tomatoes, peaches, corn and strawberries. There are many other things that are much better when locally grown, but I’m strictest about those four.

When I taste my first strawberry of the season, I go back in time: age five, June 1960, a pick your-own strawberry farm. I’m not sure where the farm was, probably somewhere within an hour or so of Loudon, Tennessee, my childhood home. I’m not sure why we were there. I don’t remember my mother making strawberry preserves or anything else that would have required large amounts of strawberries. Maybe it was just something to do to entertain three children under the age of five.

The strawberries I bought Wednesday on Market Square are delicious, but they don’t come close to the ones I remember pulling from the ground and eating, unwashed and warm, on that long ago summer day.

Besides the strawberries, the farm had two things I coveted. There was a tire swing hanging
from a tree in the front yard and one of those old fashioned push mowers. We had a swing set and a gas-powered lawn mower, which, to me, paled in comparison to that tire swing and push mower. I never did attain either of those things, and since I no longer have either a tree or a lawn, it’s unlikely that I ever will. But I’m thankful I can still have freshly picked strawberries once a year. 

Gay

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