Yesterday, I had the urge to sauté the fresh string beans I bought at the market the day before. When I checked for ingredients and couldn't find any garlic, I remembered the wild garlic growing beside the sage in the front rock garden. It’s really a small patch of earth along the front walkway, so I approached it with only a small pointed hand shovel. Bending over, I could feel the strain on my knees and back, but kept digging and digging. It was a challenge to pry the bulbs loose without damaging them. One after the other, I uncovered the fully formed but small garlic bulbs and laid them on the ground. There were only four or five but more than enough for an early nights dinner. After fifteen minutes of digging and pulling some weeds along the way, my back was beginning to ache.
On the farm across the road, the tractor had been running for a couple of hours and the thought of working in the hot sun every day, planting, cutting and harvesting, made my back ache even more. One would really have to be dedicated to it or hungry enough. I headed for the kitchen with my small but ample crop.
I crushed some garlic cloves to sauté the string beans with olive oil, some to flavor the grilled pork chops and snipped pieces of the long stems to sprinkle on the baked potatoes. It would be our special meal of the week and except for the garlic, all purchased at the supermarket. With fork and knife in hand, my husband and I delighted in our simple but most savory feast. Across the field, the tractor was still running over the large expanse of land and I now felt much more appreciation for the farmer who would have many more hours of work before his evening meal.