MARIA MAGDELEINA

writer, podcaster, child of God

Last weekend, I remember telling my parents I wanted to go apple picking. I don’t know if I truly wanted to go, or if I just wanted to go out to combat boredom and take pictures for the sake of Instagram and edit them on VSCO (yes, I’m addicted to the app) because apple picking looks cool and it’s finally fall. Since I came back from France, I hadn’t spent any quality time with my parents and deep down, I really wanted to do something different and not just on my own. I wanted to get closer to them and do something they love for once.

Last Saturday, I woke up sick, yet I knew I wasn’t down to complete my homework due tomorrow, or stay in an air-conditioned bedroom and stream Netflix movies all day (have you watched Lion by the way? SO GOOD!), but I still didn’t want to waste my day. My mom came up with a good idea: instead of apple picking, why not vegetable picking? My parents love going to the Sauriol Farm in Laval and they pick vegetables three times a year. They usually pick tomatoes, eggplants, and bell peppers, and that’s what we did on Saturday.

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I have to say it’s not my first time picking vegetables. My family and I used go a lot when I was younger. It was a big family outing: I’d be with my cousins, aunts, and uncles, not just my parents. However, I had forgotten that old fun feeling at the farm and I knew the experience would be different at 23 years old. The cutest part of the day was to see my parents super excited and prepare themselves for the day as though it was a camping trip. “Did you bring your cap?” Check. “Did you wear pants and shoes you don’t care about too much?” Check. “Did you bring water bottles?” Check. “OK, let’s go!”

When we arrived, I learned that children under 18 cannot pick vegetables when one of the workers kept asking me my age, not believing I was or looked older than 18. So yeah, this is one thing to note 😛 . Then, we chose the size and the number of buckets we knew we would fill or wanted to. Each size has a price (very reasonable by the way) depending on the vegetables you’ll pick. You pay at the end of your picking journey. After the choice of buckets, you take your car and continue your way inside the farm and stop next to the field of the vegetable you desire.

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Overall, I had an amazing day because I learned so much in a couple of hours under the burning sun and walking around the greenery. I learned how to pick the right or good vegetable (good tomatoes are hard to find, they really play hard to get), how to pick a vegetable in general (bring gardening gloves and scissors just in case), how to not waste any vegetable, how to distract yourself from bees (just focus on picking vegetables and they’ll go find an empty space where they can buzz freely), how two Aspirins, lots of water, and a hot sun can make your cold go away and your sneezing stop, and how God is wonderful. I mean I always knew the latter, but yesterday, while standing in the middle of a tomato field and looking up to the sun, I realized how blessed I am to be able to pick fresh vegetables and savour them afterwards. How blessed I am to live close to a farm and be able to experience such a day with people I love. How blessed I am to pick vegetables for fun and not necessarily as a means of survival. How healthy food is so important, and still, I believe, underrated.

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At last, the only thing that I disliked was to see a lot of wasted vegetables, especially tomatoes (a lot of people just throw the extra vegetables they pick and these rot very quickly). Seeing many rotten vegetables made me want to be careful next time I throw away a half-empty plate in the garbage. So next time, you want to distance yourself from homework, social media life, and boredom, go vegetable picking before fall truly settles in.

PS: Bring a book to read. This way, every time you take a break from picking, you read a little in your car and hydrate yourself. 

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