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I Cannon Believe It


Reason #1,203,486 for people to raise their own vegetables.

A few days ago we started hearing a noise at our house. It sounded like some kind of explosion. The people who own the farm behind where we live like to use fireworks so we didn’t think too much of it. However, we noticed the explosions seemed to be coming at remarkably regular and frequent intervals. Eventually my wife timed the interval and found the noise was coming every 90 seconds, all…day…long.

Since this was bothering us greatly, my wife tracked down the sound to the farm and talked to the farmer. It turns out the noise was coming from a cannon (yes, you read that correctly, a cannon), which the farmer was using to keep birds away from his sweet corn. The reason wasn’t particularly because the farmer thought the birds would eat a significant amount of his corn, but rather any damage they did would make the corn unacceptable to customers, who expect perfect vegetables, and he’d be unable to sell his corn.

Any vegetable gardener knows a pretty good percentage of every harvest is going to consist of vegetables which don’t resemble the perfection of  supermarket produce. The following are all vegetables I’ve harvested and eaten.

I don’t care if my cabbage has some holes

CabbageHolesCompareOr my tomatoes have some cracks or cat-facing

TomatoCat-faceCompareOr my squashes have some blemishes on their skin

SquashBlemishes

Or any of a number of imperfections my vegetables have when they’re harvested. They still taste good and they’re still very healthy. In fact, you can argue they’re healthier than perfect vegetables. Plants don’t have immune systems. They fight off pests using assorted chemicals they make and many of these are the anti-oxidants we hear so much about being good for us. Many other are known as phyto-nutrients and are also very good to have in our diet. Since these chemicals are formed in response environmental challenges, ugly vegetables are more nutritious than perfect ones.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it when I grow perfect veggies. I run into the house and say “Look! It’s just like it came from the supermarket” A perfect vegetable is very pretty. All I’m saying is if people could get their minds around eating imperfect vegetables, farmers wouldn’t have to go to extreme measures to protect their harvest and I wouldn’t have to listen to a cannon.

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