Is locally-grown produce more expensive than the bioengineered mutations available at corporate grocery stores? Probably a wee bit. Is it also significantly healthier and fresher? It is! Is it worth the extra cash? That depends on how much you enjoy eating mutants. Fortunately for those who aren't so into that, but have a fondness for fruits and veggies, farmers markets can be accessed Tuesdays and Fridays at Copley Square and Mondays and Wednesdays at City Hall Plaza. Last Monday, we questioned proprietors Scott Hurwitz of Silverbrook Farm, a three-centuries-old Dartmouth-based institution, and Boston Public Market manger Shaq Jones regarding the joys and tribulations of urban farming.
The historical atrocities surrounding Thanksgiving: thoughts?
SH: You’ve got to remember, I work for a bunch of Quakers. They were legal to hunt up until 150 years ago. That’s why Quaker meeting houses always had underground back doors.
How could anyone tell if they were shooting a Quaker instead of, um, a member of some other religion?
SH: Ah, what the hell? You just put a different hat on them, and you’re fine . Do you think your knack for growing your own food would help you survive a zombie apocalypse?
SJ: I’m a straight diva. I wouldn’t die first. I know how to throw people under the bus. That’s not the issue. I’m sure I could be the last person alive if I really wanted to, but running through a whole empty field…I’m just not for it. Worst case scenario, I’d become a zombie.
That might be fun.
SH: I just don’t picture you eating brains.
SJ: I’d be the vegetarian zombie. I’d eat all vegetables and fruit. That’s what happens to me anyway during the winter. Working on a farmers market tunes you. It switches up your whole diet, to the point where now I crave things when they come into season. This week, I’ll be stocked up on Asian pears.
But if it came down to it, you’d be very selective about the type of person you ate?
SJ: Oh yeah.
SH: Asians! They might taste like the pears!
(Shaq and Scott’s nearby Asian coworker audibly rolls her eyes)
How would society change if everyone grew their own food?
SH: Not everyone could grow their own food. There isn’t the ability to. We put our farm into a land trust, just so it won’t ever be able to be used for anything other than farmland. But farms sell out all the time, and their land gets turned into condos. There’re two things you always have to worry about: Not enough room to plant food, and not enough room to put the dead people. That’s where zombies come in handy.