Sisters in the veggie patch

imageThe first corn of the season is ready and green beans are dangling everywhere.  My Canadian cousin taught me about the three sisters: corn, beans and squash.  It’s a Native American idea to grow them together.  The corn is a pole for the beans, the beans fix nitrogen on their roots for next year’s corn and the big leaves of the squash suppress weed growth.  Next to the travesty of my rainpour-rotten  tomato bed, this experiment has turned out well.  I’m looking forward to stripping back the corn husks to reveal those juicy lines of kernels ready for lots of butter!    And it’s an easy veg to get kids to eat.

They don’t seem to sell corn in their husks around here. So weird.  It’s the perfect packaging and part of the fun is making a loud “schwack” as you strip them back.  The corn on the cob in the local supermarkets is sold naked, in pairs, on a tray of white styrofoam covered in cling film. Neatly wrapped but what a waste.  Same goes for all the fresh organic produce. I wish the supermarkets around here would stop packaging it.  Non-organic is sold package-free.  Are there really that many people who are set to cheat the system and pass one off for the other??

You can skip the plastic wrap and shop at organic supermarkets like Satoriz in Thoiry and Ferney-Voltaire, which are great, but life being what it is, it’s not always doable to visit more than one food shop in a week.  (And Satoriz don’t even sell fresh corn on the cob, just some cooked vacuum-packed excuse that tastes vile).  There is also some organic produce here and there in the local village markets or you can become a member of a local organic vegetable-box scheme.

Coming up on Sunday, October 12, Ferney-Voltaire is hosting a big organic market, which promises “crafts and artisanal products, local bio products, and clubs for sustainable development”.  By then I will have exhausted my own supply of fresh corn and will be found scouring the stalls.