This last month has been truly a nostalgic trip down memory lane. It started with the numerous photos of the past which my uncle courteously sent electronically. That time when riding a bicycle was a super exciting thing to do, when Christmas presents were anxiously awaited, when my father’s hair was nearly all there, when I did not know that I will grow to look exactly like my mother, and when I was in love with my cool uncle.
Memories kept coming my way when I recently spent some hours in the field of the father of a friend of mine. The smell of the earth, of freshly cut grass, the murky soil under my fingernails, the sliding sweat on my forehead. All recall a particular moment in my life. I remember how, in my younger days, when we used to be at my grandparents’ house, I would scamper to my mother asking for permission to join my grandfather as soon as I heard him say ‘I’m off to the fields.’ With that phrase I was full of the joys of Spring.
There I was, around 20 years later, in the field again, harvesting broad beans and peas surrounded by majestic views of the sea and the uninhabited island of Filfla. As I stood there, I could recall particular moments in our lives, when everything seemed so uncomplicated – my brother playing with his truck loading and unloading soil, me picking up potatoes, grandmother watering the courgette plants and grandfather digging up with the three-prong fork. It was only us four, and some flying insect or bird, just before the sun set. Everything was so tranquil there, as if the world came to rest.
Well, I snapped out of my recollections and toured the field. I was now captivated by the passion with which my friend’s father speaks about his field and the crops he tenderly cares for without adding any chemicals but rather using natural and organic fertilizer. His field is a source of various crops, in fact at the time there were areas of potatoes, broad beans, peas, onions, garlic, broccoli, and courgettes. He certainly invests his time and energy to guarantee a healthier diet to his family and friends as he shares with them his yield.
I was so delighted. It was like a trip into my childhood years. It was also a breath of fresh air in the hectic life of these days.
I instantly cut some fresh bean and pea pods from the vine and popped them into my mouth. So sweet! And with that fragrant smell of yesteryear, I started craving for some crunchy Maltese bread with tomato paste, broad beans, basil and olive oil. There’s the power of food to bring back memories!
I returned home with bagfuls of broad beans and peas which my compassionate husband gently peeled. For the rest of the year, I have a local supply of organic greens freshly picked and nurtured with love and attention from my favorite farmer. You might find a bug or two in your peas but you should be thankful – that means that they are free from any pesticides.