The gamekeeper’s niece selects her fresh vegetables
During the summer she paid a visit most weeks, bringing the children if she could, to play on the grass and around the garden of her uncle’s cottage. Home for him was off the beaten track for he worked among the woods and fields as a gamekeeper.
The girl’s mother encouraged these visits for she knew that in his spare time her brother worked hard in his garden and there were always fresh vegetables to spare, better than anything you could buy in the shops.
One of the things the girl particularly liked were his potatoes, early varieties in the summer with skins that peeled off with a twist of your hand, delicious when cooked with the mint leaves that he showed her. Later there were the main-crop potatoes which he called King Edwards.
“Look,” he said one day. “Look at all those spuds I’ve got stored for the winter.” And he showed her his store of potatoes, insulated in the shed from winter frosts. “There’s more than enough for me and your aunty for the winter. You come and help yourself whenever you like.”
Winter came and with it the wet and the cold. A month went by and then she appeared again.
“How are yer love?”
“Oh fine,” was her response.
“Where have you been getting your veg then?” He waved towards the shed. “I’ve bin keepin’ your spuds for you.”
“That’s kind of you uncle, but I want to get them fresh still, so I’ve started going to the super-market.”
He wanted to tell her that the super-market potatoes would be no fresher than his potatoes which he kept, better able to breathe under their straw covering, that the super-market potatoes would have been grown and harvested at the same time as his and that his potatoes had been grown without the help of chemicals. He wanted to tell her how the super-market potatoes would have been bumped about and loaded onto lorries and driven for hundreds of miles and unloaded in a hurry but she was already gathering up the baby and making her way indoors to see her aunt.
What differences are there between the super-market potatoes and the uncle’s potatoes?
What do you think supermarkets mean when they say something fresh? What do vegetable gardeners mean when they say something is fresh?
Why do people trust advertisers?