If it wasn’t for Larry at Infinite Garden, my experience at the grocery store the other day would’ve been just ordinary.

Because of Larry, the beautiful produce he grows, and the kind and thoughtful way he answers my questions, my exclamation of “what’s that?!” was met with “That’s a daikon radish.” ~ thus transforming my interaction in the checkout line at Acme.

My memory is getting terrible, so there’s a good chance Larry told me about daikon last winter and I forgot. Hearing the word that day felt like the first time I’d ever heard it, so I assumed it was an initial learning on my part.

I didn’t think much of it at the time, besides greeting the radish with an “Oh cool, it’s huge!”

Flash back to the grocery store checkout line – I’m behind a woman in ethnic clothing who has already shown some frustration at the checkout clerk not being able to understand her. (There was some kerfuffle about an Acme card, I tried to mind my own business and not put the white chocolate twix on the belt.)

The checkout clerk put a bag of what looked like oversized white sweet potatoes on the scanner scale, and sort of barked at the lady in front of me “What’s this?”

The lady in front of me said “Daikon” – however she had a slight accent, so she had to say it several – now many times in a row, and the clerk was not getting it.

I flashed back to Larry, telling me that daikon is a radish, and I interjected.

“DAIKON” – I told the cashier, “It’s a radish.”

The woman in front of me seemed relieved to have her communication barrier bridged, and the cashier seemed relieved to not have to send somebody over to the produce department. She abashed, “I don’t know vegetables.” And that’s okay. I wouldn’t have been familiar with daikon had this happened two weeks prior. We all are learning things all the time. Being at a Countryside Farmers’ Market offers me the chance each day to learn a new vegetable.

If it wasn’t for my experience interacting with Larry that morning, and his nonjudgemental explanation of Daikon, I wouldn’t have been able to offer recently acquired knowledge to the cashier and the courtesy of interjection to the woman in front of me. I consider this the perfect storm of soaking in information at the farmers’ market and being in the right place at the right time.

On top of all the wonderful things that farmers’ markets offer me, they also make my experiences in grocery store checkout lines more fruitful.

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