I am a romantic, a dreamer, an idealist. I have at times been known to live in a bubble.
In my perfect world, the fruit and vegetable man delivers the freshest of seasonal produce to our door. With a baby on my hip I stroll out my door to the waiting milko, he greets me by name and hands me large glass bottles of "happy cow" milk with thick golden cream floating on the top. Notes and coins are exchanged. A copper topped and still warm sour dough loaf is retrieved by my eldest from the bakery van whilst the little corner store supplies the other bits and bobs needed to nourish my family. Giant fluoro lit conglomerates with shelf upon shelf of every conceivable need and want are non existent and family run businesses forge ahead.
In an age of everything at our fingertips it is all too often that my dreams and my reality are poles apart. We can (and often do) hop into our car and within minutes can be at a store that houses not only the paint and timber we require for a weekend d.i.y., but plants to potter amongst; encouraging us to buy vegie seedlings out of season that probably won't survive the car trip home. Then there's the world of storage to play around in, the face painter and the playground for the poppets. Add a sausage sizzle to the mix and you would be hard pressed to find a more entertaining morning.
The other weekend though we tried to stay true to our ideals and hunted out a little family run nursery that felt much more in line with our philosophy of living. Freshly watered ferns holding glistening droplets in their furry tendrils. Potted colour, fruit trees and agaves. A concise selection of seasonal vegetable seedlings and an eager to help bearded fellow shielding his face from the sun in an enormous khaki hat.
We spent a glorious morning fossicking through little shaded alcoves of greenery, swinging on ancient whirligigs and connecting with our community. The cost was comparable to the larger "all in together this fine weather" stores yet the aesthetics; the atmosphere was priceless. That morning we made a pact to only buy our plants from local, small business nurseries. Such lovely spaces are few and far between these days and I yearn for my babies to be able to shop like this when they first plant up a vegie garden for their own poppets. It is a small change yet one we hope takes us one step closer to our ideal world; our bubble.