Through a mist of faraway memories, I walk between the garden rows. Large green leaves brush my bare legs, and the black earth is soft beneath my toes. Bees are buzzing in the clear, hot sun, sipping nectar from the golden pumpkin blossoms. I spot a cluster of beans dangling like ornaments in the shade beneath a canopy of heart-shaped leaves. I reach out my tiny hand and pluck a fat green bean. I take a bite. Juicy and sweet and tender, I could not have been happier if it had been candy.
My mother’s farm in Cameroon, where I grew up, was a wonderland of delights. From the time we could walk, my sisters and I followed her around as she picked corn and beans, tomatoes and pumpkin. My earliest taste memories involved stolen bites of fresh vegetables, warmed and ripened by the sun. These early experiences set my eating habits for life.
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