I took the day to drive through the rolling Nebraska countryside and visit three of my primary growers. Harvest Home in Waverly, Sanders Farm in Dwight and Shadowbrook Farm just outside Lincoln. It was a great way to spend my day off.

It was interesting to see the distinct styles of their farms, each one reflecting the personalities of their owner, like how their tomatoes were caged or not, what varieties they chose to grow, or how they dealt with weeds. Every place was different, but they all had one thing in common. They are pursuing the life they love.

Growing food is hard work. Just like the kitchen, it requires constant movement and attention. But for all its rigor, it leaves the grower with an extreme sense of satisfaction that is evident in the conversations I had yesterday.

As we walked the rows of beans, the young sprouts of carrot tops and the myriad of colorful flowers, the talk always turned to their pleasure and fascination with the simple beauty of what they do.

This is the good life, as indicated by the slogan on the big green and white sign that often gets laughed at as you cross our state line. But such is the case with goodness. It can get overlooked by more boisterous landscape, but learning to grow where you are planted, like the amazing orange and yellow Tiger Melon that we found tucked under cover of crabgrass stems is a gift few seem to unwrap.

Beauty is everywhere you look, you just have to have eyes to see it. Fascination with the colony of bees you nurture can bring as much amazement as the snowy peaks you long for when it’s a hundred in the shade. I witnessed this first hand on my little day trip.

A Monday Afternoon Drive