Friday, June 18, 2010

finding treasures at the local farmers' market

Last week at the farmer's market one of my favorite local growers had these allium in a glass jar at the center of his vegetable display, and when I inquired if he was selling them he gave the entire bunch to me for $4.00, telling me to enjoy them in a vase and then hang them upside down to dry and I could savor them for months to come.

They were gorgeous last week, but this week began to open up even more, looking even more magical and whimsical than they did originally.

Yesterday I had $15.00 in cash, so that's how much I took to the market.

I came home with a bag full of beautiful corn, a bag of rainbow cherry tomatoes (we have many on the vine, but not yet ripe), a head of lovely lettuce, a bunch of green onions (bulbs striped purple, almost too pretty to eat!), three huge home-made cookies, and a large iced latte from the local mobile espresso vendor.

I also came home with joy and laughter from conversation with the people who grew this food.

The grower of my beloved allium told me he will be bringing the actual garlic bulbs in soon and will give me some to save until fall, when I can plant them and have my own flowers next spring.

The lettuce grower handed out free tomatoes and we all laughed when a very talkative girl put hers whole into her mouth and then couldn't speak.

The man who makes bird houses told me about some wrens he'd watched this week.

The corn man made a math joke as he and I both struggled to do a simple calculation.

The espresso vendor and I discussed local history and basic business tactics.

All that and I still came home with .50 cents.


Anonymous said...

Breathtaking! I love the vignette, too...with the kitty and that beautiful room.

I've always thought the FM was like cheap entertainment, with food thrown in for free. Now my husband gets to go, instead of me, and I miss it. But I'm still glad for the food.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Isn't it nice to know the people around your area. As a society I think we're getting away from dealing directly with people who grow our food. The mega super grocery stores,because are so impersonal. I realize it's also a practical fact of life.

I prefer to meet people and buy locally. Just yesterday I went to the apple orchard and bought locally grown strawberries (delicious)and a homemade caramel apple nut pie and as a bonus they were giving out free tomato plants for Father's Day. Everyone who works there greeted me personally and I liked the friendly atmosphere. This is the sort of thing you don't get at the chain stores. It's a nice change once in a while.

Your allium make a beautiful centerpiece.

billie said...

Suzee, thank you for stopping by, and especially for the phrase "and that beautiful room."

I had considered apologizing for the incredibly messy table, or offering that the allium would be even more lovely in a clean space - but it's nice to know that when you saw it, you saw the beauty, not the mess!

billie said...

Arlene, enjoy your strawberries - we had them for weeks in a row, and now they're all gone here. That pie sounds yummy too!

Máire said...

I love farmer's markets too. They are becoming more popular here in Ireland. At our local one, my youngest daughter is known by name and a special square of chocolate cake is kept for her. I am impressed with how much you could get for your money:)

billie said...

Maire, I had forgotten the large stalk of garlic I also got that day.

There is something very satisfying about talking with the people who grow the food. I love that your daughter gets her special cake each time - what a wonderful thing for her to look forward to, and what wonderful memories that is spinning. A beautiful thread in the bigger weave of childhood.