Today was the opening day of the season for our local Farmer’s Market, which is one of the nicer perks of living in a small city. Even though it is early for some of the produce, we grabbed our little eco-friendly shopping bags and walked uptown to support the local farmers and vendors. On the way, I kept stopping to admire all my neighbor’s flowers. Someone has these charming purple sweet peas growing up their fence. Another has a lovely show of irises. The sun was shining and people were smiling.
I have a few favorite vendors at the Farmer’s Market and have some small rituals upon arrival. I usually head straight for The Pie Lady to buy some pies, because if you arrive too late in the morning, the best are gone. There is always an enticing display of pies in different sizes, different fruits pies and then a rich chocolate one. My habit is to buy one small chocolate kind and one fruit type. But this morning, because I am still on The Diet, I did not pick out my own favorite pie but let The Significant Other choose instead. I figured this might help keep me from scarfing one down while standing at the kitchen counter with a fork. As it is, he already beat me to it, because one lasted about fifteen minutes once we got them home.
I love The Bee Man table. There is a wooden display of a tray from a hive with bees encased in glass. You can stand there and watch them busily doing their bee thing in and out of the cells of the comb. I always look for The Queen. Sometimes I can find her. Sometimes I have to ask the Bee Man to show me where she is. He always knows.
Today I bought a variety of young lettuces for salad, and a coriander plant to start in my garden. We also bought some pesto from The Pesto Lady to add to the stash of pesto in the freezer. I put up my own homegrown pesto every fall, but we also buy the type The Pesto Lady has to offer. We try to keep enough pesto to get us through a long winter. It’s like bringing a little bit of summer back. The S.O. keeps buying them and then I think he forgets about them. It’s OK though, because pesto is our emergency back-up when”there’s nothing in the house for dinner tonight.”
A stop to try a sample from The Cheese People is next. I like their Spanish Manchego. Sometimes you can buy a “surprise bag” where for one price they fill a whole bag with different cheeses and other odds and ends, like crackers or fig jam. Occasionally you can end up with some real unusual stuff (surprise!).
As the summer wears on, more vendors appear and more and more produce becomes available. Stops will be added to The Orchard Girls, The Organic Egg Man, The Seafood Guy, The Flower Lady and The Venison Woman. Everyone seems to bring their dogs and you get to see a lot of interesting pets and their owners. We stop and chat, we people-watch and we sample. The produce is so beautiful to look at. It is a work of art upon itself. This will be the pattern now, early most Saturday mornings, right on through until almost the end of November.