One of my favorite things about living in this small town turned suburban sprawl community is the Farmers Market. Every Saturday morning from May through September there are white tents put up on the square and vendors bring in their wares.
Whenever I'm in town I walk over to the market to pick up what looks best to me. That's how I start my menu planning and grocery shopping for the upcoming week. This week I found a beautiful eggplant, rich and full. Haven’t decided how to use it yet. A basket of tomatoes, waiting to be sliced into some of the last lettuce-bacon-tomato sandwiches of the season. Peaches to be sliced onto ice cream, put into my lunch yogurt, or onto a bowl of cereal in the morning. Perhaps all three in the same day! I won't have that chance again until next summer, after all. Absolutely luscious Asian pears. When we sliced one for lunch today as soon as it touched my lips I literally squealed in delight! If I’m early enough I always buy a dozen eggs. So much better fresh from the farm! Thankfully, I was early enough this week.
Farmers Market makes me feel at home here. I’m close enough to be able to walk over. Doing so makes me feel so connected to the market and so to the people there. I become familiar with the vendors. They greet me as a regular customer. Even if we don’t really know each other, it makes me feel as though I belong here, transplant that I am. I enjoy talking with the young Amish gentleman who expounds on growing food organically. I laugh along with the man I buy eggplants and peppers from. Perhaps a form of flirting. He seems to view his vegetables as such voluptuous entities.
There is a friendly feeling to the market. People walk their dogs, bring their children, visit with neighbors. It’s always easy to start a conversation with someone looking at the same produce. Except, of course, when the berries are almost sold out.
It’s sad to think that there is only one market day left this season. Especially sad because this time of year has some wonderful produce. Of course, some is on the wane. But those coming in now are so colorful; pumpkins, gourds, squash. Foods that provide comfort to simply be home at this time of year. All week I’ll think about what I might purchase in an effort to tide me over until the market opens up again in the spring.