The Farmer’s Market


Yesterday I went to the Farmer’s Market. Judi was having a good morning, which is somewhat rare for a Saturday. I had just finished my run and once I finished a half hour of spacing out and sweating, I jumped into the shower and we made our way to the market. We left the boys at home. We will bring them them out and get them air later in the week. Anyway, Every Saturday at our Farmer’s Market, people from all around the area plant square awnings, weighted by gallon milk jugs filled with sand so they won’t fly away, and sell us arts and crafts, fruits and vegetables, meats and cheeses. There is usually live music. Yesterday it was a bluegrass band. It starts every year around Memorial Day, when you can buy leafy green vegetables and strawberries, and continues until the last week of October when it’s dark as they set up their wares.

I dropped Judi off at the corner of the Market so I could look for parking. This can take a bit of time as you circle the lot with the dozens of other cars who had the same idea that we did. Today we had a pretty easy time of it though, and I located a spot within ten minutes. I soon located Judi through the hundreds of people milling about. She was shopping through the arts and crafts booths. There were five or six folks selling handmade jewelry. Several people were selling loose-fitting clothes at way-too-high a price. There was lots of batik and tie-dye. There was plenty of homemade knickknacks–the woman from Newport Oregon had a wooden sign that identified her as “The Oregon Gal”.  The sign had a beaver on it. There’s no accounting for taste. She made wine shelves from pallets she tore apart. She had made a few cork trivets, she announced, with corks contributed by local vineyards, and from trash of her wino neighbors. The woman to whom she had related this story just raised a chilly eyebrow and walked on. Maybe she had wino neighbors too. Oregon Gal crocheted little kitchen scrubbing pads out of wedding tulle. We bought a couple of them.

An Indian woman really wanted Judi to buy a flowy white, sleeveless cotton sun dress. Judi wasn’t interested. Not for $70. She couldn’t pass up socks with cats on them. I admit, those were pretty cool.  The weavers who hand-make dish towels and washcloths occupied the same spot they always do. There’s a woman, presumably the weaver; and a man, who is always silent, and is always wearing a tee shirt that says things to the effect of “I just do what my wife tells me.” A girl was selling handmade soap and candles in dozens of colors.

And there were two booths, one manned by local republicans, right across the alley from their democratic rivals.  The republicans had a plate of free cookies. “Come to the dark side,” said the balding man with a wink. Okay, he didn’t actually say that, but he *should* have.

There was a trailer that sold kettle corn. They did a popping business. yukyuk. No, really. There was always a line for gallon plastic bags of kettle corn.  There were two, or maybe three, meat vendors there.  The meat was all stored in coolers full of ice. One had an “All meat in this cooler is 50% off” cooler. It was filled with veal, which doesn’t appeal to either Judi or me, so we moved on. Another vendor proudly sold “Rabbit, duck, and water buffalo.” It sounded like a Looney Toons presentation.

There were several vendors who sold salsa, sauces, and pickles. But two booths actually made a business from it. We bought gnocci and pesto from a woman who made her own. There were two or three creamers, selling goat cheeses, ice creams, and yogurts. There was a woman selling strawberry, chocolate and vanilla milk.

And of course there were fruit and vegetable vendors. Several varieties of squash and cucumbers were available. It was a bit early in the season for tomatoes, but there were a few. We bought some apples and strawberries.

The new addition to the farmer’s market was the food vendors. It used to be just the popcorn guy, but now four vendors sold tacos, barbecue (Uncle Fred’s barbecue to be exact), empanadas, and pulled meat sandwiches. I grabbed a couple because by 11AM, after my long sweaty run, I was getting quite hungry. Then we loaded our vegetable treasures into the bag and left.

I think I wore Judi out. I hope she’s okay, because today is our 23rd anniversary, and we need to do *something* to celebrate. We have enough vegetables now. I’m sure we can think of something fun to do with them.

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