my friend emily sent me email tellimg me to blog about the farmer's market. (or should that be farmers' market? i am never sure. anyway...) i am guessing this is because i was going on and on and on and on about it to her on the phone earlier today. but here is the thing--i LOVE the farmer's market (or farmers'...whatever.) and i wait in the spring for the flowers to start to bloom because that means it's time to start going again--time to add it to my weeked food shopping ritual. so now, it is ALMOST time! yay!
i have been going to the farmer's market (farmers'?) since i moved back South in 1997. i love to support the local people and get the yummy fresh in-season things for CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP. i have a peach orchard to whom i am loyal, as well as a guy who grows elephant garlic, the old man who comes with a whole truckload of sweet peppers, a young and inexperienced, but very passionate herb seller, a crazy but very cool honey lady with the BEST honey in the world (her label says little flying cows, and her creamed honey has won the blue ribbon at the state fair for the last several years), and the best--the flower lady.
the flower lady is a wholesaler who brings her leftovers to the market every friday and saturday during the spring and summer. for christmas, she makes beautiful wreaths of dried flowers and herbs and boxwoods, too. (we pick up the wreath when we go to buy our christmas tree and some firewood for the coziness.) she knows me as i know her: we are always happy to see each other; we give each other updates on our lives; i don't know her name, but i have watched her children grow up. the flower lady has seen me through multiple phases in my life, and has declared the hippie her favorite of all the guys i have dated since i have been buying flowers from her. i don't know what it is about having fresh flowers in the house, but there are few things that make me happier. i have been known to take my last three dollars and go get the flower lady to make me a $3 boquet. her flowers are fresh and last forever, and she taught me a trick of putting a teaspoon of sugar and a few drops of bleach in the water to keep them fresh longer. she's awesome.
the other thing i love is just walking through the place. there are about 5000 people there on the weekend in the summer, everyone from old ex-fighter pilots who strike up tattoo conversations with the hippie, to migrant workers, to crunchie granola-ish families, to suburbanites lost in the rural culture they are suddenly immersed in, to gourmet hobbyists looking for the freshest and best ingredients they can find. there are dogs and kids and people and piles and piles and piles of fresh fruits and vegetables. there are plants and flowers and fresh herbs. there are fresh baked breads and ten-layer cakes and old fashioned buttermilk pies. there is a ton of laughter and mingling, and it smells warm and fabulous.
you guys should go.