August 14, 2010

Going Solo at the Farmers Market

Tonight I stopped in to visit some friends, and it was brought to my attention that it's been two weeks since I last updated my blog. You have my apologies. I was temporarily sidetracked, but rest assured, it won't happen again. You, my dear readers, have my full blogging attention.

If you're a friend of mine on Facebook, you know I spent my morning at my local farmers market. These lovely sunflowers were my absolute favorite find. For weeks I had been looking forward to today's market because it was to be “The Pie Festival,” but in the days leading up to it, I haven't been feeling well (no worries, it's minor and I will live). Imagine how thrilled I was to wake up this morning feeling better than I had in days, and it was a bonus that the weather was near perfection. Looking out my bedroom window, I saw a gentle breeze stirring the leaves in the trees, so I slid the glass open and let the cool air flow over my face as I closed my eyes and savored the feeling of the warm sun. Yes, it was a good day to walk down to the market.

I've been there before with other people and have enjoyed myself immensely, but today was my first trip alone. It won't be the last. There really is something to be said for browsing through a farmers market solo. As I arrived they were beginning the first pie eating contest of the day. I would have stayed to watch the one man and several elderly women battle it out, but I was distracted by a display of lovely plants for only $5. Because I'm notorious for being the world's worst mother-figure ever to plants (they always die a slow, and I'm sure, painful death), I had an empty spot that needed to be filled outside my front door. Hmm, $5 seemed reasonable for a plant that would likely breathe its last within a month, if it was lucky. After quizzing the plant guy for what I'm sure seemed like an eternity to him, I settled on a hosta that I'm hoping will at least survive until winter. The plant guy was so optimistic about the plant's chances of survival, he pointed out there were actually two of them in the pot, and next spring I could move one to its own little pot, giving me two plant babies to try to maintain. Excellent!

My new found plant friends and I wandered along, soaking in the sights and smells, watching the people, and picking up the fresh fruits and vegetables to take in their amazing aromas. My next distraction was a booth that looked like a painting. Flowers. I adore flowers. If I could afford to fill my home and office with fresh flowers every day, I would. Note to any prospective suitors out there, flowers are one way to win my heart (just don't send me roses). I had seen this particular vendor before and knew exactly what I wanted (see the photo of my sunflowers), but they were missing. Disappointed, I decided to pick something else and began weighing my many options. Suddenly, I spotted them. There they were, in a lonely little bucket far behind the tables of flowers, near the vendor's travel trailer. My lovely sunflowers were waiting for me to find them. I'm sure the woman selling them must have thought I was a bit nutty because I was almost giddy when I asked if they were for sale and she confirmed they were. Fifty cents and two sunflowers later, I was once again meandering among the crowd, listening to the live band playing, and watching for my next conquest.

I stopped here and there, hearing stories from the vendors about their wares and telling them I was from Texas when they detected a slight accent and inquired about it (it tends to get stronger when I'm relaxed and engaging people in casual conversation). Then, I saw it; my final purchase destination. Tomorrow is a shared birthday for my mom and stepdad. I never know what to get him, but a pie is always a safe bet. Like a vision on the horizon, there it was, White Box Pies. After several minutes of debate, because choosing between huckleberry and apple is a major life decision, I made my purchase. It was only then that I realized I had only two hands to carry a plant, two sunflowers, a large pie, my keys, and a rather big purse. Because I'm determined and resourceful, I managed to make it home with all intact. Note to self: Next time take your little rolling cart to carry all your treasures.

If you've never been to a farmers market, you really must find one and go. You can't beat the fresh produce and local flavor. If you've been to one, but never alone, I highly recommend it. Going alone gives you time to truly browse the booths you're interested in, talk to vendors at leisure, and meet others shopping at the market. My little rolling cart and I will be making our way through my farmers market the next chance I get.  

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