Monday, June 20, 2011

Farmer's Market Fun

There's something about a farmer's market that makes me immeasurably happy.

Inside the Portland Farmer's Market

I don't know if it's the crowds of reusable bag toting people, or the dozens of closely leashed dogs weaving in and out of baby strollers, rickety red wagons, and plant stands. It could be the wooden popsicle sticks carefully labeled with black permanent marker: homemade butter, salad turnips, kohlrabi, heirloom tomatoes, rhubarb...or the smudged chalkboards with recipe ideas and growing information.

Assorted Herbs

Fun Things to Grow (and Eat)

Seedlings from Spark Farm

Maybe it's the scales swaying slightly in the breeze or the makeshift tents offering sweet relief from the sun overhead. Perhaps it's the backdrop of half unloaded trucks and the hum of activity between artists, musicians, bakers, florists, and farmers. It could even conceivably be the neat and colorful displays of fresh produce in baskets and wooden crates, or the billions of flower bouquets.

I Don't Even Like Tomatoes But These Look Good

Multi-Colored Heirloom Radishes

To Try Next Time: Salad Turnips

Brownie Points If You Can Identify This Flower

Wildflower Bouquets

One for Every Room, Thank You

Surrounded by people who would rather pay a little more for native strawberries, buy their perennials on a sidewalk, bring home a few jars of homemade strawberry jam, give locally made soaps as a gift, and look up a recipe for rutabaga, I feel tiny frissons of excitement. These are people who love to garden, love to cook, love to eat, love to design, love to experiment, love to learn, and love to talk. These are people who know never to buy anything from the first stand in the procession (and sure enough, the radishes in the beginning were more expensive than the radishes towards the tail end!).

This morning Mom and I woke up and hustled off to the farmer's market (BEFORE my morning workout - can you believe it?! It's progress, I tell you) with the intent of taking a few pictures for the blog.

Of course, we didn't quite manage to make it out of the market without buying a few things to bring a little cheer back home.

Our Haul: 3 Eggplant Seedlings, 1 Mint Sprig, and 1 Quart of Strawberries 

The strawberries were delicious. Small, plump, juicy, and not too hard but not too soft, these beauties packed a punch. I don't know if I'll ever be satisfied with a California strawberry ever again (which just aren't as flavorful...and seem to be on steroids).

A Mid-Afternoon Snack (3/5 Californian, 2/5 Local)

Do you go to the farmer's market in your hometown? What's your favorite thing to buy?

1 comment:

  1. The flower is dianthus - my parents grow lots of them. It's hard to pick my favorite thing from the greenmarket near my apartment, but peaches were towards the top of my list this summer for sure.