Catching Up

May 31, 2008 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

Zucchinis

I’m lucky to have very flexible hours on my job. Yesterday, I used that flexibility to stay ahead of the weather and get a few outside tasks completed. I cut grass, weeded and thinned veggie beds and did a couple of laundry loads.

This morning, I am thrilled to be able to get back to the amazing piedmont farmer’s markets. I visited the CRV farmer’s market on all three of it’s open days last week. But except for Saturday there was only one open stall and that was only selling bedding plants. Not that I have anything against bedding plants but I do not spend enough time at the CRV house to manage an outside garden there so they were not much use to me. I did get some nice, hard cheese there on Saturday. And I realize that in the CRV it’s still quite early in the season. I know all that.

However, the experience opened my eyes to the fact that in this little section of the piedmont we have quite an amazing local food scene going on. One of our farmer’s markets has initiated a year-round schedule this year and several new markets have also opened this season. The market closest to me has opened this season in a brand-new covered space built and paid for by our town. That’s what I call my tax dollars at work. My town’s market is open on Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons and it’s not only possible but fairly easy to fill the week’s marketing needs primarily from that source. We have vegetables, fruits, bread and baked goods, cheeses, eggs, pasture-raised beef, chicken, pork, lamb, goat, and buffalo. There are stalls selling goat’s milk soap, pottery, honey, preserves and even local wines.

It’s not exactly that I haven’t noticed the growing diversity of offerings at market. Only two or three years ago, my town’s market had only a dozen stalls selling a few standard vegetables and that’s it. Then eggs started appearing on offer. More fruit showed up. We welcomed the most amazing cheese-maker to our town. Folks started baking and selling their bread. Finally, coolers filled with a variety of pastured meats began appearing. It has been gradual and yet it also feels like the momentum has truly been building around here in the last year or so.

The thing I like best about gardening is the hope and faith involved in placing a seed — a small dried bit — into the earth with the expectation that this will eventually turn into a sprout, a plant, dinner. That transition never ceases to amaze me and I hope it never will.

When I read and listen to the news things seem fairly dismal. But when I tour the colorful, bustling farmer’s market on Saturday morning, it feels like an insistent sprout pushing it’s way through the mulch. It feels like hope.

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Entry filed under: Piedmont.

Urban and Rural Baking Day

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