If you tried to follow me at the Farmers’ Market, my dear readers, you’d quickly figure out my routine. When Chuck is with me we might stop at a few different booths, but in general, here’s the plan.
1. Park the car. Or minivan, as the case may be. Yesterday I parked my minivan in a row with six other minivans and a motorcycle. It felt right. So right, in fact, that I almost forgot to fill the meter. Parking is cheap in my small city; two quarters and a dime will reserve an hour.
2. Gather the bags (including the one with wheels) and head into the Marketplace, otherwise known as the Main Drag of my fair city. The Saturday Market takes over five blocks in the center of town.
3. Walk quickly to the opposite end of the Market to begin. I do this with my bags empty; they’ll be full when I reach the area closest to parking again.
4. Buy bunny food. I mean, of course, buy lettuce. There’s a particular booth that has good lettuce mixes and good peas & beans, too. I start there. I have 3 quart bags of their peas in my freezer already. Mmmm.
5. Buy corn (the only non-local produce I’ll buy today), green pepper, and asparagus. The family is getting tired of asparagus, so this batch will get blanched and frozen.
6. Find a good deal on berries. Today, it’s blueberries and a quart of bing cherries. Oh, my, those cherries are good! I didn’t see raspberries at my favorite booths; maybe (sniff, sob) that season’s over. Already?
7. Bread! The Amish baker makes such good bread. I normally buy two loaves; this week I only needed one. But it’s been too hot to bake cookies, so I bought some of her oatmeal raisin. Yum. Great with coffee.
At this booth, a young couple tapped me on the shoulder and asked where I’d gotten my bag on wheels. It’s a Transit Company approved contraption (meaning I could take it on the city buses), and all three Goodwill Stores in town stock them. Inexpensive, too; I think I paid $12 or $15 dollars for it three summers ago. It’s strong and holding up well.
8. Coffee!! There’s a great deli- small grocer inside the big office building at the center of the city. I pass through this former mall on my way to the car. This time, since Chuck wasn’t busy looking over the barbecue sauces and salads, I picked up two pounds of coffee beans. The deli owner told me they’re both local brands (I recognized this), and I know they’re delicious. Win-win, folks.
9. Back to van, pack the foodstuffs inside, and open the windows. It’s hot! I’m sweaty! But it was worth the trip.
5. Home to unpack! No, dear readers, I didn’t take a picture of the counter full of produce this time. I only photographed one item – the one with meaning. In the hopes that the NFL lock-out will end sooner rather than later, I bought – you guessed it, Packer beans. Sing it – Green and yellow, green and yellow, green and yellow…