The farmer’s market subtle changes over the summer is something I love. Memorial day arrives and the market is awash in green. Plants and herbs for your garden, spinach and greens, peas, spring onions, asparagus. There is a fresh smell that is intoxicating. The pops of red from spring radishes, strawberries and rhubarb hint at what the rest of the year will bring. The 4th of July weekend arrives and the size of increased crowds combine with a greater variety of produce. The sweet smell and colors of blueberries, raspberries and stone fruit combine with the earthiness and vibrancy of early carrots and different shapes pole and bush beans. Baked goods now include just picked fruits as the winter larders have emptied. The market has become must see TV.
Labor day arrives and even thought it marks the unofficial “end of summer” the farmer’s market dispels any thought of summer ending. Tomatoes of every shape and color, squashes, a rainbow of peppers, eggplants and apples are now together with seemingly everything else from prior months. Farmer’s stalls are brimming and stacked. Where people were shopping for the week earlier in the year thoughts now turn to canning and freezing to preserve the memories of the summer. Conversations about summer vacation, politics, baseball and football create an audible excitement whose energy you wish could be frozen in time.
Each summer moves as quickly as the pace of our lives. The neighborhood farmer’s market doesn’t just allow us to support our community and all the things eating and shopping local provides. The market allows us to pause and savor the simple things in life. The market provides us the moments that are worth living if we can only stop and allow ourselves to appreciate them. So this summer take the time to go with someone special to your local farmer’s market. Chat with the farmer who has toiled to bring you something very special. Eat the fresh peach warmed by the sun and allow the juices to run down your chin. I promise it will be a moment you’ll carry with you through the week and provide you day dreaming fodder when it seems as if it will never be warm again.