Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Market

That, my friends, is a Savoy cabbage.  My daughter grew it, or rather she encouraged me to grow it as I had never tried cabbage before. (And who can resist a little girl with a flat of seedlings?)

My new friend, Maryann (God help me, I don't know if I chose the right spelling on her name...) said I should take the photo and post it on the blog - so here it is!  Isn't it spectacular?  I will grow these again next year, even if just for the look.  They are the cabbages that artists use when they make those beautiful pictures of produce, all crisp and textured and every shade of green...

Madison sold it at the Market on Saturday - to a fellow who bought it on memories of his mother cooking that type of cabbage when he was young.  That's not unusual...I hear all kinds of stories from our customers about why they are at the Market, and why they buy what they buy. It's what I like best about Saturdays.


Sure, we have had our share of nutters, but that's an aspect of dealing with the public that you just have to bear. Like the guy who walked up and ate a handful of Madison's berries she was selling without paying for them, and then walked off and threatened the gal who sells organic meat and accused her of killing babies. Or the woman who shops at our booth every week, but refuses to touch us. I offered to shake her hand one week as an introduction and she almost had a stroke.  But the funniest part for me is that she uses the excuse every week that she is an artist and she is shopping, so THAT is why we can't touch. 
 (Huh???)

And my fellow Marketers are loads of fun - there's Maryann to one side (who sells veggies and soaps, honey, maple syrup, salsa, jams and was the one to turn us on to garlic scape pesto) and the meat CSA to the other side (with two of the cutest kids around - not for sale!)
Here they are under the table (when business is slow) with my daughter...


I have resurrected an old play tent of Madison's and we bring it with us now for the kids, so they do not scare the customers by popping out from underneath the table without notice...

Can you see the cage on the table? (look back at the last photo)  We try and bring a chick or bantam with us every week, and it has become a highlight.  People like to see the variety in chickens, or the kids like to touch and pet them, or people share stories of when they were kids and used to raise chickens.  We've even had repeaters who come looking not for the veggies, but to see the chicken we've brought!

As a beginning farmer, the best part about the Market is all that I learn about what people want, and what to grow next year (more dill and cilantro, please ) and what to avoid (stop trying to push my love of bulb fennel on the world),  I also see a trend that is both heartening and frightening - people are patronizing the market more because they are no longer willing to compromise their health for domestic and foreign produce treated with Lord knows what and they are taking an interest in shopping locally.  That is good.  But many of them are also shopping to supplement their own gardens, grown not only out of love for gardening, but necessity as their wallets grow thinner and thinner.  We are headed for some rough times (if we are not there already) when the idea of shopping locally because you can't afford the gas or having to rely on your own garden to supplement your budget is a daily reality.  THAT'S gonna wake some people up...

8 comments:

Pine Pod Farm said...

Nice pictures, cabbage is yummy!

Nancy K. said...

What a wonderful post! It makes me want to plant a garden and join a Farmer's Market. The problem is: I don't eat vegetables. Or fruit...

just Jack's Naturally Rising Crust Pizza.

;-)

kristi said...

Melanie,
I found your site through Nancy's & enjoyed reading your posts. I had to laugh when I read that you are a cirriculum writer as I am a 8th grade teacher who just sat through 2 days of PD for new English & History books! I would love to know what cirriculum (I hate that word)you write. Cabbage loves great!

melanie said...

Well...Madison hasn't a very long list of veggies she will eat either (but sell - well that's a different story!) but pizza just isn't pizza without at least tomatoes - where do you stand on onions, peppers, or mushrooms?

melanie said...

Welcome Kristi! Currently, I focus on crisis intervention and behavior management material for schools and human service agencies so that staff can more safely manage difficult or challenging student behaviors.

But I am a born teacher, having taught high school Social Studies in special ed setting for 10 years, and then ina public school for two more. So I can't predict where the next year will take me, although I am trying to get school districts to consider using me for their staff training needs, so that I can still work within the school environment, yet not have the full-time commitment of a classroom. My critters need lots of THAT time!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Fun new post! I worry about you when you are so quiet. Did you get the cherries? If you haven't used them yet, put them in the zucchini bread on my blog instead of the cookie recipe I sent with them. YuMEEE!

Karin said...

Oh I love it when you post. Firstly I miss you terribly, secondly your writing and pictures are most excellent.

How many bulb fennel recipes do you know? Print them up and hand them out with your fennel.

melanie said...

oh, you are too kind! I miss you, too! But I stop by your site for inspiration and a dose of good politics - so keep it up!