Tuesday, June 4, 2013

That Time of Year Again

Well, in California it's never really not that time of year - Farmer's Market time. I never really thought to be thankful that farmer's markets can be found year round here until one of my East Coast dwelling Facebook friends was rejoicing about the return of their farmers market for the summer. Even small towns and communities around here have at least a weekly farmer's market. Where we live, we can go to a farmer's market every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Literally. There are two fabulous ones very close to where we live. If we were motivated and well rested, we could get up early and go to one before church and visit the other one after. But the only time we are ever that motivated - or well rested - is when we are on vacation and we usually have other fish to fry. Not literally. As of yet.

When Tyler and Lily were little, I would drop them off at preschool and hit the farmer's market on the way home. Charlotte was an itty bitty babe when we first started going. I would load her into my baby carrier, grab a coffee and bearclaw from the baker before doing my first walk through. I always like to stroll around the market first checking prices, saying good morning, dodging school kids.

I always have to remember to get the cheesy jalapeno bread when I get my coffee, though. Otherwise, it's sold out by the time I come around again. If we are lucky the baker still has a hunk left from giving out samples, and he'll give Charlotte and I the whole hunk to soften the disappointment of being too late. It usually takes that cheesy, spicy hunk of bread and a coconut macaroon to be fully over it, though.

After a few years I have figured out that I like one strawberry vendor better than the other one because she always chats with Charlotte and offers her "my very best berries!" I'm not under any illusions that she doesn't say it to everyone, but it makes Charlotte smile and me smile and is part of why farmer's market is so special.

I know that the cheapest vendor for vegetables is also the grouchiest, but his helper (wife, daughter, friend? Still can't tell) is kind and quiet and when he is especially grouchy, she will pack in an extra handful of green beans into the bag, smiling at me with twinkling eyes. I haven't decided if it's her way of getting back at him for his grouchiness or her way of apologizing for him.

The egg and honey ladies are spunky and fun. I usually get a whole flat of eggs and when I only buy a dozen one of them usually raises an eyebrow and teases me, "Are you sure you only want one?" I haven't yet gotten the honey, but every time my allergies flare up I wonder why the heck I haven't gotten any honey!?

School is almost out for the summer, perhaps one of these weeks, we will have to seek out a different market each day. I'm fairly certain between the extra ripe strawberries, the cheesy jalapeno bread, and coconut macaroons, the kids won't be difficult to convince.

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