Saturday, October 08, 2005

Safely Gathered In

Although there's one more week for the farmers' market, I made my last visit to it this morning to collect some of the last locally-grown vegetables of the season.

Since I'm headed out of town, there's no point in buying most of the produce (greens, tomatoes, peppers, etc.) that would sit and wilt in the fridge while I'm gone. But I can stock up on some of the longer-lasting vegetables:

--two butternut squash and two more quarts of walnuts from the pair of older ladies
--garlic labeled as "especially good for roasting" from the cheerful lady
--two pie pumpkins from the tomato farmer
--a potted basil plant from the gentleman farmer

Very few farmers were out today, either because their crops are largely done or because the chilly rain kept them away. But at least I was able to talk with a few of them and express my hopes that I'll see them next year at the market. (And I'll hope to see the cheerful lady sooner as she will have greens and garlic and onions a while longer and plans to take orders and deliver!)

After saying my farewells at the market, I headed across the street to the Hungarian pastry shop for breakfast (cappuccino and a slice of raspberry tea cake) to warm myself for a bit before heading home to finish my packing.

It's been a good year at the farmers' market, and I'm grateful not only for all the good food I bought there, but also for having the opportunity to talk with and learn from the many farmers who come to town with their produce.

Fall is definitely settling in now. My maple tree is turning a beautiful array of flame-flecked colors, my carrots and parsnips await their harvest, and I'm looking forward to spending future Saturday mornings baking bread and making soup from some of this year's bounty. Everything has its season, and though the farmers' market season is drawing to a close, the harvest is now in and ready to be transformed, just as I have been transformed by this year's harvest.

Let the season of thanksgiving begin.

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