in season

It’s a sunny Saturday morning.

The smell of kettle corn curls through the air. White canvas tents are lined up in neat rows.

The farmers have arrived. Busy stocking large wooden bins with care.

Guitar music floats through the air as the local music duo tunes up.

The farmers’ market is open and is already bustling with shoppers. Families and friends out for the morning. Dozens of friendly dogs out for a walk.

I love the ever changing market. Selecting my favorite fruits and vegetables at their peak of freshness.

However, I think the true beauty of this place is that sometimes you have to wait for a particular item to arrive. Knowing it has to be “in season.” No 24-hour grocery store flying produce in from far away to make it “in season” for you.

Here at the market, I must be patient. I must wait for the ripening. I must wait for the harvest.

It is a worthwhile wait.

Strawberries bursting with ruby sweetness.

Fresh flowers bundled in armful sized arrangements. Just five dollars a bunch.

Crisp carrots, purple eggplant, rainbow piles of Heirloom tomatoes, leafy lettuces, plump blueberries, red and green hot peppers, fresh green herbs, golden honey harvested from neighborhood bees, and eggs laid just that morning.

Towering piles of corn; bursting with sweetness. You can eat it raw, it’s so tender.

There are even fresh baked breads and sweets. Mia picks out a warm chocolate croissant. Chocolate covers her face and hands; it’s even in her hair. Grandmother types surround her. Smiling. Appreciating how much she is enjoying her snack.

I think it’s important for the girls to understand that food doesn’t just magically show up in our refrigerator. Learning about how it has to be grown, cared for, and harvested is a valuable lesson.

They get to play twenty questions with the vendors on both the foods they know and those that are new.

Why is it purple, orange, green, or red?

Does it grow in the ground, in a tree, or on a bush?

Who takes care of it? How does it get here?

A mini culinary education, if you will.

This week, Mia wants a cucumber. That’s it.

She asks, “Please, can I have a cu-umber?”

She picks one and holds it tightly in her little hands. Later, falling alseep in the car, cuddling it like a favorite stuffed animal.

Ava wants nectarines. She picks each one carefully and puts it in her bag. She eats one. So sweet and ripe, the juice runs down her face and leaves her with sticky hands. Only the sun and rain can bring this kind of goodness.

I fill up the bottom of the stroller with string beans, tomatoes, grapes, strawberries, eggs, raspberries, plums, bread, and three bouquets of jewel-colored dahlias.

The stroller is fill to capacity. It’s time to head home with our treasures.

Knowing, we’ll be back next week to enjoy what’s in season.

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