On this gray, chilly day (yay, yay, yay!), with fall just days away, I thought I’d take a moment to look back at the summer of 2012. I think I took about 1600 pictures this summer, so choosing a few to highlight will be difficult. This might have to be two posts. I’ll just devote this first one to the morning I spent at Mossyback Farm, my very favorite farmer’s market about 20 minutes north of my house. When you’re trying to eat clean, you start spending a lot of time at farmer’s markets. I can usually be found here.
Mossyback operates spring through Thanksgiving, and it’s set up in a tent. You can’t help but love a farmer’s market in a tent. Am I right?
Here’s the view from inside.
And Mark, the owner, will even eat a mushroom for you if you ask.
The signs are decorated with Christmas lights. All by itself, that little fact makes me love this place.
Along with just about every fruit and vegetable imaginable (minus the very exotic ones, like … you know … heirloom Persian variegated cumquats … ), Mark also sells soap.
And jams, jellies, local honey, chili sauce, spaghetti sauce, pickles, etc.
Outside, you are overwhelmed with flowers.
There’s a tiny pond for sitting by, and someone was thoughtful enough to paint these rocks for you to look at while you do so.
Of course, there are seedlings.
And if you happen to arrive at 9:30 thinking to just dash in real quick-like and pick up some pickling cucumbers, only to discover the cucumber man is late delivering the 400 pounds of cucumbers Mark ordered, and you end up waiting until 12:30 to get them, Cody is happy to keep you company while you sit on that one bench just to the left of all the flowers.
Oh, but you are the cutest thing I’ve seen in forever!!! Does Mark know how close I came to accidentally putting you in my car and driving away?
After you play with Cody for a good long while, you will remember to load up on all the garlic, jalapenos and dill you will need for pickles. Dill is magic, I tell you.
Finally … the cucumber man cometh!
But … what’s this? Not only is he late, but he’s also 250 pounds short? And all but two boxes of those cucumbers are spoken (and paid) for already? And Mark, knowing you’ve been waiting three hours, gives those last two boxes to you, even though there are customers standing just behind you who are also waiting for cucumbers? Oh, this has trouble written all over it.
You’d leave one box and try to make due with one yourself. You would. Except … how do you decide who gets that second box? And don’t forget — your family really loves your pickles. Even with those two boxes, you’re going to have to dole them out a mere two quart jars per month until you’re back at the stand next August, ready to buy the makings for more. And you did wait THREE HOURS for those cucumbers … and the closest other waiter was only about 30 minutes, and she’s already made a big batch of pickles (you know because she told you while you both waited). And if everyone will just come back in a few days, more cucumbers will be waiting. And … and …
You put your money on the counter. You stack those boxes. You make a run for the car. And this is the scene behind you:
Can you tell I feel just awful? I really do. Now, maybe if I’d only waited two hours and fifty-five minutes instead of the full three hours, I may have been more benevolent. But it is what it is. Or it was what it was. Whatever. Anyway, cukes, dill, garlic and jalapenos in hand, and the angry villagers with pitchforks and torches in my rear-view mirror, I finally headed home to make pickles. Ended up with 25 quarts of hot kosher dills, 10 pints of sweet pickle spears, and a small batch of the cucumber-onion refrigerator pickles my grandma used to make.
So that was my August morning at Mossyback Farm. Look for the tent, and the friendly frog in front. You’ll be very happy you made the drive north.