We are now selling: bright lights Swiss chard, collard greens, 9 kinds of summer squash, pickling and Armenian cucumbers, and, drum roll please, TOMATOES!!! As of tonight, we have not found any "large" ripe tomatoes, still selling green tomatoes and giving away recipes for fried green tomatoes.
We are delighted to have 16 different kinds of "cherry" or little tomatoes such as: Matt's Wild Cherry, Cheeseman's, Sprite, Sweetie (my current favorite), Mirabell, Yellow Marble, Snow Queen, Black Cherry, Brown Cherry, and Isis Candy, among others.
Getting ready for market takes a couple of hours. First I collect eggs and wash them all, dry them, package them (of course they are color coordinated!) and then label them. Then we pick squash (all nine kinds!), pick tomatoes, check the okra to see if we have any ready, pick Armenian cucumbers, pick pickling cucumbers and then on to the raised beds for chard and collards.
I kinda blew it yesterday. I sprayed the chard and collards with an insecticidal soap which also contained garlic and a little peppermint oil...After I had completely emptied the bottle I read the directions, "apply at dusk for slow drying". GREAT...well, today I see that it completely burned the chard. They will still taste good, but I can't sell them at market tomorrow. Sigh...
(This is a picture of last Sunday's market in Windsor)
We pick the chard and place it directly into an ice chest with ice and cold water. It really helps the greens to stay crisp. Once we have picked everything we bring it into the house and package it or carry it directly to the old truck.
Today I did a little cleaning of the garage to gather a "kit" for market which included bungee cords, tape, zip ties, scissors, water cups, our market sign, rubber bands, and whatever else will fit into the kit.
We love selling at Farmers' Markets. I have made friends with the people we meet at market, going so far as to invite a woman I met last week to join my knitting group! I look forward to seeing the families out for a stroll, engaging people in conversations about our colored eggs, our beautiful produce and just saying hi. If it weren't for the space age blue tooth phones in every other persons ear, I can almost feel that I have traveled back in time to simpler days, days of locally grown produce and folks that know the farmers that grow their food.
Wait a minute...that is what has happened!!! Yeah!!!
One of the fun markets of the week takes place on Tuesdays in Healdsburg. It has the added benefit of being the social event of the week for our little town. Through the summer on Tuesday nights from 6-8 pm, there is a concert in "the Plaza", a.k.a. our town square. One night it might be jazz, another night swing music or big band or blues. No matter what, the square is filled with families and friends out enjoying life.
Thursday night in Windsor is a very relaxed market. Entire families turn out for time together. There is an area for kids to play, a band playing, every other Thursday night there is even a classic movie shown. Once again, we get to see familiar faces. Last year I watched a posse of girls that hung out together, this year they have discovered make up and boys and don't hang out together. Pregnant women last year now pushing strollers, kids growing up, and some folks not with us any more.
This is our life. It is a full, rich and wonderful life. I am thrilled to be living it to its fullest!