Petaluma Farmers' Market

It's no fish ye're buying, it's mens lives.
--Sir Walter Scott
The Antiquary, Chapter 11

Yesterday the cute guy went to a farmers' market with me and we came home with another canvas bag of produce that we may have to give to the neighbors. He had to buy something from nearly everyone. If they'd been selling small animals we would have one. He nearly purchased a red Adirondack chair because he thought the man selling them looked like a character from a Richard Brautigan novel. It won't fit in the car, I whispered.

First we bought eggs from the egg man, his wife who was many months pregnant and their daughter who could stand up beneath the open tailgate behind them. They had pictures of their hens in plastic sleeves and took great pleasure pointing to which hen laid which color egg. I pulled the cute guy away before they started telling us the chickens names.

Then there was an old man from a Petaluma ranch that shuffled dangerously over the curb from his truck to the table wrestling with a roll of plastic bags until each new customer relieved him of it. He was nearly deaf but smiled from ear to ear when I took his picture. We almost came home with a box of onions from that interaction. A couple bunches is good, I said. The cute guy eyed the zucchinis no one was buying. I shook my head.

I was the one that had to buy beets from a young woman because she had black geek glasses and a red bandanna that made her look like a cover girl with tattoos. She consented to have her picture taken. Both of us, she asked looking towards her partner, a young man stacking basil. Just you, I said taking the shot. If the beets are half as delicious as her smile we'll be swooning too.

At the end of the market, our bag full, I don't remember which of us saw the tomato woman first, but she looked like she was going to be taking home too many tomatillas. With a shared glance we agreed to liberate them. I still had cash. We left with five pounds, a recipe for salsa and advice on the pee yellow tomatillo I planted with the peppers. Nitrogen, was her one word fix. Come back and tell me how it goes, she said.

As much as I love him, until our refrigerator and fruit bowls are empty I'm going to suggest the cute guy go sailing on market days instead.


Marilyn said...

Dear Miss Kaleforsale,
The descriptive tale of your farmers market adventure with the cute guy was a delight to read.

Although I've never been to the farmers markets you speak of I sell cards at the Sebastopol and Santa Rosa farmers markets whenever they have room for me. I see these vendors roll into the parking lot, their cars, trucks, and vans loaded with precious cargo while the morning air is still crisp. And after reading your post I feel I know those people too.

If you are ever up my way, please stop at my table and bring the cute guy.
Miss Dragonfly Cards for sale.

kaleforsale said...


I can't wait to see you in Santa Rosa or Sebastopol and see the new things you are doing with cards.

Do you have a website with your work?

It's wonderful to hear your voice.