Marin Farmers' Market

Sunday mornings are my main farmers' market but this morning a fierce wind was rattling our windows. It was raining. Sporadic, giant amounts of rain, raining. And it was warm in bed.

This is why I used to go to the grocery store, I thought. I could stay in bed reading the paper, sipping coffee and then with pretty hair I could use my umbrella into the store and leave with paper bags, the kind that perfectly fit the recycling cupboard, and completely dry, pack my car and go home.

The thought propelled me out of bed and into two pair of pants, a scarf and the cute guy's rain jacket determined to find food that didn't remind me of the Stepford Wives or Soylent Green.

I nearly had the farmers' market to myself. Five minutes out of the car and I got caught in a downpour between the protea vendor's tent and the cute Capay Valley guy with the gorgeous leeks. And then I realized the jacket had a hood.

At his designated corner the yogurt man was calmly standing in full rain regalia without a tent over his table listening to On The Media through perfectly planted ear buds. I bought a mason jar of plain, he gave me change and we never mentioned the rain.

Then the wind grabbed a set of tents that were tied to tables weighted with ice filled trays of gaping fish. A collective gasp reached up to grab the poles and the wind dropped them, ice cubes skidding on the ground. Everyone looking at each other, what-to-do, written across their faces.

The mushroom lady bagged her mushrooms in plastic instead of brown bags and I'm sure it was the wet hair that won half a smile from her. In any event, it was high praise.

Nearby the Prather Ranch guys were cool as ever, even next to the tortilla man in his hollywood set tent, completely dry and in short sleeves. I don't know how he did it.

The furthest ends of the market smelled of Swedish Waffles like they never have before. And the kettle korn folks were there, blue tarps flapping, popcorn popping. Crazy.

I felt like I needed to buy something from everyone, primarily for the fact that they were there but then secondly, because it was a dry market without the coffee vendor. Thankfully I had coffee at home.

At one tent I didn't recognize I popped a couple of satsumas from a wet box into a used bag, reached for a taste and then thought better of it. They tasted old. And that funny space between the skin and the fruit that gives a bit with a gentle squeeze, it was mushy. I put the fruit back but it was hard to walk away with only a few other buyers around.

One of the flower guys, he has nice anemones, lost part of this stack of wrapping newspaper but the pages didn't fly far from his truck. They stuck to the ground like hop scotch and wouldn't lift even with the increasing attempts by the wind. With help he peeled them from the black top.

"What a day!" I said to the fellow at the next Marin farm.

"It's just different," he said looking at me. "It's just different. That's all." And he was smiling. Stacking cilantro in the rain and the wind and smiling.

"Yeah," I said. "Just different." And I found myself smiling too.

5 comments:

Green Bean said...

How nice, Katrina! I love to visit your farmers' market with you. My visit to mine on Saturday was much the same - though a little less rainy. The farmers and vendors, though, are usually so unfazed. It is just weather after all. :)

Emily said...

I bet, in the end, you were glad you braved the storm...

kale for sale said...

green bean - You said it - unfazed. I love that. Farmer's market wisdom to live by.

Emily - I was especially glad while I was eating the potato, cauliflower soup I made after I got home with nan and a fresh cilantro pesto to go with it!

Theresa said...

I felt like I was right there with you - it sounded like an invigorating trip, that was well worth it.

Also, I've tagged you for a meme over at my blog, if you would like to participate :)

kale for sale said...

Theresa - Yes, invigorating and wet!

Thanks for the tag. I've listed six quirks a couple of weeks ago right here --

http://kaleforsale.blogspot.com/2008/02/tagged-again.html

It was good fun then reading the quirks of the folks I tagged as it was to read yours!