Marin Farmers' Market

The farmers' market has become routine. There's a plus side but Sunday the routine was on her head. I was three hours late.

I went to the cheese guy first. "I'm selling the last chevre," he said as soon as he saw me. He looked almost guilty accepting the money from someone else. I ran to the egg lady.

"I only have a dozen left that someone hasn't come back for. They're yours." She went to the truck to grab the carton. I pulled out cash.

With a five still in my hand I headed for the avocados. They've been five for five as long as I can remember. Not Sunday. Six for five. I pulled out another dollar.

There were still as many greens as there were people. And the people were in my way until I reminded my hurried self that this is what I've been shouting about, for everyone who can to support local food. They all showed up.

I bought another dozen eggs from someone else. There were green eggs in the mix, which led to a you-had-to-be-there kind of a story. I walked away happier to be one of the crowd.

There was plenty of yogurt still available and a minute to exchange camping stories. And even this late in the market the peaches were still kissable. I scored the one remaining loaf of sourdough from the Brickmaiden Bakery and filled a bag from boxes of potatoes, tomatoes and too many peppers to take home. I shared a rainbow chard recipe with two men and returned to the cheese guy.

"Okay," I said. "Surprise me." He didn't hesitate.

"You're going to love this," he said with a grin, putting a round of cheese in my hand. "If not, next week, the cheese is on me."

That wouldn't have happened if I'd been on my routine schedule. But then again, it happened because I have the routine to begin with.

I'm going to make a point of being late now and again because the way I see it, either way is a win.


kathryn said...

Lovely post Katrina. And a reminder that while routine is good a little bit of spontaneity can also pay dividends.

So how was the cheese?

Lucy said...

'Kissable' peaches.

Ah, you've made my day.

Amazing what a difference small and unexpected change can make.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

What a great story. Our farmer's market is the same, if you are late (it only runs from 8:00-12:00 on Saturdays) the corn, good tomatoes, cantaloupe, and all the other tasty yummies will likely be gone. I've tried to make a point to get there bright and early when I have something particular in mind, otherwise, I am more laid back about it - having a CSA share also makes it nice, you don't have to rush to pick that up!

Sounds like you made some great scores even for being late! I'm with Kathryn, was the cheese good?

Green Bean said...

You know, having a routine at the farmers' market is a beautiful thing - more obvious when we break that routine. We realize the connections we've made with our farmers. They see us coming and know what we buy. We've had conversations with them, share recipes and asked for advice. Lovely post.

And kudos to all those strangers for showing up. I haven't been able to get my hands on the pastured eggs from my farmers market for months. Why? Because they sell out in the first 15 minutes of the market. Think there's a demand out there?

Donna said...

Sounds like you did great! When I arrive too late to our market, forget it. No matter what I'm looking for, they're all sold out! I can't complain, though, since in our area markets are popping up like dandelions. I now have the option of 4 different days of the week, and I'm so spoiled that I don't really have a routine.

kendra said...

We have our routine at that market too. We used to go there every single sunday without fail when we lived there, but now that it's only a once a month trip, it's still the same routine. We walk the whole thing once, get a coffee, then start buying. We always go to the same apple guy (the lonely quiet man) and the same almond guys, and the same greens stand, and always a samosa for snacking. I love that market.

Going Crunchy said...

Oh, awesome post! I had to work last Saturday and didn't make it to the market that I usually do. My entire week (well, it is only Tuesday) is sucking because I messed with my routine. I miss my veggies!!! Shan

kale for sale said...

kathryn - You summed up what I wanted to say beautifully. Thank you.

As to the cheese, I'm not getting any free next week.

lucy - I don't remember the peaches ever being as delicious as this year. And they are going on forever.

jennifer - I was more relaxed when we had a CSA too but now I feel like I'm going to miss something if I'm not there when the market opens. How nice to find it isn't true. The cheese was a good change. We loved it and I wish it wasn't so but we still prefer the routine variety.

green bean - You know what I'm talking about. If anyone wants to know what I'm doing on a weekly basis my egg farmer can tell you.

Sorry you aren't getting eggs but it is good news, isn't it. I see a few chickens in your future.

donna - That's fabulous you have so many markets too choose from. Stay spontaneous!

kendra - Lonely, quiet apples. They must be sweet, thick around the middle, softer than a crunch and yes, I'm sure quite delicious. I actually don't know who you mean but I will think about it next time I'm there.

I'm sure you recognize the changes at the market over the years too but isn't it nice to see the people that stay the same. It's another kind of season, another kind of food, that also feeds me.

going crunchy - I know what you mean. I walk crooked when I miss my major market even though I can make up for it in smaller ways from week day markets. The good side is you can eat ice cream all week, right?

Melinda said...

Ha! That is how our farmer's market days usually are... rush, rush, rush to get there in time, rush to the first few places and find that some of them are out, and then, gradually, settling in and going slow... and finding alternatives, and sometimes learning more.

I will say though that until recently I'd never been to a farmer's market right before they opened - that was a whole new experience as well: watching as people laugh and chat, putting up their tables, unpacking their trucks, the glorious produce glistening in the early sun...

And buyers, mingling, waiting, until the moment seems right, or they're motioned to start the races!

Kerry said...

Don't you love it when things get "switched up" a bit - and all for the better? (Well, except for the avocados being more expensive.)

I'm hosting a "Farmer's Market Report" Mr. Linky. Maybe you'd like to submit this post? Come on by and check it out:

kale for sale said...

kerry - I linked to the Farmers' Market Report. Thanks for letting me know about it. It's a terrific idea.

Danielle said...

Oooh, I love the delicious win/win of it all. was the cheese?!

kale for sale said...

Danielle - The cheese was gone way too quick.

Kerry said...

Thanks for your submission to the Farmer's Market Report! I'll have the next Report up at 10am on this Sat. - Aug 23rd. Hope to see you again!