Gratitude Sunday: Farmers Markets Coming To A Community Near You

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Sunday Haiku
Branches hula in
wind, dancing in my window
view, then back again.

Sunday Musings
To balance out after last week’s rant, this week’s rave thanks the universe for nature. You can count on certain things, and nature doesn’t lie. It is forthright and always truthful, if sometimes too forceful. The sun comes up and it goes down. Water comes to us freely from the sky through the miracle of evaporation and the water cycle. The earth moves around the sun so we get to have seasons. We might not like the weather (It’s too hot! I’m so tired of the rain!), but at least we have it. I like the rain. I like some sun. Not too much of either. But I don’t control the weather, like so much else in life I don’t get to control. We may not control it, but one of the best parts nature brings us is yummy things to eat.

I like the way the grass grows and in such comforting shades of green. I love the smell of trees and the soil after it rains. I like the open sky and the different shades of blue depending on the time of day, from the lightest blue to the deepest midnight. I like the bright and pastel colorful flowers throughout the year and the change of colors to vivid hot leaves in the autumn and more subdued tones in winter. Myriad shades of gray, from the palest shades of pearl to the darkest shades of thunder, of most rainy Oregon skies are soothing to me. Until it’s not. There does come a point when there’s been too many days of rain in a row. Same with the sun. I like a nice balance, but like my road less traveled, not always achieved.

I’m not sure we can ever have enough rain. We’ve had several dry summers here and a couple years of rain is not going to cure the long term drought Eastern Oregon and California have been experiencing. Do you want fresh local food? We need rain, and a good bit of sun. When the balance goes awry, the results change. Too much rain? No tomatoes. Too much sun? No lettuce. Blossoms come before the bees warm up and wake from their winter hibernation? No plums this year.

I love fresh garden grown foods. I’m not fond of commercial production (because: Monsanto and Big Agriculture), and I’m less able to do my own gardening these days, so I use my local farmers market when it is open. When I buy small amounts just for the week I throw very little away and feel like I get the most for my money. I like junk food too, but that’s a different story.

My community has a farmers market half the year, from May through October. For several years they’ve been teasing us with the suggestion of a year round market. I think they could make a go of it as the summer market is very popular and savvy gardeners and community farmers know ways to lengthen the growing season with lovely structures like greenhouses, hoop tunnels, and cold frames. Many of these structures can be built with recycled materials – even better.

I’m so looking forward to farmers market season! The best parts of nature are what you can eat!

It’s early for strawberries because it’s been a cold wet winter and spring. I’m looking forward to fresh eggs (gotta get to the market early to get the eggs; they go fast), to a bag of early lettuce and a handful of spring onions (scallions). I’m hoping I find a nice bunch of asparagus and maybe a couple first of the season radishes.

One vendor makes pies. His crust is not too thick or too thin. His fruit fillings are not overly sweet. This time of year his fruit is frozen from last year. Knowing the source of his fruit and the quality of his pie is a great excuse to buy one in celebration of the first of the season. Bonus for the hubster who gets to have a birthday this week (64! yes, still feeding him, still needing him, thank you, Paul McCartney), and fruit pie is his preference.

I miss the days when I was able to do so many of these activities myself: gardening, cooking from scratch, preserving and putting up fruit, making jam and jelly, baking pies. I love knowing where to find the next best thing and finding shortcuts to still have fresh foods on my table. It makes my week a bit easier to plan around what’s fresh in my farmers market bag.

The first market of the month is a special artisan’s market: there are more artisans and artists, textiles, clothing, henna art, garden items, and handmade items of many kinds. The market provides a hands-on activity for kids and musical entertainment as well. Nice when your community comes together once a week to celebrate local food and art and even more fun the first market of the month.

In a few more weeks Oregon strawberries will be fat, sweet, and juicy. Cherries and raspberries and blueberries will come quickly after. Onions and garlic will start showing up. Varieties of lettuce, beets, potatoes, and tomatoes in the wildest colors and the best flavors all will grace my plate.

My community’s market makes me feel so full of abundance. My little bit of money goes into the pocket of a neighbor for a little bit of bountiful goodness on my table and in my mouth.

The market is a great excuse to get out and be face-to-face social with little pressure. It’s like old home week every week. You see people you haven’t seen, or you can plan to meet people and share a meal. A totally social event. I have only one objection: I do not believe it is a place for dogs. I will make an exception of my opinion for service dogs or training service dogs, but please, make sure they are dressed properly with service animal vests. I’ve witnessed too many dog altercations in the name of “socializing” the animal; there have to be better places to socialize than the farmers market.

Wednesday afternoon I will be one of the first at the market. Wednesday is one of my swim nights so if I get to market when it first opens I have time to shop, a few minutes to visit if I am so inclined, and time to unpack my goodies before swim time. Balancing that schedule. If you happen to be a Libra you understand the challenges of balance.

Do you have a local foods or farmers market in your community or a community nearby? Are you able to go? I know it’s hard with work schedules. Can you take a break or use lunch time to go, if the market is close? Can you work it into your weekly grocery shopping? Can you make it an adventure and make a special trip because it’s the weekly market? Could you support the gardeners and farmers in your local community instead of giving your hard earned money to national corporations? And if you can’t go yourself, do you have a friend who might go for you? So many choices.

So, I’m off to market this week. What nummy locally grown foods will find my market bag? Watch this space.

Color Watchcolorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – A pile of yellow azaleas. Is this a hellebore? Fascinating colors. A pyramid of pink azalea. Soothing spring greens amidst cooling gray stones.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} More of season 5 of Call the Midwife (2016, TV-PG), no spoilers, but you know, life. * Re-watching Game of Thrones (2013, TV-MA), in season 2. The interesting politics and passions of fantasy fiction when leaders actually fought and were killed, not just their minions, and kingdoms and power changed hands and dynasties. Hmmm, fantasy, remember.

Currently Reading – I have temporarily abandoned Melissa Febos’s Abandon Me (2017, memoir) for the arrival of Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan (2017, fiction). Both come to me courtesy of my local lending library, in my community the friendly tax-paid benefit for the low-income family. And both come with a queue so I have a deadline for return to share with other tax payers. I’m enjoying Ms Febos’s memoirs though I find it oddly disconcerting when memoirs are written by people under 40, which is not said to invalidate their experience, just relating my experience. And then Yuknavitch. Her work is thick, as in dense, as in meaty, pithy, literary, thought provoking, and when I read it I am thick, as in bricks, and dense and dull as a box of rocks. Science fiction and fantasy are slow reads for me as it requires much use of visualization and imagination (I admit sometimes I don’t “get” sci-fi or fantasy until the film comes out and I get to experience someone else’s view), and the quality of her work requires much re-reading. I can see I will be re-reading this one for years. * Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science (2015, scientific morality and ethics) by Alice Dreger. Academics, scientists, and doctors can be as ruthless as any other professions when it comes to craving power and recognition. Even peer review can be questionable. Check your sources, then check them again, and then again.

This week I have been grateful for:

    • Overcoming procrastination on a few action items I needed to take care of.
    • The older of my two baby brothers, whom I don’t get to see often, who joins me in the “60 club” on Monday.
    • The first lilacs of the season. The hubster can never resist bringing in cut batches when they are blooming to fragrance the house.
    • Finding a new swimsuit, my size, my style, at a cost I’m willing to pay. I get about 4-5 months out of a suit before the chlorine disintegrates it. I like to have one or two suits ahead for when the current suit finally falls apart, so I shop all season and buy them when I find them. My size and style you can’t just walk in and expect to find on the rack.
    • All the crazy delightful stuff of my abundant home. Not one bit covered in gold or gilt.
    • Remembering some exercises I learned in Physical Therapy to use for relief of an annoying pain in my hip.
    • The things my taxes pay for that I approve of: libraries, roads, hospitals, municipal swimming pools, PBS, fire fighters, many others.
    • Garage sales are my “squirrels”; learning how to not stop at them, because I already have abundance.
    • Loving the abundance I have and trying to let some of it go to other homes.
    • The day this last week when we hit 68 degrees and later it rained. Balance.
    • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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4 Responses to Gratitude Sunday: Farmers Markets Coming To A Community Near You

  1. Megan says:

    Try looking for bathing suits that are 100% polyester. I swim 3-4 times a week, an hour each time. My suits last 1-2 years. The lifeguards let me in on the secret of polyester. In Ottawa, I buy them at Aquasport. It might be online as well.

    Like

  2. Tammy says:

    I really enjoyed this weeks post. I like all your posts, but this one was more upbeat. We have a farmer’s market every Tuesday afternoon and Saturday morning. I should go more often. If nothing else, I usually run into at least one or two friends and can chat with them.

    Things I’m grateful for this week:
    My recovery (I have a lot of years in a 12 step group)
    My friends
    Windy afternoons – when the afternoon winds stop coming, the scorching days of summer are here where I live.
    Living in a beautiful area
    The miracle of seeds sprouting
    Naps – when I can get them. I have a weird severe sleep disorder. I was actually able to catnap for a few minutes this afternoon until the neighbor’s runaway dog woke me – front door was open.
    Hubby
    Water

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