Friday, July 1, 2011

Farmer's Market

Last month when I was in Omaha, my friend and her husband suggested going to the local farmer’s market on Saturday morning. This isn’t something they normally do on a Saturday morning and it may well have been their first time at this farmer’s market in the Old Market section of Omaha.

I absolutely loved being there, even though the weather wasn’t that great. There were loads of customers, vendors, musicians and free samples! In some spots it was as crowded as the mall at Christmas time. But here, there’s no rushing, pushing or attitudes. Everyone smiled and waited their turn. Perhaps it was atmosphere; perhaps it was simply that I was in the Midwest… where people seem a little friendlier.

I was surprised at how much produce was already available. There were tomatoes, salad mix, kohlrabi, radishes, just loads of stuff. Other vendors had homemade soaps, bread, pies, honey, flowers, meat. A local Greek restaurant had a double-sized stall and had a crazy selection of baklava-did you know you can get this in a variety of flavors?! They also had freshly baked pita bread. Some of the samples we tried were little bits of heaven.

I don’t think I had been to a farmer’s market since I was little and went with my parents. I was disappointed at this one because I was leaving in two days and really couldn’t see buying all kinds of things. That didn’t stop me from indulging in the free samples-oh, that honey wheat bread with butter.

I’ve always *meant* to take the girls to a farmer’s market and going to this one gave me the push to take the chicks. I recently found out about one that is held every Friday about 15 minutes from our house. The girls and I checked it out today. For some reason, they felt the need to dress up for this excursion and Sugar put on a sundress and Spice donned a favorite tutu. I guess we never get to be the family that just blends in. Sigh.

This farmer’s market was much, much smaller than the one in Omaha. There were less than ten vendors and hardly any customers, even on this gorgeous evening. We aren’t lucky enough to have a lot of produce to choose from yet, but vendors were selling breads, pies, dog treats, eggs, cheese, jams, etc. They also lacked a variety of samples. Spice spotted the only offering and dug right in, then tried for seconds. Why hasn’t her mother taught her any class?

This is where I out myself. Ice Princess does really have a heart. She only plays the mean cold bitch on TV. I felt bad for these people. There were only a few other customers, and I felt so sorry for the vendors spending their time, selling their wares and no one was really buying. They are our neighbors, trying to run their own businesses and it breaks my heart when I hear of local growers closing up shop because they can’t make ends meet. So we bought stuff. We pissed through the cash I had on hand like we were drunken sailors at some exotic port of call. We bought dog treats, jam, bread, seasoned seaweed salt (from the sample lady, I was totally obligated) and some chocolate dipped marshmallows with pretzel sticks. We bought from nearly every single vendor. I congratulate myself for not going near the vendor selling sweaters and scarves made of alpaca wool. Had I approached that stall, I surely would have walked away with a pashmina wrapped around my neck. Because I need a scarf in July.

EN was disappointed that he couldn’t come along with us, so I texted him to tell him how it went. I told him of my need to buy things because I felt obligated. Wouldn’t you know, the nicest guy in the world has exactly the same issue? No wonder we live in a house full of random weird shit. No wonder he has a second motorcycle that doesn’t run, bought from a coworker in poor health. God forbid Mr. and Mrs. Kindheart ever win the lottery. We’ll just be sprinkling money all over everyone else. At least the freeloaders in our families will benefit.

Ice Princess

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