Wednesday Farmers’ Market
In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.
What a bittersweet morning.
With rosy cheeks and anticipation, I arrived at the Maplewood Farmers’ Market bright and early for the last time this year. The market season is ending, and it’s a big, glaring, wintry reminder of the plastic-wrapped, blemish-free, distantly grown, waxed produce I’ll have to buy at the giant grocery store in the coming months.
I was armed with more cash than usual in hopes of stocking up, in hopes of delaying the inevitable. There were only two other shoppers, and I wanted to linger and talk to the growers all morning. The apple guy convinced me to buy a new U of M apple. The potato guy told me how to store a bushel of potatoes.
There was something easy and quiet about this morning. I wanted to stay and talk longer, and I think the growers did, too. These fall foods have a calming effect. They can’t be eaten quickly, like summers’s salad or green beans. They must be sliced, cooked, seasoned, and eaten with a plate and fork. They are slow-down-and-savor foods.
- $6: two trays of sweet carrots
- $12: a bushel of Yukon gold potatoes (and the old potato farmer carried them to the car for me!)
- $4: a basket of economy-grade Macintosh apples (Scott and Ainsley’s favorite)
- $6: a basket of economy-grade U of M apples (the new SweeTango, I think)
- $2: a few parsnips (they smell so good!)
- $2: 4 rutabagas
- $2: celery
- $1: acorn squash
- $3: brussel sprouts
- $6: two trays of yellow onions
Lugging all that fresh food into the house, I could smell the earthiness of the root veggies filling up our home. I doubt the Yankee Candle Company people are rushing to perfect the “Dirt Chic” home collection. But maybe they should. There is something really comforting about the smell of parsnips and freshly dug potatoes. It smells like meals yet to be created. Warm soups filling empty tummies. Coziness.
I’m grateful for this season, short as it may be. I’m grateful for brussel sprouts, as much as I miss sugar snap peas. I’m grateful for the time these foods require of me. God gave us this season, these foods. So we learn how to prepare and how to enjoy rutabagas. With gratitude.
For provision, for warmth, for family, for seeds,
For this food that sustains and feeds,
We thank you, Lord, with our hearts and deeds.
Abundance and plenty we ask that you give
For those who know hunger and in darkness live.
May this bounty, this harvest, this table, this place,
Fill up our bodies, our minds, our souls
with your goodness, justice, and grace.