Saturday, October 28, 2006

Farmer's Market Joy

I like to be the fly-on-the-wall, so to speak, at the farmer's market. I hear a lot of interesting things while strolling through the market and doing my shopping. I am often shopping for around 25 people (in one of my Santa Rosa Junior College classes) so it takes me a long time. There's a lot to overhear. I certainly don't want to say that I eavesdrop.

This morning I heard a man talking to a woman (it may have been his partner, companion or wife). "I like to buy from this smaller stand since they almost always throw in an extra tomato." This was an important comment - one that many farmers ought to take seriously. People want a deal. They appreciate what the farmer is doing but really like being noticed and feeling like they are getting special treatment.

Ed from Twin Peaks Ranch which sells fruit does this quite often. This morning I got 2 Satsuma tangerines in my bag of Angelino plums (the latest of the season). Brenda from Hamlow Ranch asked me if she could put a couple more Fuyu persimmons in my bag and make it an even 6 dollars? And why would I argue since an extra persimmon could come in handy? I ended up eating one at the next place I went which was a beautiful new park of 1200+ acres in Petaluma, part of our open space district spending.

The second persimmon became part of my Bright Autumn Salad, a recipe from my book The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment, available on my website at It was a dish brought to a potluck Halloween party where I was one of the costume winners with my Evil Queen costume, the only packaged costume I have ever worn. Perhaps it was my Queenly persona that made it work so well, or the fact that it was purple and black, 2 of my favorite colors.

Tomorrow I go to Tierra Vegetables ( for an event in the field with fixings from the farm that is also on open space land. There's nothing like fresh and local food to help boost your mood -- on our first dreary day of the new time change.

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