Today was the long-awaited opening day of Carrboro Farmer's Market
. Definitely one of the perks of living here, it's the place to buy locally grown produce at reasonable prices in a great atmosphere from the people who actually grow the stuff. In addition to seasonal produce, there are also meats, cheeses, jams, fresh flowers, homemade pies, and all sorts of other fun things that we rarely buy. We go there for the fresh veggies and herbs. All sorts of delicious tomatoes (pink, red, gold, "ugly"), fresh basil (chopped and eaten with said tomatoes and olive oil....mmmm
), many varieties of hot peppers (Gleb's
favorite, of course), crunchy cucumbers, sweet lettuce, arugula, eggplant, zucchini, squash, string beans, not to mention the items that we just pass by. The produce costs roughly as much as it does at the supermarket or a little less, but the quality is infinitely better, not to mention the lovely outdoor space filled with relaxed people of all ages enjoying the morning. And then there is the method: first make one round of the market to check out the morning's selection and look for the best prices, then make a second round buying enough to last through the week, perhaps pausing to unload some of the heavy purchases into the car before continuing the shopping spree.
This morning I arrived eager to spend, but the initial walk-through brought me back to the reality that this is a seasonal
market. The most common type of items that was offered was plants -- parsley, chives, thyme, lettuce, spinach, etc., all ready to be replanted in a container of your choice, but not one fresh bunch ready to be washed and tossed in a salad. I'm not planning to grow anything, not only because of the hassle, but also because our balcony is almost completely shaded. (And no, it would not have been worth it to buy the plant and just consume the edible parts of it.) I ended up buying around 6lb of tomatoes, then making a few more circles hoping to find something, anything? I ended up getting a dozen free-range eggs, which was out of character since we haven't bought eggs for months. Then I finally went home and turned the modest purchase into a farmer's-market-fresh breakfast. A delicious start to the weekend! Here is to the end of winter and to patience in welcoming the summer...