I am quite sure this is the very latest my first trip to the farmer's market has taken place. I am usually there the first day, clad in polar fleece and blissfully browsing the aisles. No need to tell you that this year the weather has been ugly on the weekends-and I felt no urge to make my way to downtown St. Paul.
But today? The day dawned a beautiful clear blue. The birds cheerfully woke me early, and after a fresh cup of coffee I started out.
It was a charmed morning, I found a spot just a block away. The minute I stepped onto the sidewalk of the market block, I felt it. A deep sense of calm, and joy, and wonder. I have a tradition of slowly strolling all of the aisles first, soaking it all in. Today the tables were lined with perfectly trimmed rhubarb, their stalks lined up like soldiers. I brought some home, but haven't yet decided what recipe I will try this year.
Jewel green asparagus, tight buds and slender stalks. These will be roasted with olive oil and balsamic.
Fresh bunches of mint, laid out in bouquets. I am going to mix them with lily of the valley from my yard for a fragrant arrangement on my table.
Happy bundles of watercress, so fresh and green. I will use these in a salad, or to add some fun to a sandwich.
Something I have been longing for all winter and spring, the first spring rolls of the season. The family who owns this food cart are so kind, and always serve smiles along with the yummy veggies. This will be my lunch. (Not all of them....they are a favorite of Charlie's so I bought some to surprise him on his return home tonight.)
Tiny bok choy, for a new recipe I want to try.
And then there are the flowers. Oh, the flowers. Good thing I am 'mostly' done planting, or I would get into trouble here. Beautiful flowers, laid out like a giant glorious carpet. I needed another yellow begonia, to replace the one ruined by a squirrel digging for a misplaced nut.
Some 'Glennis' coleus, for my shade window boxes.
'Rustic Orange' coleus, for my front sunny window box.
'Golden" Swedish Ivy, more color for my shade window boxes.
'Carneval' reiger begonias, these will go into the kitchen window box, so they are the first thing to greet me in the morning while I make coffee.
There is just something about the farmer's market. The happy faces of the vendors, the hustle and bustle of the bagel spot, the lively sounds of whatever live music they happen to have on that day, the colorful displays of gorgeous flowers, all locally grown on farms and in greenhouses. I never fail to feel incredibly calm, and so very happy, as I walk up and down each row filled with the bounty of our little piece of Minnesota. From honey to soap, chocolate to bread, fresh beef to eggs, herbs to vegetables, it's a spot not to be missed on beautiful summer morning. And on a bright Sunday, it is very nearly a religious experience.