Saturday, June 17, 2017


In the middle of the night, something toppled. Ed, still downstairs, shouted up -- what just happened?
I, waking up, shouted down -- what did you do??

We speculated what it could be.
Maybe the pounding rain gashed a hole in the roof and things came crashing down... Shouldn't we check? -- that was my contribution.
Maybe the groundhog fell off the roof. Go back to sleep. -- this from Ed.

In the morning, I look around, expecting to find at the very least an injured groundhog if not a hole in the roof.

I find nothing.

I mention this because living on the farmette quite often gives us such surprises. Things topple, screech, bend, push and crash.

Ah, but then there are the rewards: mornings when the wet plants are satiated and thriving, when the birds swoop down in search of the perfect breakfast, when the day lilies begin to show their stuff... Perfection.

Today, three gorgeous flowers open their faces to us.

Tuscawilla Tigress -- I love that name!

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Red Volunteer: strong and singularly beautiful!

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Frances Joiner: rose on outer edges, then apricot, then a green throat. It's stunning!

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Oh, fine. Let me once again acknowledge the potted annuals, and the pensive (and very beautiful) bronze statues that are Ed's mother's contribution to our gardens.

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Today is very unusual for me because it is the first day in months when I will not be spending time with Snowdrop. Typically, come Saturday, we go to the farmers market together, but this week the young family is busy and so very early, I hop on Rosie and set out downtown on my own. (Rosie is a jewel for these escapades as she can be parked anytime and anywhere and for free.)

Going to the market alone is an entirely different experience. When I am with Snowdrop and her mom, I am there for the market, as shared with the family, and I only purchase an item or two. My eyes are focused on avoiding nicking the heels of shoppers with the stroller and on making sure Snowdrop isn't facing the heat of the sun. I want her to love the outing (and she does). And there is just enough room in the basket of the stroller for my daughter and I to throw down a few needed items.

Alone, I am focused solely on the vendors. I am like I was when I shopped here for the restaurant. Produce matters. Exchanges with vendors matter. Understanding the growing habits of one farmer over another (for example, watching carefully how they snip their asparagus or present their strawberries or shell their peas) matter.

Because it is ever so slightly less crowded now, around 8 (with the family, we walk over and so we are rarely there before 10:30), I can take a few photos. I know, I know, not many readers love market photos, so I will post just those that give you the essence (in my view) of this season (which, by the way, is just about my favorite: the summer fruits and vegetables are young, just starting to emerge... it's like spring in your garden only better).

(I never buy potted perennials at the market, but they are beautiful to look at!)

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Buckets of strawberries? Yes! (Perhaps that wasn't the best idea: moped bumps and sways aren't optimal for fragile berries...)

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Peas! Delicious raw, in your salad, or with potatoes, or with your stir-fry!

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Always, the bunches of flowers...

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New potatoes! In Poland, we'd eat these with butter and dill. Maybe, but the possibilities are endless... Another salad Nicoise perhaps?

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The last of the asparagus. This young vendor is very good at picking out the best of the tips for you...

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Oh, I get even more: beautiful new string beans! Mushrooms, of course! I room in my moped basket.

 And after, I drive over to Madison Sourdough to buy some breakfast breads...

Home now. Here are the farmers' fields just to the east of us...

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And only now am I ready for breakfast. Decadent today, with croissants and pain au chocolat.

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I end my photos with breakfast, how unusual is that! After this late morning meal, I have to atone for my morning socializing last week and so I grocery shop for the week ahead. (It offers many humorous moments, as I ask the employees what they think of their new status as Amazon staff. What, you didn't know this? Whole Foods was sold to Amazon yesterday...)

And still later, Ed and I work outside, tending to weeds, chips, and so on and so on. It's not all work -- we have a very long and very beautiful escape to our favorite somewhat run down, but so magical, surrounded by fragrant pines, tennis court.

Perhaps there are finer springtimes to be had, but honestly, I'm just so in love with the one that has been offered to us here, at the farmette this year.

I hope yours was equally stunning, fragrant, colorful and full of the joys of daily life.