Saturday, November 20, 2010

Closed for the Winter

An Odd Post On An (So Far) Odd Day

I woke up today knowing that November, 20, 2010 was an important day: the last day of my über local farmer's market. I had to get there to scrape up what I could, especially since Thanksgiving is this week. Simple enough, I've made it there most other weeks, but today was going to be different.

This was going to be a long and difficult goodbye.


A week or so ago my husband informed me that he was going to partake in a Professional Development opportunity in Manhattan for a couple of Saturdays. I thought, "Great opportunity. Go for it and Lord knows we could use the money right now." Then he said, "First day is the 20th." Ugh. OK, no problem. I'll walk. That just means I need a more time for this trip.

So, I woke up, got ready, let the dogs out and was gathering my stuff to leave at around 11am. It was a little later than I wanted to get going, but I still had enough time even if it took me an hour to walk there (I figured it should take 30-40minutes).

The Issue of The Jerk

Champ, my ShiTzu, came inside and was going nuts while I was putting my shoes on. I explained, "It is not a pet-friendly market, Champ, I'm sorry. I'll be back as soon as I can. You've got to stop jumping on me!" And, yet, he did not stop. You would think I would realize it by now that this dog is my version of Lassie - when he is going nuts he really is trying to tell me something - but I simply got frustrated and said, "Alright! Enough! Where's Buffy? I really have to go now!" and took Champ with me out in the backyard.
Buffy aka "The Jerk"
As soon as we got outside Champ started spinning all around, which I mistook for Champ thinking I was going on an adventure with him. "Buffy! Let's GO! What are you doing?" and then I reached, with Champ on my ankle, the open gate... The Jerk, who has currently been running around naked (my husband nor I can find her collar with license ANYWHERE) decided she should just TAKE A STROLL around the neighborhood. I turned, apologetically, to Champ, I finally understood him, "She left us again, Nicole. We have to find her!" was all he was trying to say.

I was torn between worry and aggravation. I wanted to just be angry with her for being a jerk, but, of course, without a collar and no real idea of cars and streets, my mind raced. I ran around one corner yelling her name, thinking, "If she's having fun, will she respond to me?" then I thought, "sometimes she likes to go the other way to see the dogs in back of the house, so I went around the other corner. Then I remembered I left my back door wide open, I had no keys, no phone and was just about helpless with my stupid, stupid horrible vision! I went back home thinking, "Forget the market. This is going to take me all day. My furry baby is out having a blast, I am worried sick and I am going to have to go to the insane supermarkets before Thanksgiving!"

When I grabbed my phone I saw that Frank, from across the street had called while I was out. I called back as I was basically tripping out the door wondering, "How long ago did he call? Did he just see her? Did something happen? Why is this phone taking so long to dial? Why won't it ring??" And when I opened the door, Frank was there and so was THE JERK. Evidently she was just walking in front of my neighbor's house! She probably came out from behind the bushes where "Fat Cat" lives when I called her, but because of my stupid vision I didn't see her!
"Fat Cat" is a stray cat in my neighborhood that sometimes gets confused and thinks he owns my front step.
 The Walk

It is a one mile walk to the Farmer's Market at the Mall from my house.
Such a pretty day.
It was a beautiful day and dragging my "old-lady" shopping cart with me I thought this was the greatest thing I have done for myself all week. Since I was all caught up in the dog drama as I left, I had no time to plug myself into my iPhone to listen to a podcast or an audio book, which both have benefits of their own, but the walk with my thoughts was so much better today. Sometimes I find myself a pretty cool person to hang around with.
Me, my cart and a tree.
And FINALLY The Market

We do not have a large market, and not all of the farms were there this week, but I decided to walk around to everyone first before purchasing anything. I gathered recipes and handouts from the stand and then went over to my produce guy.

Only stand left that sells veggies.
I grabbed onions, potatoes, broccoli, green leaf, parsley and, of course beets (my favorite!).
Yummy, yummy, yummy!!
 Before I left, I ventured over to another farmer's/baker's stand. It is a local orchard from New Jersey. I bought a bunch of apples and some sweet treats (small pies: pumpkin, apple and apple crumb) for my Thanksgiving guests.

The Goodbyes

I spoke with a couple of the farmers and thanked them for coming out to us every week. I told them to have a great year and they wished me likewise. And I got some great news: rumor is that this market will be coming back EVEN EARLIER  next year! The first year it didn't start until September, this year, until mid July and now one Farmer said June and another said that he heard it may even be as early as MAY! Like a normal NYC Seasonal Farmer's Market!! So Exciting! So although I am heartbroken and confused about what I will be doing in the months to come (I have not yet learned about canning, preserving and the like), I left the market feeling hopeful for next year's flourishing market.
Until next year, Greenmarket!

Today's post is dedicated to Frank who, in dealing with "The Jerk", actually made my fabulous Farmer's Market trip possible. Besides being a superhero to pet owners everywhere, and in competition with me for the "I've Spent The Greatest Proportion of My Life Living In This Neighborhood"Award (although I am winning!!), Frank is also a photographer. You should check out his site!


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