My little town has a pretty impressive weekly farmers market, considering the town’s population. I wander by the half-dozen or so booths every Friday morning to pick up our CSA tote bag full of veggies, and it warms my heart inside. We’ve got organic and nonorganic stands, lots of herbs and other plants, fruits and veggies, fresh baked breads, meat and eggs, and even a local chiropractor trying to get people to agree to a free spinal examination.
Join me for a moment, heading down Main Street, my empty CSA tote bag in hand. As I walk past the certified organic farm booth, where the workers rarely say hello to me as I pass by, even when I smile, I see the booth for Evans Orchard across the parking lot. Two college students who work there–and who go to our church–wave at me. I stop and chat with them, like I do every week, and today I buy some half-price bruised “canning peaches” to use in smoothies. Then I round the corner and get another wave, this time from a woman I recently have gotten to know through our community garden. She’s quirky, and I’d probably never have become friends with her without a random connection bringing us together. At the market, she sells handmade goods as well as herbs from her garden. And she’s always trying to get me to take things for free. Today I buy something very exciting from her (more on that later). Finally, as I approach our CSA farmer’s booth, I am welcomed by the gal who’s worked there for the last few years, exchanging empty totes for full ones. She’s pulled out my share of vegetables before I even step up to the booth.
This, my friends, is just another day in the life of small town America. Another day in my life.
Another day in community.
What a find.
As for the exciting thing I bought at the market, here’s a quiz.
Who knows what this is?
If you said, “a mason jar with ten garlic scapes tucked into it,” then you win the prize.* (Be sure to leave a comment to claim it.)
Before I went to the market this morning, I had no idea what garlic scapes were. At five cents a pop, though, how could I resist? They’re gorgeous.
These five-cent-each babies are more beautiful than the ones you find using an image search on Google, by the way.
Garlic scapes are purportedly things that shoot up out of garlic plants while they are growing. This is what I’m told, but I’m trying to grow some garlic in pots out on our porch and I have not yet seen this wonder of wonders. Not yet at least. Who ever heard of such a thing?
In case you are curious what you would do with this food item other than put it in a vase and sit it on your dining room table next to lilies you cut from your yard–ahem–you can saute the green part or the bulb itself and use it in stir fry or, basically, any way you’d use a garlic clove. I’m told it’s milder than garlic, but I haven’t tested it out yet. Oh, and apparently you can even make pesto out of garlic scapes.
Definitely a find.
* The prize is the admiration of all Texas Schmexas readers.