Wednesday evening I went to the farmers market at the Triangle. It was so wonderful, so full of summer sun and children’s laughter and warm breezes and bright red tomatoes and juicy watermelons… OK, so the breezes were pretty darn hot and I don’t actually like watermelon, but you get the picture. I brought my Nikon and the little, old Canonet that I had on loan through a Flickr group for some delightful film photography time. I was feeling magnanimous and cheerful and struck up conversations with total strangers, which if you know me at all, you know that is not something I normally do! But I chatted with the tomato man and the bamboo shoot guy and the folks at the melon stand. And it was great.
I noticed the abundance of tomatoes, and it really made me think about the most recent salmonella outbreak and how it’s all just rather unnecessary. They actually have to encourage people to eat home grown tomatoes, which shows just how little people understand about where their food comes from and how it is grown and how it traverses the country before it finally settles on their dining room table. Of course home grown tomatoes are safe! And the locally grown farmers market tomatoes too! I don’t even like tomatoes that much, but I felt compelled to buy some last weekend at the farm, just to show that I wasn’t needlessly afraid of my food. I even munched one raw (that one above, actually!) because the man behind the table heavily laden with ruby-red fruit was so kind and encouraging that I just couldn’t say no. And you know what? Even as a non-tomato-lover, it wasn’t that bad. (That’s about as high praise as I can give…I’m working on learning to like raw tomatoes. Really.)
I also saw the most beautiful onions, pictured at the end of the previous post, and bought a bunch just to be able to bring their amazing beauty home with me. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them, but how could I just leave them there? They were calling to me in their little oniony voices! Bring us home! Make a pizza! Eeeeat us!
The onion man also had gorgeous dancing garlic. I swear, food and beauty is so intertwined for me, it’s almost impossible to separate what is delicious from what is visually appealing. All in all it was a wonderful interlude in an otherwise forgettable day. Oh, and did I mention I rode my bike over to the market? Through the back streets of neighborhoods with small houses and flower-filled yards? Past the community gardens that make my happy tomato plants look like shriveled half-dead weeds? Past all the unfortunate souls waiting in bumper-to-bumper traffic? Through the hot summer air with its whisper of a breeze?
Yeah, I did. And I loved every moment of it.