Martha+Tom

Midtown Farmers Market: Week 2—Patience

We’re not accustomed to visiting the May farmers market the morning after some (very slight) snowfall, but the morning’s bright blue skies  were enough to encourage us to hop on our bikes and head down to the Midtown Farmers Market. Though old man winter has stretched out one shivering, icy finger in a desperate attempt to hold on to the upper midwest, the smiling faces and ever-increasing produce of the market stand up in defiance, telling old man winter to get lost. Admittedly we were a little chilly from the ride in, but it was nothing hot coffee and even hotter tamales couldn’t set right.

The early spring market is an exercise in patience. The feeling of new vegetables right around the corner is palpable, yet week after week they only seem to trickle in: ramps the first week, lettuce this; can asparagus be that far off? In spite of the occasional disappointment when a sought after vegetable has not yet returned, there is a real excitement for each new arrival at the market. Like old friends returning after a long absence, each new vegetable is greeted with an enthusiastic embrace. By August, when we have ears of corn coming out our ears and enough tomatoes to fill every canning pot in the house, the abundance can be overwhelming. But for the moment, the slow appearance of one crop after the other allows for each vegetable to be given its due appreciation. And besides, after waiting all winter for the market to return, what’s a few more weeks waiting on asparagus and peas?

New this week was lettuce, from Gardens of Eagan. We also picked up a pint of their strawberries, which make a great garnish for oatmeal. And because I can’t resist, especially as we wait for a greener market stalls, I picked up a pound of ground mutton.

The hauls from these early markets are humble to be sure, but this shouldn’t be discouraging. It doubles our resolve to be at the market next weekend: after all, with new arrivals of our old friends each week, how could we even miss one of them?

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2 comments on “Midtown Farmers Market: Week 2—Patience”

  1. Kris 10 May, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    If you happen to find yourselves in downtown St. Paul on a Saturday morning, make sure to hit that farmers market. This is the third week in a row I’ve been able to get asparagus. 3 lbs/week for me and I’m still loving it!

  2. Tom 10 May, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    I broke down on Sunday and bought some (Wisconsin) asparagus from the Wedge. So delicious… should tide me over until Midtown comes through (next week).

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