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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

If you had something to hide you should have hidden it.

I know his farm, to drive by it. "The one with all the black-eyed susans."

"Well, I've only got half an acre in flowers, but it's right by the road. The rest is hay." His hard Yankee farmer's hands clutch the stems, bundle the bouquet together.

I walked past him to get in, but he was still setting up, and I thought I would come back. So I went and bought peaches ("Those need two days on the table," she says), butter-and-sugar corn,  local mozzarella, local hard cheese (the sample is as good as a sale, and she knows it--look at her grinning when I put it in my mouth), raw milk from Jersey cows, fresh free-range eggs ("Collected this morning." "What kind of hens do you have?" "Bantams, Rhode Island Reds. Whatever walks in off the street." The eggs are all different sizes. But they're all brown, because we're in Connecticut, and nobody eats white eggs if they can help it, and over that we have a little pleased silent conspiracy.), sandwich tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes (four kinds--one named for a Gilbert and Sullivan opera, one that went all the way to Russia and came all the way back to America again. "Best tasting one we have," he says.), apple cinnamon walnut bread, "Popeye bread" (spinach, garlic), summer squash no longer than my hand, blueberries from South Glastonbury, blackberries from Tolland, the first early macs! oh I have to get those, onions ("Look at you grinning and looking at the food," she says to me, and I grin wider and say "Two red onions, please" and she also hands me a photocopied sheet with a salad recipe), and garlic ("We grow everything we sell.") and when I can barely walk, back to the man with the sunflowers.

Butter-yellow, mustard-yellow, rusty, with nodding heads. "They're not really good yet. Come back in two weeks." But he gives me what he has.

He has cosmos too, and zinnias, and some Queen Anne's Lace that I bet was a happy volunteer in his half-acre of flowers, and as he's picking out cosmos for me (bouquet bigger than my head, "I don't have a big enough vase!" and he grins and sticks another sunflower in) he shyly says "I love touching these," and strokes the feathery foliage of the cosmos, leathery and tangled and soft. "I don't have a whole row of them, but I walk down what I've got and run my fingers along them.

"Eight dollars," he says. His callused hands are half again as big as mine. He gives me the bouquet, takes my apologetic twenty, gives me change.

"A bargain at twice the price," I say, my arms full of good food, sweet flowers, the sky overhead the color of my cobalt fruit bowl. His shy smile turns into a grin that closes his eyes.

I know why he does it, that half-acre of flowers against all his hay. And I know why he plants them beside the road.

Yeah, Yankee farmers. We're on to you.

We've got a conspiracy of silence going about that, as well.

Comments

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Ah, this is a lovely thing to wake up to. :)
*g* I hope his wife appreciates him.
You just made me remember... I'm back in the northeast and can get APPLES. Macs, even. Oh, I am a happy person.
Oh yeah. I did a little dance. I mean, they're early macs, and tart as lemons.

But mmm.
Yeah. That's a place worth loving.
*g* It's not a patch on Madison's giant farmer's market. But yeah.
Ok, I am so visiting you now. Not that there wasn't proper incentive before, but it's just been magnified. *grin*
Oh, totally. You have to come help me buy a house, remember?
Macs. You had to mention Macs. ::sigh:: You make me homesick, girl.

And you're a hella good writer. Just sayin'.
Shucks, ma'am. Thank you.

And yeah, I missed macs the whole time I was out west. They just don't ship.

My grandparents had two macintosh trees in the back yard, an eating tree and a cooking tree. I used to eat the apples warm off the branch.

Nothing like it.
OK, that settles it: I'm off to the farmers' market.

There will be sweet corn, and tomatoes. And peaches. And maybe an armfull of late-summer flowers, just because you reminded me.
Sweet corn!

Wait all year for it.

The next big one for me, after the corn and the peaches and the raspberries, is the sweet cider.
Thank you! You just brought back some good memories of my Dad. He was one of those yankee farmers and most summers we had a card table in our front yard with piles of produce from the garden. Whatever didn't sell is what we had for supper that night. :-)
Oh, those summer suppers of salted tomatoes and sweet corn and steamed summer squash and fresh peas or green beans. Oh yeah.

You can't say you're eating like kings, because kings never had it so good. *g*
You just made me homesick. Of course, I grew up in lower Fairfield County (which, let's face it, they should just chop off and hand to New York and be done with it), and normally get homesick over films set in Manhattan. But everything you wrote about was just a short drive away on a nice sunny Saturday morning, generally past some corn fields, or maybe tobacco. And cows, of course, lolling about in the grass, tails swishing. And you also made me hungry. Now I want eggs and blueberries and apple cinnamon walnut bread for breakfast. Tease.
All of it handed to you by Yankee farmers who pretend to be stoic and tough. *g*

Tastes better that way.

I was so homesick while I was away. I know exactly what you mean.

brown eggs

In the part of the South where I grew up, "the old folks" all knew that brown eggs were more nutritious, and white eggs were for (silly) city folk, and for Easter Eggs.
We have markets like that here, too; small stands in the middle of nowhere that offer divine fresh-picked treats and beautifully seductive foilage and fauna. More often than not, there's no one in attendance - you simply leave money in the cigar box or jar left out on the table.

I don't drop by nearly enough to comment on your posts, but this one is especially lovely! Thanks...
Damn you, you're making me hungry.

I grew up in a market gardening area - my parents grew tomatoes commercially - and while the produce is a bit different, the whole concept of fresh things not from the supermarket makes me so nostalgic.
This needs a food_porn tag, dammit; I was misled!

And your northeast is a lot prettier than my northeast, it would seem :D
Well, yanno, not if you're in Bridgeport. *g*
You made me want to make my day try harder.
I'm trying for celebrations. Every day needs some.
one named for a Gilbert and Sullivan opera

Which one, if I may ask? My G&S-fangirl brain suggests Ruddigore as most amusing, but I expect it's more likely one of the better-known ones, like The Mikado.
Mikado.

(Anonymous)

Thank your for a lovely image that sits in my head now.
Did some driving in Northern Wis. this last week and saw so many beautiful scenes. Yea nature!
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