to market, to market

I found out over the weekend that we missed our town's first farmers' market of the season, which was last week. Now, being in Maine, we didn't exactly miss out on a ton of veggies, since the growing season is just getting going here. But still, the farmers' market is one of the harbingers of summer, and given the recent summer-y weather, it felt wrong to miss it. We made up for it today.

 As soon as we woke up, I told the boys we were going to the market. There's nothing like getting your children excited about an outing to hold you accountable for actually making it out the door for said outing! Last year we made it to very few farmers' markets, due to some crazy scheduling and lack of organization on my part; this year we'll be different. There's really no excuse - the market site is so close we can almost see it from our house! It's held at the public landing, which means that in addition to all the veggies, plants, flowers, cheeses, meats, fish, baked/preserved/fermented goods, chocolates, artwork, etc. for us to ogle, there's also the lovely view of the harbor to take in. Which is beautiful - albeit blindingly blue - on a sunny morning. And still empty - in a couple of weeks, this expanse of water will be packed with sailboats and yachts! But right now, it still looks like the working waterfront that it is for the majority of the year.

We got there early, before many of the vendors were set up (apparently I'm one of the few who thinks the market should open at 8am), but luckily our favorite farmer shares my sentiments and was ready to go. We picked up pea shoots, radishes, and rhubarb. (The rhubarb is already poached and waiting in the fridge, ready for a dessert idea that's been kicking around in my head for a while. More soon, if all turns out well!)

Then we wandered around a bit, stopping to chat with our favorite chocolatier. (Goodness, it will be hard to resist coming home with truffles each week!) As we moved from booth to booth, Kalen said, "I'll tell you what to take pictures of, and you can put them on your blog." The kid's got quite an eye!

The lupines are a favorite of mine, and pretty much everyone else in Maine. Have you read Miss Rumphius? The author, the late Barbara Cooney, lived in Maine, and it seems that the notion of a "lupine lady" is very appealing to many of us. Plus, lupines just spread like crazy, so even without the book, we'd probably have a lot of them around here.

As we chatted with the farmers and craftspeople, I played a "name that plant" game with Kalen. He was able to identify kale (his namesake), broccoli, and tomato seedlings! I must say I was very, very proud. Our home garden is already paying off!

After about 45 minutes, we had to head home - we had yeast waffle batter waiting for us. We topped the waffles with a honey-berry sauce we made with frozen berries, but in the near future I see us picking up our breakfast fruit at the market along with our other locally-grown goodies. I read yesterday, in an article by Michael Pollan, that, "In many cities and towns, farmers' markets have taken on . . . the function of a lively new public square." This feels especially true here, as our market seems to be a meeting place for old and new friends alike, and I'm excited for my family to be active participants!

I'll see you here again tomorrow - I've got a fantastic gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe queued up share with you (and by typing this, I'm holding myself accountable to you now), but for now I'll just leave you with this teaser image . . .

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