Down the mountain, meander on back roads to avoid the weekend tourist traffic, cross the river, and at last get to the quiet VA complex. I'm still doing the shorter hikes because of Max and The Toe, but we were only about 15 minutes into the walk when the clouds suddenly dissipated and the temp began to rise. Damn. The Saturday Market is down the highway on the same side of the river where I am currently beginning to sweat in the instant humidity. Double damn. No question I will have to take the dogs home now, then retrace my route.
And a good thing I did. By the time I'd driven down, up, and back down again, then found the Market, it was blistering hot...at 10:30 in the morning.
I wasn't sure what to expect since I haven't been to the Market before. I sort of pictured a flea market affair, and maybe a table or two of wilted veggies. Shows what I know. When folks have mentioned this Saturday event to me, they have always called it the Saturday Market. Turns out, it's really called...
The Farmer's Market:
There were many tents/booths, with beautiful vegetables, fruits, artisan breads, crafts, plants and flowers.
The Community Garden had a wonderful tent--actually two tents--with an incredible selection of organic veggies. And I love what they call themselves. Can't you just imagine the meeting where all the gardeners got together and came up with that name?
As I was strolling into a jewelry tent, the woman working there asked if she could see my ring. (It's funny how I think I cruise through life under the radar when in fact I totally don't).
I'm very much into natural gemstones and have been for years; most of my jewelry is some kind of stone, including my gorgeous purple Charoite ring she's interested in. We talk gemstones for a bit, then her husband joins in and we have a pleasant few minutes chatting about their travels to Australia over the Winter and the gems they collected. She cleans, polishes and determines what the stones will become, and he makes her ideas into jewelry.
My new Moukite earrings. Australian Jasper. The deep hue of kidney beans. Four months ago they were small stones, laying in the red dust of the Australian Outback. Now they dangle from my ears thousands of miles away. How cool is that?
This stunning quilt caught my eye from two aisles away. I could see it through the tents and though I resisted the urge to deviate from my up-one-aisle-down-the-next, I couldn't wait to see this beauty up close. It was absolutely amazing. 150 different strips of fabric, perfect quilting, brilliant sense of color.
First Prize in the regional quilt show, 2012.
Oh, these were beautiful. They just gleamed in the sun like rubies. I had to ask the farm woman about those smaller, pale ones though. She told me they're the real pie cherries. Very tart, so when sugar is added in the cooking, you get the perfect pie. Who knew? Actually, I don't like cherry pie, though I do love biting into a juicy one, just picked off the tree this morning, like these...
The place was getting mobbed by this time, and the heat was brain warping. I stopped at the high school pottery tent but couldn't get a good photograph with all the kids and people milling about. When I managed to get to the table, I was so impressed with the work on display, and amazed to hear the school has three kilns and an exceedingly talented bunch of young potters. The two kids manning the booth were so sweet and friendly, I just had to buy something to support the students.
My pottery, made by West, who is a senior at the high school and very cool...according to the two kids. Thanks, West...it's a wonderful piece of work.
My last stop, just as I was getting lightheaded from the heat rising in thick waves from the asphalt, was at the Village Baker tent. I just can't resist a great loaf of bread. They had several unique blends, but my all natural, vegan, yeast free, Cranberry/Apricot was irresistible. When I got home, I cut two slices, toasted them and called it lunch. The first bite is tart like cranberries, then as I chewed, it mellowed into a sweet apricot flavor. The texture is dense, though somehow light at the same time. This could possibly be the best artisan bread I've ever had...seriously.
So, Week 23 of the 52s has been a great success. I have delicious bread, a new piece of art, a bit of the Outback bobbing against my cheeks, and another new experience under my belt.
Now, if I can just avoid heat stroke...