Summer Plenty

June 27, 2011

Summer produce from the Farmer's Market

You may notice the blemish on the tomato right away and wonder why on earth I put a picture of that on a blog post…. Well, it was because it was in with the rest of the veggies, so why not?  And besides, the 2 tomatoes that were in the pile were free.

Getting more than you bargained for at Redman’s is why they are my favorite vendor in the whole market.  They’re usually the cheapest and they never sell things by the pound.   (Although the Amish tomato guy has the most incredible tomatoes around — out of season — and they’re worth the wait in line and the weight charge that you pay.  And while we’re on the topic of those deep red Amish works of art, I can tell you that I don’t know how they get the tomatoes to be so delicious when tomatoes aren’t supposed to taste like that when they first start selling them in the spring, but they do.  So I get it that they charge by the pound.  I’ve paid top dollar for them, too, for a special treat.  Instead of a fancy coffee, you can get a tomato.) 

I’m guessing that other vendors probably do things like they do at Redman’s but I don’t have personal experience with those.  Since you hit Redman’s first from our direction on foot, that’s just where I started going years ago, so now I always go there.  But I think they’re great.  I just like the way they sell their produce.  They think on the spot and change things because it works–you know, like if you buy a bunch of stuff, then it’s like they’re feeling like you deserve to get a little bit more of something and you’re feeling that way, too, because fresh produce isn’t cheap, so they throw something else in.  I’d say that this way of doing business is definitely a crowd-pleaser in my book.  Last Saturday was a perfect example of this.

I had bought cucumbers 3 for $2 further down the line of vendors  because I’d missed them at Redman’s.  But I saw them on my second trip past — 50 cents a piece….Well, our around-the-corner neighbors were in line right behind me and the boys were there to spend some of their money on a “treat.”  Since one of them wanted a cucumber, he had his 2 quarters ready.  But when the boys’ mom laid down her small melon to pay for it, the lady behind the table said, “Oh, for both of those (the melon and the cucumber) — $3.”  (She had thrown in the cucumber for free, saying, “Oh, I hate 50 cents-es.  I always did hate 50 cents-es.”  See what I mean?

This principle of getting more than you expected is what makes people smile.  I guess you could say it’s why I put Barbara’s 100 year old summer quilt on one of our guest beds:  it’s more than you think you’d get and I LOVE that.  I love people’s faces when this happens (not that I see their faces when they discover the vintage quilt, but I can imagine).  It’s like a grace-shadow.  Grace is when you get good stuff that you don’t deserve or expect.  Vegetables and blankets aren’t quite in the same category as real grace, but being surprised by even a hint of it on a Saturday, or any other day of the week, is pretty darned nice.  And I just thought you’d like to know where you could find it.

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