At the market this morning at 8am it was 24º outside and still middling dark. In the summer 8am is not so early, but in the winter the sun isn't quite up yet and after only an hour you can't feel your toes. I understand why many of the vendors have little tents, heaters, and electric tea kettles going. Mixed in with the few food vendors selling maple syrup, meat, squash, flour, eggs, honey, bread, greens and grow-your-own mushrooms are lots of wreaths, candles, ornaments, and other reminders that it's Christmas soon. The best of the Christmastide reminders was Pete's Dickensian hat with the poinsettia on it - he says he only wears it once a year. That's a shame because it's too sweet not to see it more often. I feel lucky I was there on the right day! Alice's hat is pretty adorable too.
Paul Bantle and Annie Elder were at the market this morning from Community Farm. Paul makes their gorgeous wreaths from pine boughs, juniper berries, hot peppers and other things. I watched him last week wiring on each bunch of branches by hand. The wreaths are so full and fragrant that I decided to use the money I didn't spend at Target on another string of plastic lights for a fabulous round of pine boughs and juniper that's now the centerpiece on our dining room table.
In the middle of that centerpiece are 3 beeswax pillars new from the Bernie Bee lady. She says the pillar candles will burn for about 90 hours if I play my matches right. She gets her beeswax from a beekeeper in Imlay City. She says she looks for specific colors of wax - the color comes from the pollen the bees pick up - and that she uses only the wax from the top of the hive because it's the clearest. I'm very excited about lighting these candles tomorrow night - we'll be having Christmas Tree Decorating with Miss A. and Round 3 of the Chicken Project with an Earthshine Chicken I just picked up yesterday!
A funny sight at the market this morning was: an actual line to buy Brine's Farm greens. That's JulieW first in line here. Shannon says he's been selling out around 9:30am for the past few weeks so I was glad I got there early for my bags of spinach and baby salad mix. There was also a bit of a line to buy fresh eggs from John (Hofstader?) of Our Family Farm. I've been getting their large eggs for the past couple of weeks and enjoying them for my baking projects. More on holiday baking soon!