Last weekend may have been the loveliest weekend of the year to be at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market. I think that pretty much every week from now until December. But I know for sure last weekend was a good one. There are some great things happening at the market!
Cindy and her friend were there doing a live strawberry jam canning demonstration with a huge pile of summer strawberries. And Cindy was even wearing her great Preserving Traditions "Yes We Can" apron. There are going to be more canning demos I understand - perhaps one on pickling!
I found out from Julie that Tecumseh's Four Corner's Creamery is now showing up at the AA Market with different kinds of goat and cow milk cheese - including this one garnished with pineapple mint. Julie said they are also selling yogurt. Really! (Isn't Julie an excellent hand model?) I also learned that Julie and her husband have a "shopper's choice" CSA through the certified organic Carpenter's Greenhouse. They pay $15/week upfront and get to shop for $20/week worth of produce. And Carpenter's already has hothouse tomatoes. I was convinced to buy some and they are really tasty. Maybe not as amazing as a backyard tomato in August, but still pretty darn good. My tomato plants, on the other hand, are almost 2 feet tall and just got their first flowers.
I also got to pick up my friend Judy's farm share from Frog Holler Organic Farm. I'd never gotten to peek into one of their farm share boxes before. Of course it was gorgeous and I wanted to eat it all. Here's what was in it:
- 1 bag secret recipe salad mix (39 greens and 47 herbs plus 5 flowers - is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but not much)
- 1 bunch rhubarb
- 1 pint strawberries
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 head lettuce
- 1 bunch arugula
- 1 bunch onions
- 1 bunch beets
- 1 pile garlic scapes
- 1 bunch spearmint
Finally, I learned from Molly the Market Manager that the oral history project is moving ahead and there is an oral history booth on alternate Wednesdays between 11am-1pm. They say:
In preparation for the market's 90th birthday, we are beginning to create an oral history of the market. We are inviting both vendors and marketgoers to share their stories, which will eventually be compiled and archived at the Ann Arbor Library. On alternating Wednesdays, you'll have the opportunity to record a small interview describing what the market means to you. Stop by the Oral History booth, in the market, between 11 am and 1 pm.
One more thing I learned today - Wendell Berry's Ten Commandments:
- Beware the justice of Nature.
- Understand that there can be no successful human economy apart from Nature or in defiance of Nature.
- Understand that no amount of education can overcome the innate limits of human intelligence and responsibility. We are not smart enough or conscious enough or alert enough to work responsibly on a gigantic scale.
- In making things always bigger and more centralized, we make them both more vulnerable in themselves and more dangerous to everything else. Learn, therefore, to prefer small-scale elegance and generosity to large-scale greed, crudity, and glamour.
- Make a home. Help to make a community. Be loyal to what you have made.
- Put the interest of the community first.
- Love your neighbors--not the neighbors you pick out, but the ones you have.
- Love this miraculous world that we did not make, that is a gift to us.
- As far as you are able make your lives dependent upon your local place, neighborhood, and household--which thrive by care and generosity--and independent of the industrial economy, which thrives by damage.
- Find work, if you can, that does no damage. Enjoy your work. Work well.