Sorting Out the Hunters from the Gatherers

Spring is sprung, fall is fell, summer’s here, and it’s hot as hell! Several days this and last week were over 100°F, and we’re due several more this coming week. On the flip side is that the weather’s good for the summer crops, that is as long as they get a fair amount of water.

This morning Hubby and I finally made good on our pledge to go to the local Farmers Market each Saturday in lieu of of continuing membership in the food coop we joined last summer. We decided we’d prefer to choose our own vegetables rather than take our chance on the grab bag distribution of the co-op. We got, in our opinion, far too many beets, and more purple potatoes than the regular ones for both our tastes, and too many grape tomatoes for Hubby’s (he hates the way they “squirt” in his mouth when he bites into them). One of us loved it, and one of us hated it (the Farmers Market, I mean). I think it may go back to that “hunter/gatherer” thing.

I approached the Market as I do any other kind of shopping. I go in, get a general lay of the land, then begin buying the things I know I can use (in this case vegetables) and that I feel are fairly priced. Hubby’s mode of shopping is to figure out in advance what he wants, go straight to the first place he sees it and buy it, then he’s ready to go home. I’ll give him credit for letting me be the main decider today, though he did keep flitting back and forth so that much of the time I had no idea where he was. We made a deal long ago that while we shop together, he’s the one who has to watch where I am since I’m the one that goes in some semblance of order, and if I had to follow him about I’d never be able to find anything. That works pretty well most of the time.

I gathered up several ears of corn, a bag of green beans (young and tender), yellow squash (still small, not huge like most of that you see in the supermarkets), small cucumbers (also fairly small as I abhor those huge ones you have to use from said supermarkets with so many seeds in the middle–remember I grew up on a farm). It’s still a mite early here for tomatoes and I already had some greens at home in the fridge so I decided I’d forego those until maybe next week. Hubby showed at regular intervals to insist on carrying all the bags; he’d even made a purchase of his own–a small bag of Jalepeno peppers. Together we found the bakery tables and rounded off our purchases with a fresh baked rustic French bread and a georgeous loaf of whole wheat with sesame seeds on top. The bags, six of them, were beginning to feel heavy so we decided that was enough for today.

I thought it a good idea to “case the joint” so that next week I could come more prepared. Since this was my first visit to the market, I began to amble along perusing the rest of the booths with so many things to sniff and touch, including different varieties of prepared foods and drinks, and an array of crafts of every description, as well as a whole table loaded with handmade glycerine soaps. There were also many house- and herbal-plants to drool over.

By this time it was getting mighty hot (today the high was over 100°) and Hubby had other ideas. He wanted to get on to the next stop. He kept herding me along like a rancher with a run of cows or sheep. Suffice it to say next week I’ll either be going to market alone, or with Daughter #1 if she wants to come along. It didn’t take long to figure who the hunter was (he likes to hunt anything that he can find in a hardware store) and who the gatherer was.

Our next stop was the house of a “friend of a friend” who has an apricot tree in her yard loaded with apricots that were ready to be gathered. Since she hated to see so much good fruit go to waste we filled two plastic grocery bags full so we could share one with Daughter and her family. So all in all it was a busy day; we were so happy to stay home in the air-conditioned house all afternoon. Tomorrow we’ll be making apricot jam. And by the way, the corn we had for dinner was scrump-dilly-icious!

2 thoughts on “Sorting Out the Hunters from the Gatherers

  1. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Came to look-see what you are doing. Like the name of your blog – lovely – enjoyed reading about all the fresh vegies and apricots you got.

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