Farmers Markets, To Market
Comments 2

the first of fall

sweet peppers in season

Just like that, it’s October.

It seemed like summer was just swept out from underneath me. In a whirlwind three months — from late April through early August — we planned our wedding, got married, and had our honeymoon (surprisingly, it was our first full vacation together). We left Washington at the beginning of August when the breeze was still soft and warm and the sun’s last light didn’t fade until 10 p.m. (or later). Then we spent 10 days in hot, humid Hawaii. When we got home, it was fall already.

kirkland wa farmers market

We’ve been slow to get back into the swing of things, riding the euphoria of being newlyweds. The wedding and the honeymoon are over, but there’s still plenty on our to-do lists. Thank you notes, announcements, ordering pictures and the mind-boggling demanding process of changing a name.

This is my favorite time of year. It is so full. Of nostalgia and potential; one season overlapping with the next. Early fall is so abundant in all things that it feels decadent, almost sinful. Though the sun sets earlier in the evening and the heatwaves of summer are just a distant memory now, September here was full of sunshine and warmth. The breeze is cool, but not yet chilled. We haven’t yet needed to pull our heavy sweaters and winter coats out from storage. We still have baseball games alongside this city’s Richter-scale roar for football games. The leaves are starting to yellow and fall on the trees in the city, but so many of them are still so full, lush, green. Maybe, in my newly wedded bliss, I’m romanticizing the golden tinge of summer that’s lingering, but we are so lucky. It’s no secret that I don’t like change, and so this slow start, these baby steps toward the cold and rainy winter, is so appreciated. I am grateful that this fall has been good to us.

my favorite flower

When I finally made it back to our local markets a few weeks ago, I remembered why I am so thankful for the overlapping of seasons. It’s like nature’s last hooray, our last moments to slow down and savor before the more limited harvests of winter. This is also my first summer-into-fall in the Pacific Northwest, and I was so surprised to see so much stocked up on the farmers’ tables. There are still strawberries and tomatoes! Ripe, sweet peaches and nectarines, plums and grapes. There’s still summer squashes alongside the first appearance of the hardier varieties.

what's in season

I was looking for a quote or poem about fall to include with this post. So many are full of nostalgia, but also tinged bittersweet. Many personify autumn simultaneously as a harbinger of warmth but also the macabre — the death of the trees, the long darkness of the coming days, a chilled wind sweeping through bristling branches. There was very little that really explained the depth or the buzz of this time of year. The intersection in the Venn Diagram between summer and autumn. (But, in the end, I did find a good one.)

Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.
— Lauren DeStefano

The last few markets we’ve visited have offered us the change to savor those last succulent pieces of summer while also gleefully welcoming the first colorful showings of fall. (Here’s looking at you, Brussels sprouts!)

brussels sprouts are back!

colorful cauliflower and romanescoWhile I’ve been away from this space physically for the last few months — I realized there was just no way I could fully dedicate myself to planning a wedding, getting married and simultaneously developing this blog — I haven’t been far away in spirit. I have spent the last few months dreaming and brainstorming, and have spent the last week finally making many of those dreams a reality.

There’s a new section on the home page now: To Market, To Market. In the coming weeks, I hope to share my adventures at local Seattle markets, what I bring home and how I use the ingredients. In the moment — jostling with the crowd, chatting with farmers, photographing and purchasing produce — I forget to notice or write down who my farmers actually are. I’m making a resolution (hopefully with the help of my husband) to jot down the names of farms and farmers so that I can provide links and more information for you, as well.

I have many dreams for this space. I appreciate having the ability, the space, the means to pursue this passion and to share it with you. I’m so excited for what’s to come.

baby purple eggplant

rainbow swiss chard stems

all kinds of peppers

pimenton peppers

fluffy foraged mushrooms

about bears tooth mushrooms

green and purple basilmulticolor snap beans

italian flat beans

apples

Happy fall, friends!

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2 Comments

  1. Phyllis M. Nyquist says

    After the multi-colored peppers, there is a picture of what is probably some sort of tomato? But its shape also reminds me of a baby pumpkin, though I’ve never seen a red pumpkin. The variety and colors of fruits and vegetables are staggering. How lucky you are to have such an amazing market. The white mushroom resembles one that grows here in Norway, called “fåresopp” which translates as ‘sheep mushroom’.
    I enjoy your writing so much, and I’m probably repeating myself, but you make the reader feel that one is wandering the farmers market with you.

  2. Pingback: my recent market hauls | Little Locavore

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