I had big plans on Saturday – planting, weeding, our regular weekly shearing o’ the grass. And it was the first week of our seasonal farmer’s market, the Aquidneck Growers Market, which I attend religiously with my son. Good things to look forward to, right?
So, imagine my surprise when, at 7:15 am, the sky grew dark and the thunder began to rumble. John was already out on the first leg of his daily walk, and wasn’t due back for almost an hour. A quick check of the radar had me hoping that he would cut it short – very short. An enormous thunderstorm was right on our doorstep – high winds, heavy rain, and so much lightning that I had to turn off the strike-indicator to be able to see the storms on the radar map. Not normal weather for this part of the country.
The heavens opened and the rain began to pound. John and Cleo made it home just about the time the storm hit its peak, sopping wet, like a couple of half-drowned puppies. We got nearly 2 inches of rain in 45 minutes – what we refer to as a ‘road gratitude’ storm around here. As in, “Aren’t we grateful that we paved the road?” The old dirt road would have washed away for sure with this one.
In the middle of all this mayhem, I got a text message from James.
“Are we still going?”
I wasn’t sure there would even be a market. The storm struck in the middle of their set-up time. Would anyone be there?
“Get ready,” I told him,”We’ll try.”
We arrived a little later than our normal 9:15 to find the market in full-swing. First stop, Olga’s Cup and Saucer for breakfast muffins and sandwiches to save for lunch. (Didn’t take a picture there – Sorry, Becky! ) Then a stroll through to see what was available.
This still being early spring for us, the choices were limited. Pretty much everyone had plenty of greens and overwintered root vegetables. There were also seedlings for sale, and Pat’s Pastured, a farm that sells locally raised chicken and pork. Side note – I ate one of their chicken breasts at a restaurant on Saturday night – I’m stopping at their table next week!
Next up for us, Sweetberry farm and their wonderful strawberries! If the bright buckets of peonies and lupines weren’t enough to grab your attention, the wafting fragrance of the strawberries would have done the trick. And, yes, there is a quart of them perfuming my fridge right now! The berries, like everything else around here, are about two weeks ahead of schedule.
Last stop before going to the car to eat our breakfast – no picnic tables today – is Farmstead Cheese. They have a shop in Providence that sells artisan cheeses from all over the world, with several from our local area sitting right beside my beloved French favorites. This was where James first discovered that he liked – gasp – blue cheese! Every week in the summer, they load up a selection to bring to the market. I seldom get home with fewer than three.
What can I say? We love cheese!
And, we love our farmer’s market. Here’s to another great season!