Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Of course it wasn't sunny for my last farmer's market day here---it's Oregon.

Twin days of sun a few days ago were eclipsed by a big ocean belch of cloud congestion. It is persistent, seems permanent. It sits phlegmy and windy over us except at the sunset. Then its crust peels back to the West and you see the underside of a foaming red sunset.

The farmers were cheerful though, cause it wasn't raining. That is a real treat. In a week or so my iron skillets and my violin and garbages bags of mingled soap bars and sweaters and speakers will all get loaded and packed away down to Oakland again, just in time for the first strawberries of their season. Full Belly Farm fresh-ground flours and cornmeal, brilliant stone fruits as big as butts, soft lettuces, no collards in sight!

There were still mostly greens at the Peoples market this afternoon, but more exciting varieties. There were collard tops instead of collards, which are flowering stems also called collards raab, and remind me of a delicate broccoli. I'm serving them to my guests tomorrow. Their yellow flowers are very impressive, and so tender and delicious with only a little salt and lemon.

There was also bulk fresh catnip, which is so skunky and dreamy with lavender in tea. On May Day, I carried around big sprigs of catnip which I gave to all the workers, because the tea induces an anti-labor mellow that I find very helpful for stopping global warming, stress mania and other plights of our times. It drives cats wonky but it makes humans unlock and live temporarily in Sun Ra's dreams.

There are people at the market with blue eggs but you have to enroll in a secret subscription service to get them. They get kind of irritated if you even ask; that's the barometer of the voracious demand!

I bought two bunches of radishes from the punk farmer, but did not get the mint cause I know where to scavenge it. Michael got two pounds of rhubarb and he's going to make a crisp in a few minutes. He accidentally misplaced it but the tamale couple found it and held it for him. I bought a bunch of carrots from the Iranian man, and a salad mix which includes miner's lettuce from the Japanese couple. I tried savoy but I wasn't wooed, its flavor was so strong and unusual that I could not commit. I'm a wimp! And I have too many spicy and herby green bunches already in the fridge. But I did get tiny turnips.

The best part was a food vendor who was making rice balls wrapped in nori. I had one of each; a tempeh, mustard and kelp and an ume, honey, onion and kelp. This man has flavor talent, they were so amazing and yummy. I think I may imitate them for my guests tomorrow. He makes mustard himself, it sounds easy and I think I'll try it. He told me he simmered the kelp for three days! What a magician.

At the farmers' market, you think food rules the scene, or the buyers or sellers, but actually its the exploding children, who are so crazy you think they have rabies! They are so well-fed and reared with such gentle rudders, they are disrupting our adult games with oblivious ease, acting as if they are participating in some kind of marketing life lesson with their parents but actually they are conniving some crazy shit!

Those were my first words as a kid, I swear!
Actually my first expression was:
But when I was a kid, my first chore was to ring the bell and say, "DINNER!"

1 comment:

parallelsister said...

eva, i really appreciate your writing. I am curious if you have ever thought about having a show on the public access channel. I think you would be great at teaching people about wild plants and vegetables. and maybe even recipes? i want to keep in touch with you once you move. send me your address in an email eva!!! i can send you things i bake in summer
love morgan