The last farmer's market of the season

Eugene's farmer's markets are wonderful, and a large portion of my Saturdays are spent there for the majority of the year. They're a meeting place of food lovers, chefs, home cooks, people who want to know where their food is coming from, and that it's raised sustainably, and some I'm sure just because it's so nice to browse all the gorgeous produce. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end at some point. We just had our last Saturday farmer's market of the year last weekend, and I'm sad to see it go. Lucky for me, the Holiday Market picks up right away once the farmer's market ends and lasts at least through Christmas. This is where I found truffles last year...no, not the chocolate kind...but plump, round, earthy Oregon truffles...dug up, by hand, from the forest...so that's something to look forward to. But then, until May of next year, the grocery store will be my only access to locally grown, organic vegetables and fruits, and it's much harder there to learn about what I'm eating, touch the hands that grew it, or even to know what's in season.

Not that I don't love our grocery store - PC Markets have great access to organic, in-season foodstuffs, and I'm lucky enough to have one just two blocks from my house. But I will definitely miss those lazy Saturday mornings browsing the market, amazed by all of the gorgeous displays of colorful vegetables, the smokey scent of roasting peppers, and beautiful fresh flowers. I'll miss the excitement of finding that one fruit or vegetable that's just come into season that I've never even heard of, seeing the first tomato or huckleberries or apples or fresh porcinis and chanterelles of the year, and especially, long chats with my favorite farmers. And I have to admit, it was this market, and these farmers, that turned my love of food and cooking into a full-blown passion over the last couple of years I've lived here. How could I not fall in love with it? How could I not yearn to cook with this amazing bounty available to me every week?

I'll miss my Saturday morning ritual, but in this holiday season, and with winter settling into the Cascade Mountains and as my home becomes inwardly cozier with fires every evening to heat the house from the chill outside, I have more opportunities to snuggle on the couch with Loving Boyfriend and relish the warmth and satisfaction of all the comforting foods of the season, and I'm thankful. Thankful for all the glorious, healthful produce the local farmers have provided me this year and for allowing me those slow mornings to clear my head, meet the people that grew the food that has blessed my table, and shake the hands that picked it. Indirectly, it's also allowed me meet all of you, too, and as most of you that have been reading know already, I'm incredibly thankful for that too.

11 comments from you:

Melissa CookingDiva said...

That's one good looking pumpkin :)

Michèle said...

hey that is the coolest pumpkin i have ever seen! And slow, head-clearing mornings are the best, glad to hear you are taking time to savour it.. ;)

vlb5757 said...

Michelle, that is a way wonderful pumpkin. Thanks for taking the picture and sharing it with us. Our fall festival for the Farmer's Market got called off because of the rain so there wasn't anyone there carving. I will keep my fingers crossed for '06.

Girl, you have got to stop getting all sappy on us. I tear up and than have red eyes to crochet with all night! You're killing me here. lol!

Michelle, you and LB give each other a huge Happy Thanksgiving hug from the Virginia Browns! Have a happy one.

ilva said...

What a masterpiece that pumpkin! And I really like the other photos! Great! I agree, markets really makes you wanna buy it all and then go home and do some serious cooking!

Nerissa said...

You lucky lucky girl. I can get a few items of fresh stuff up here but it's not as centralized as a farmer's market. I have to search it out bit by bit. But look at the motherload you get! Ahh.... how I wish...

michelle said...

Hi Melissa!
I know! I only wish I was that artistic!

Hi Michele!
I agree! Life goes by so fast anyway, we have to take the moments we can and drag them out, savour them for all they are and enjoy the heck out of 'em.

Hi Vickie!
How sad - if they cancelled anything for rain around here, we'd never get to do anything! It rains from October to May and sometimes even July here! I know, I'm a sap! I can't help it - it's so nice to have such a sense of community surrounding one of your passions! I hope all you Virginia Browns had a wonderful (2nd) Thanksgiving too!

Hi Ilva!
I swear, our markets are the downfall of my work! If they weren't so cool, maybe I'd be happier here at work on the weekends...boo!

Hi Diningdica!
I do feel lucky here - we have such variety. But I'm so curious about your little rock out there - how many people live there?

Lynne said...

Hi. I am visiting via Brownie Points.
Great Pixs!

Nerissa said...

Hmm... How many on the rock? Maybe about 1500... oh my fiance just said yes it was about this number because he works for something related to the native governing group of this Indian reserve

LisaSD said...


Oregon sounds like WONDERFUL place for a foodie! I've been seeing ad campaigns in some food magazines featuring Oregon chefs touting the wonderful resources of Oregon, and I must say I believe it!

That pumpkin is great!

michelle said...

Hi Lynne! Thanks for visiting!

Hi Diningdica! Wow, that's tiny. I'm so impressed with what you do. I have a bit of Native American blood in my family from both sides.

Hi Lisa! I do love it here, especially all of the varieties of food available here and how so many chefs really take advantage of seasonal and local goods. Those ads are great...I sometimes forget that other people are seeing them in the same magazines because it feels like ad reminding us of what we have! I feel really lucky.

McAuliflower said...

Hey Sweetie... a bit late chiming in on this one, but you do know about the farmers market at the fairgrounds/holiday market right? It's in th epink building to the left of the Holiday market.

It's still going on, though a bit of a different format. I went the first weekend (the one before thanksgiving), and Rouge Brewery was there selling beer too :) Unfortunately no pears or cheese vendors yet. Though some cool fruit- the mini kiwis were there!