October was a month which stretched my capacity as a grateful employee in the work-place. Six days a week grinding away to cover absentees and give the savings basket a donation. Of all routine commitments which faded during this slog, weekend morning markets was the most painful to accept.
I don’t want to slander the supermarket providers. They are convenient, affordable and everywhere. A paradoxically beautiful disaster. The one element I’m comfortable to poke fun at. They don’t smell. Full of food and not a scent in the air. I believe the phrase is… WTF mate?
This weekend the stale aisles affected me not. I swung my feet off the bed not long after 6am Saturday. I think the buzz I experienced was equal to that of the teenage girl off to the mall. I even spent an extra minute selecting the most appropriate underwear.
I arrived before 7am. Perfect timing. Only a handful of morning risers providing me abundant opportunity to engage with the farmers. I remember the statistic shared by Helena Norbeg-Hodge in the documentary Economics of Happiness “the average customer at the farmers market will engage in five times more conversations than a grocery-store customer”. As you will soon cotton-on, I love a good rant, especially in the morning.
First up was a local chap who recognised me from my visits previous to the workaholic binge. I filled my canvas bag with veggies whilst he talked warmly of his latest pickings. Everything, not most stuff, EVERYTHING was local, within 30km. What he didn’t grow, the stall over the lane had and they shared stock. We laughed about chemicals, corporations and community.
Next up was the Sweet and Apple Man. Kilo tubs of raw honey at bargain prices, good to go in the bomb-shelter stores for eternity. We talked of bees, the honey-making angels who pollenate the wilderness as a casual side-gig. All the while being romantically fed with slithers of fresh Stanthorpe apples.
I bussed it home. I had spent under $50 and the bag was straining at the seams. I unpacked, displaying all the coloured produce like an artist. I paused, smiled and considered touching myself a little. I had a green stiffy, metaphorically speaking of course.
Market mornings are a genuine joy. If you are missing out whilst sleeping off hangovers, just harden up. Push through till sun up with a final wine or two and hand over your clubbing change for some produce which will strengthen your return to health.