What's in Season // August
There are few places I'd rather be than a farmers market in midsummer. The air smells of ripe peaches and melon, and every person I see has a similar grin on their face. The farmers and vendors work so hard to harvest their bounty and bring it to the community. I like to ask them to recommend their best cantaloupe or their favorite variety of heirloom tomatoes for me to buy. Talking about their homegrown crops brings a look of pride over their countenance as they tell me that these mini Golden Jubilee tomatoes are the sweetest you can get. Farmer's candy, they say.
I haven't always felt calm and inspired at the market. Over the years, I've kept track of what's going to be in season every month of the year where I live. This helps me meal plan ahead of time so I enter the market with a specific list of things. As much as I'd love to glide into the market with a free spirit and buy whatever strikes my fancy, it saves me energy and money to have a loose plan in place so I know that beautiful produce won't end up moldy in the crisper.
Here's what's at my market in August:
Peppers, sweet and hot
MELON, mostly watermelon and cantaloupe
My favorite stop of all this week was the Little Green Garden flower stand. Flowers were not on my list because I've been growing some of my own this year, but I could not walk by this flower stand without buying a bouquet. I'm convinced I've found Kansas City's Erin Benzakein. The unique flowers and shades stunned me. I finally settled on this bouquet because of the snapdragons and because the color palette encapsulates this time of year so perfectly: still the vibrant middle of summer but with small hints of autumn being right around the corner. I loved getting to talk with the woman who grew, nurtured, and arranged these flowers. She shared her farm story--sometimes tearfully--and I wanted nothing more than to buy up all her flowers right then and there. Farmers are some of the hardest working people! But there is such beauty and richness that comes from hard work. I want to be more like these farmers.
And so, after all that, this post ends with a reminder to leave a little wiggle room in your market plan. Flowers are always a good idea!