Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Few of My (New) Favorite Things

1. The Farmer's Market

The West Tennessee Farmer's Market is open every day except Sunday. It's huge. It has every imaginable specimen of in-season produce. It's ridiculously inexpensive. I feel guilty leaving with the basket of Joshua's stroller overflowing, having only spent $10, but I'll get over it. And I just feel healthier sitting down to dinner with a plate of locally-grown fruits and vegatables. Not to mention that everything tastes so good. My cousin David, who, as far as I know has never eaten a vegatable other than a green bean, took a second helping of yellow squash at dinner the other night. If that isn't a testimonial to yummy produce, I don't know what is. Our first trip was on a Tuesday. It seemed pretty busy for a weekday, but on Saturday it's just bursting at the seams. And on Saturday, the Amish farmers come with their real butter (two ingredients: cream and salt), fresh eggs, fresh milk, and real ice cream (Dr. Atkins won't mind that Jay and I split a pint of vanilla on the way home the other day, will he?) It's sounds cheesy, but I just feel lucky that I can get fresh, local food and support my neighbors who make a living this way. Yum.

2. Neighbors

Jay and I have never had neighbors quite like these before. In fact, the only place we've lived where we even knew our neighbors was in California, and we weren't exactly pals with them. Our relationship consisted of a nod or wave if we happened to be outside at the same time. Now we have real neighbors. We've had two loads of home-grown vegetables, bread, and preserves delivered to our door by two different sets of neighbors, and yesterday while Josh and I were out for a stroll we had another loaf of banana bread forced upon us. One neighbor, upon seeing Jay mow part of the yard with a push mower, came to the door with an offer to use his riding mower. Another neighbor called Jay the other night to invite him to a pick-up softball game at his church. It's just so friendly! And so...neighborly! It makes me feel much better about being at home all day with Joshua since I know that, most likely, someone is going to be around (most of our neighbors are retired) if I need them.

3. Free Stuff

I had a flat tire the other day. Jay took it to a random place to get it fixed. When it was done, the proprieter said, "Jay, come back and see me some time." Jay said, "What do I owe you?" He said, "Come back and see me some time."

I bought a pound of green beans from my favorite produce lady at the Farmer's Market. After I'd paid, she went to her truck and got 5 new potatoes, stuck them in my bag, and suggested that I cook them with the green beans.

I went to another lady at the Farmer's Market to buy a head of cabbage. She also had white eggplant, which Jay wanted me to try. I asked if I could have just one or if I needed to buy the whole box. Her response, "Why don't I just give you one, you know, between you, me, and the fencepost."

OK, so it's not the free stuff, and I'm not naive enough to believe that all this generosity has nothing to do with business and marketing, but it seems that folks are more concerned about the relationship that the bottom line. I like that.


anna said...

This sounds so much like my island life.
I haven't found "that" produce stand yet but my hunt continues as I know it has to exist and as far as nieghbors goes...haven't seen any, maybe when it's winter and we can see past the trees but for now I'm liking the isolation.

I have to admit from being in your neck of the woods just recently it is all that you say it is and so much more.
Country living with City (okay not chicago but not backwoods either)life just up the road.

Can't wait to come back and visit again.

Mom said...

Welcome to the real "south>" Not the one depicted in the media. I'm not the least bit surprised at the generosity of your "neighbors." Yes, marketing does play a part, but isn't interesting that the country folks have not lost that fine art of thoughtfulness, kindness, and generosity as a marketing ploy?

The Thief said...

I don't think Dr. Atkins cares one way or another if you two split a pint of vanilla. After all, death seems to equalize those things pretty well. ;-)

Nice to hear about the nice neighborhood and all. I hope their hospitality extends into the home, too.

Jennifer said...

Wow! Any houses for sale in your neighborhood? It sounds just like Mayberry!

Ruth said...

This sounds like total and utter bliss. It's all very different here in London (!!! to say the least), although I do love London, despite all of its negatives.

White eggplant..... wow. I am lover of what we call the aubergine. Didn't know they came in other colours!

Lorna said...

I like it too MB :)

Baby J said...

Welcome Lorna!

Mary Beth said...

Oops! That's what you get for not signing out and signing back in.

Let's try again.

Welcome Lorna!