The Columbia Farmer’s Market opened their doors (well, tent flaps!) this morning with an abundance of fresh spinach, leafy lettuce, intriguing herbs and all thing that make me shout, “Yeah, Spring is here!”. Spirits were quite high among local vendors as they kicked off the 32nd season of the outdoor market. Many mentioned how happy they were to see sunshine and good weather, as opposed to the snow that has accompanied opening day the past three years.
As usual, I wandered among the stalls thinking how wonderful it would be if I actually liked to cook. Instead, I focused on gardening and selected five basil plants – three greens ones to use in tomato, mozzarella and basil salad – and two purple ones because I liked the color. Then I was drawn to another booth with bright orange bags of frozen sweet potatoes and squash. I loved the color (sense a theme with my shopping?), but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them until the friendly vendors mentioned how I could use it as a soup base, or as a side dish. At $2 per bag, I figured I wasn’t taking much of a risk and dumped one in my box.
Heading down the gauntlet, I was again intrigued by a small mountain of white turnips with fresh green stems. Serendipitously, I also ran into a friend who saw me eyeing the produce and when he mentioned that he likes to slice and eat them raw with a little salt, I was sold. On the way to my car, I had a few delightful conversations with old friends and new acquaintances who were checking out my purchases. What a lovely way to spend a Spring morning!