Written September 3, 2009
So my mom and I went to the Farmer’s Market yesterday and a few things crossed my mind. First, I love going to the Market. It seems like such a “good citizen” thing to do. You won’t find fugitives and other nefarious characters at the Market. They don’t give a crap about fresh produce. Head to the local underground tattoo parlor if you’re looking for shady dealings. You won’t find any here. (I don’t really know if there even is such a thing as an “underground tattoo parlor” and if they DO exist, if they tolerate shady dealings. I’m just trying to make a point.) What you will find is lots of delicious looking fruits and vegetables and beautiful plants and herbs… and hot farm boys. And I mean hot as in really sweaty. And I mean really sweaty as in “Oooh, you’re working hard. Bend over and pick up that bushel of peaches while I stand here and watch, farm boy.”. I know what I’m coming across like. I’m fully aware. I will spare you the details of what my 30-something hormones are doing to me these days. But rest assured, the “cougar” term has been thrown my way lots of times lately. (For the record, I hate that label. But I’ll wear it proudly like a badge of honor… or a word of warning to unsuspecting hot farm boys.)
I realized today at the Farmer’s Market that in another life I would want to come back as a farmer’s daughter. They’re hot too. No, not hot… sexy. Like sexy in a way that is totally approachable which is even more sexy. Some of you who have never been to our Farmer’s Market or have been to the markets in your hometowns might be scratching your heads and thinking, “Man, Eileen is in a bad way right now. If her hormones are making her think missing teeth, overalls and chewing tobacco are sexy she needs to see a doctor… STAT!”. But let me tell you, our farmers produce gorgeous farm hands.
For example, take the farm girl I ended up buying peaches from. She “propositioned” me as I was perusing her crops. “Wud ya lack t’ try a peeeeeeach?” she said in a slow southern drawl. Once my brain translated it into English I enthusiastically said yes, I would like to try a peach. She took a plastic fork, speared a slice and handed it to me. A normal, ordinary thing to do. But she did it with such charm and grace. Maybe it had more to do with her golden tan, or the way she had the short sleeves on her t-shirt rolled up to her brown shoulders, or the casual way she was leaning on the table behind the produce, or the way the oscillating fan she had pointed at herself was blowing her long sun-kissed hair. As I was contemplating the sweetness of the peach I had just popped into my mouth, I felt a pang of jealousy. Angelina Jolie might be one of People’s 50 Most Beautiful People but she’s got nothing on this girl.
And so, I decided that I’d like to be a farmer’s daughter. I want to know how to read the weather, how to work a tractor, how to handle the other farm hands with a saucy humor that makes them go, “Wooo WHEE!” and slap their knee. I want to be my daddy’s right hand girl and talk about crops over the dinner table. Oh, and I’d also like to roll around in the hay with a cute farm boy. (Let me remind you this is in my NEXT life. In this life I’m happily married. VERY happily married- see hormone discussion in the first paragraph.) Oh, and rock a pair of daisy duke denim shorts. And wear my hair in a cute pony tail tied up in a bow. And have a great tan. Okay, maybe it’s more about just looking like a farm girl than the actual farm itself. The work might be too hard.
Selling your wares at the Farmer’s Market would definitely be a challenge. They are very skillful at it though. All of them. You’d have to be. You have table after table of tomatoes, corn, peppers, sweet potatoes, lima beans, and watermelons. What makes yours stand out more than the next farmer’s? I saw some cute signs… signs like “They may look ugly but they taste great!”. If I liked tomatoes I would have bought some just because of the sign. The free sample is brilliant. Not only does it prove yours is the best, but after you eat someone’s cantaloupe in front of them, you can’t exactly say with your mouth full and juice running down your chin, “No thanks”. You’re almost beholden to them and have nothing left to do except proclaim, “Bag ‘er up!” and fork over your cash.
While my mom and I were at the market it amused me to find out that she suffers from the same personality defect that I do… “you must like me”-itis. She talks a big game and says that at 75 she’s too old to care what people think anymore and just says what she feels. She may follow that philosophy when it comes to ME, but I had to laugh when we were looking at a table of tomatoes (for her, not me) and the farm girl handed her a plastic bag and said, “Hey, y’all! Pick out what you like and I’ll weigh ’em for ya.”. Mom’s response? “Oh, okay.” and then she proceeded to squeeze and sniff the maters while saying under her breath to me, “These really weren’t what I was looking for though.”. Ha, ha!! Brilliant strategy, farm girl. No one can say no to you!
Most of all though, I realized that I like the Farmer’s Market because of the promise it holds. Hopeful thoughts like “I CAN go home and make a nutritious meal for my family with all this locally grown produce.” or “Boy, these tomatoes, onions and fresh cilantro would make a GREAT homemade salsa.” or “This hibiscus is stunning. I could put it on my porch and enjoy it all summer long.” swirl around my head as I walk through the stalls. The thoughts alone make me happy. I like this make-believe me who leaves with her arms full of bags, goes home and quickly goes to work in the kitchen followed soon afterward by the garden. I know there are some of you who actually do this and I love you for it. It’s what keeps the hope alive. Kind of like the lottery. People DO win… that could be me one day! Instead I leave with my yummy peaches for an after-school snack for Mary since they’re her favorite and a pint of blueberries for Drew since they’re his. It might not be a fresh, four course meal, or homemade salsa, or a garden full of gorgeous hibiscus, but maybe next time. Ta, ta for now farm boys! I’ll be back soon! Rrrrawr!
Copyright 2010 by Me