What’s not to love about a late summer’s day, puttering around the farmer’s market at Stage Fort Park, overlooking Gloucester Harbor and the Atlantic ocean behaving itself. An eco-friendly bag dangles off my arm, important identification with responsible folk who buy locally and organic when semi-affordable.
Strange groupings of old and young, some on leashes, happily meandering among fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and other reminders good still comes homegrown, without stickers or warnings. We slip in and out of stalls, pinching peaches, sniffing melons, peeling back ears of corn, snatching bunches of fresh basil, whiffing its peppery goodness.
Finally, the tomatoes, imperfect in shape, mottled in color, humpily-bumpily reminders they didn’t grow up in hothouses, pampered and protected, eye perfect but tasteless. These tomatoes survived outdoors, fought pestilence and predators, clung to a vine and the hope someone would find them worthy of a Caprese salad with fresh mozzarella and basil or a BLT with extra bacon and mayo.
Extra bacon reminds me of a gift from one of my friends. She knew I’d love this quote from some kindred spirit, “I want to grow my own food but I can’t find any bacon seeds.”
Maybe I’ll ask one of the farmers.
Better yet, thank one.
Planted, tended, picked, sorted, hauled and spread before us, edible mosaics of God’s faithfulness made visible through saints in overhauls, weighing, bagging and making change with calloused hands and a smile.
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