The Ringwood Farmer’s Market has finally opened! We’ve been waiting for weeks, knowing full well local vegetables are hardly at their peak in May. We went as a kind of hor’derve to the feast of summer ahead, a glimpse into the slowly mounting bounty provided by farmer’s whose lands are within an hour’s drive of where we live.
My favorites were there: Nina’s Red Barn Farm with shiny silver pails stuffed with peonies, iris, cottoneaster, zinnias, mounds of lovage, honey from their own hives, eggs from free-range chickens, cheese and Nina herself greeting everyone in town, because face it, everyone knows Nina.
Bialas Farms was there too, with a different variety to choose from: turnips still with their deep greens tops, so good in a salad, freshly plucked spinach that squeaked when I picked it up and put it in a bag, arugula, onions and an assortment of herbs for planting: sweet basil, chocolate mint (it really smells like chocolate!), thyme, oregano, tarragon, parsley, rosemary. Pick three and they will pot it in a planter for you to bring home to enjoy all summer.
I bought meat pies for supper from Down Under Café, where you could also have a taste of strawberry/ginger soup that will send you over the moon and then back for more. From the Farmer’s Daughter, I picked up stuffed portabello mushroom caps and a container of blue cheese dressing that I could probably devour in one sitting all by myself.
The Market allows people to bring their dogs, so there is an endless display of wagging tails and curious noses sniffing the good smells. Burmese Mountain dogs, Greyhounds, and a pair of Mastiffs that weighed more than their owner were dancing around the parking lot while the smaller terriers and a Shi Tzu were tucked under protective arms.
I love this Farmer’s Market and I am grateful to the people in the town who started it last year. They are to be commended for their tenacity, organization and ability to pull the town together for the benefit of everyone. Hats off to all of you!
And now, it’s almost time for supper….