Farmer’s Market

A bunch of radishes from the farmers market

It doesn’t happen as often as I would like, but once in a while, I’ll get out of bed super early during the weekend and either go for a bike ride or a walk around the city. I am always rewarded handsomely for leaving the comfort of my bed. This morning, I bid Dr. Gujarathi good-bye as he left for the hospital around 7:00am and then put on my jacket and left the house to explore the farmer’s market down the street. The Gold Coast Farmer’s Market is pretty big and has everything from the expected (veg, fruits, baked goods) to speciality goods such as cheeses, flowers, homemade pasta, pizza, crepes, chocolates, and candles.

It was still early and the vendors were busy setting up tents and loading their tables with colorful produce. I have a lot of respect for these folks who probably wake up at 4:00am to load their trucks and drive an hour or two to make sure that we have a farmer’s market to wander through on Saturday mornings.

I always see something I haven’t seen before. Today, I saw chocolate cherry tomatoes, and chestnuts still in their pods. There was also a giant crate of red bell peppers. It reminded me of the ball pool thing at McDonald’s for kids to jump around in. I wanted to jump in that crate of red bell peppers. I really did. But I resisted and kept walking.

I ended up buying a box of “ugly tomatoes for immediate use”, aka, heirloom tomatoes that must be consumed today before they lose their character (or go bad). They were only $1.50 a box. Then I started chatting with the mushroom man. He had all sorts of really expensive mushrooms. He kept saying he was 85 and healthy mainly because he ate these everyday. I believe him. I was too poor too afford what he was selling, but he sold me a GIANT bag of mushroom stems to make mushroom stock. He gave me a basic recipe and said I’ll be back to thank him next week. I believe him. The giant bag was for $2.00. Score!

Now the market was getting busier with kids, dogs, and people. I took my bag of goodies and headed to the lake. The waves were especially bigger today. And the clouds were like a torn sheet letting in streaks of sunshine and dusting it over the water. It was sublime. And to think that I would have been in bed while all of this was going on seems rather wasteful.

It’s been over a month since I left DC. I miss it tremendously, but everyday it gets a little easier because of experiences like these.

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer and a mother of three from Raleigh, NC. She writes for national and local publications about lifestyle, travel, books, and of course, motherhood! Her most current project involves illustrating and publishing a children’s Hindi book. When not adventuring with her family in the minivan, you can find her riding the streets of Raleigh on her beloved bike Linus.

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