Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wisco Disco: Farmer Tan and Farmers' Markets

My hometown has 1000 people in it and looks something like this:

As the crow flies, it's an hour or two from where "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average." In Spring Valley, all the women are unassuming, the men soft-spoken, and the children blond.

Farmstock on both sides, Sara, Brent and I spent our childhoods with skinned knees, scarred chins, and dirty fingers. Going home now is no different. After gamboling through the Minneapolis Farmers' Market, Sara and I planted apple trees, laughing at the idea of bagged manure, in her backyard.

Cultivation--whether trees or souls--is a magical process. Much like baking, it requires care, a few simple ingredients, wonder, a little bit of luck, calloused hands...and time. At home, time passes differently; life is measured in seasons not seconds and the adventure is more important than the destination. Every so often, I need to be reminded of that.

These lessons are best learned over a rustic feast: fried red potatoes with fresh sage, mixed green salad with strawberries and balsamic vinegar dressing, tender cherries, turgid plums, and leftover Thai. We followed it with a variation of my favorite dessert: vanilla ice cream with fresh berries and Grape Nuts sprinkled on top. (Mom is a hippy-sort who didn't let us eat store-bought sweets. Grape Nuts were our Magic Shell). It's also good with pure maple syrup in place of the berries.

Below, please find a photo essay of our adventures.

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