Pepper Place Market is one of my summer pleasures. The bustle, the noise, the smiling crowds, and overflowing tables of produce delight me. We have a small market a couple of miles from my house, but it is in infancy stage, with more craft vendors than food vendors, so we take in the stalls in ten minutes, then make the forty minute drive into the city for Pepper Place. Here, we stroll, sip, taste, talk, tap toes to great music, and people watch for hours.
My husband appreciates the days he can snag some scapes, fiddleheads, and uncommon greens, and I especially love the presentation and styling the farmer's put into their displays. The combination of burlap with hand lettered chalk or slate boards is charming, freshly on trend, and as appealing visually as the produce is gastronomically. These people have passion for this dirty, sweaty, uncertain business of farming, and I admire their energy.
There is a vendor, the TartBandit, a pastry chef from Atlanta, who makes such beautiful, colorful, tasty looking macaroons, I am drawn to her table every Saturday, even though I don't like macaroons. I've yet to get a decent shot of Mary-Claire's offerings because of the crowds camped out in front of her booth. Ah, I have a mission and another excuse to make the drive! If you know anyone who is under the weather, contact TartBandit, and they will stealthily leave a box of pastries on the downtrodden's doorstep; random acts of pastry. Love. Love. Love.
Another fantastic vendor, and one that gives me hope for our future food consciousness, since the evil corporations misdeeds are being dragged out into the light, is Jones Valley Teaching Farm. Jones Valley is a non-profit farming cooperative to promote nutrition education and sustainable farming. Their yields are amazing, their community outreach, like food crates for seniors and hands on learning for youth are commendable, and the wild flower CSA is a great deal for people like me who like to treat themselves to fresh flowers on the table without breaking the bank. Small luxury investment, huge return on joy.
It is useless to force the rhythms of life.
The art of living is about learning
how to give time to
each and every thing.
Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food