Sunday, September 23, 2012

Piercing Cold Morning at the Farmers Market

I was sniffling non-stop.  My body was shaking so hard that I probably appeared to be dancing.

I imagined there was a possibility that my pain ridden fingers would fall off at any moment, but quickly soothed myself with the thought that the temperatures were so low that we wouldn't have to put them on ice to ensure a doctor could reattach them.

Yeah.  It was really cold.

But I was determined.

I missed the farmers market last week, and refused to miss it again this Saturday.  My daughter and I ran through Faribault's Central Park and to the far side that held all of the vendor tables.  Why did we run?  To increase my warmth, of course.

You may wonder why I said my warmth, rather than ours.

It's simple.  I was raised in the desert Southwest, where many of us tend to share a common trait:  We place our children in layer after layer of clothing to protect them from the elements (many times it's too much clothing), then totally forget to do the same for ourselves.

So she was just fine.  I, however, had teeth that were chattering so hard that I worried they'd chip into pieces!

The good news?

Many of the vendors at the farmers market seemed to share my lack of preparation for that cold morning.  We were all dancing around with chattering teeth, which means that nobody really noticed that I didn't dress appropriately.


It also appeared that the cold temperatures caused the vendors to drop prices on a great deal of the produce. I think this was probably because everything had to sell fast.  A freeze was predicted for Saturday night, so much of the crops probably wouldn't make it.

If I was in that position, I'd probably pick as much as I was able, in order to be able to save as much produce from the below freezing temperatures as I possibly could.

I have a few plants that need protection from the elements, but the vendors, on the other hand?  They have to worry about way more than me.

Since prices were low, I walked away with a large amount.

1 bunch of carrots
1 gigantic apple (sweet, but tart)
1 small loaf of apple-cinnamon bread
1 small bag of homemade tostada chips, seasoned with a chile mixture
1 bag of normal sized apples
1 bag of large potatoes
1 small pumpkin (I'll get a big one for Halloween later on)
4 cucumbers (two of them are monster sized!)
6 mega super huge chocolate chip cookies (from Kristi, of course!)
12 perfect, organic, free-range eggs

I also bought a raisin and chocolate chip bran muffin for my daughter, and a few pieces of fudge.  They're not pictured, though, because my daughter ate the muffin (of course!) and I kinda sorta put the bag of fudge in my sweatshirt pocket where my body temperature melted them into a sludgy mess... oops.

It's ok, though.  They're still yummy!  

And the 3 different fudge types blended together rather nicely, I might add...

I left the farmers market very happy, but also very determined.  

I talked to a few vendors about the impending freeze, and got some advice for protecting my remaining plants from the cold.  All I have remaining are my spaghetti garden, a winter squash, and my one remaining watermelon, which is now about 3 inches long.

I'd be ok with letting them go, but we'll have higher temperatures for about a week after the freeze, and I'd hate to lose that remaining growing time.  I'm really glad that I had the farmers market vendors to advise me on this.  What do you do to protect your "outside" plants from the cold?


  1. Oh no! Sorry to hear you froze! I bet it wasn't very good for your head cold and sore throat! I'll have to knit you some socks and mittens to keep you warm this winter. As for keeping the garden warm, I cover everything in straw. And I use the white fabric growers use. What's nice about it is that it still allows sun in. And.. the straw can be mixed in with soil the following spring.

  2. The white fabric is a great idea for next year. I won't have to run out and cover anything whenever temperatures dip too low - I could just leave it there. I'll definitely have to remember that! My poor watermelon is covered with a plastic bag just about every night, now! Tomorrow you'll see the craziness I went through on Saturday night to keep everything from turning into popsicles!