I did not realize how much I had been aching for the return of a weekly outdoor farmers’ market until I saw a post this morning on Facebook by the Portland Maine Farmers’ Market it would be returning to Monument Square today. Let the weather be as fickle as it likes, let the wind blow, the temps rise and fall, and rain away (I should add snow since flakes were reported over the weekend)…The farmers are in town with their goods, bees are buzzing about, black flies (ugh) have set up a welcome center at your nearby pond, and summer is imminent. The strawberry farms near my house are showing signs of life and last night I ate farm fresh fiddleheads at a local restaurant.
I only found a few farmers with little variety, but I was able to pick up some strawberry jam and a couple parsnips. One couple was selling plants and jams, another eggs (I get mine from friends so all set there), and then this guy with these giant herbs. Okay, maybe not giant but let’s agree I had serious rosemary envy. In my tiny greenhouse (one of the plastic kinds you pick up at a local gardening center) the leeks are adorable with their little tops popping up out of the dirt, the lettuce has serious attitude taking over as much space as it has (probably should have limited the number of seeds I used, note to self for next spring), the basil is coming along, and even my tomato stalks have begun to emerge. No rosemary though, well maybe one sprig though it looks like a leek seed might have made its way into the wrong section. I have been told to be patient, that rosemary takes longer, but seeing this farmer with his rows of tall rosemary in pots only had me more anxious.
Next week I will plant seeds for cucumbers, radishes, bell peppers, and eggplant. Who knows, maybe then the rosemary will feel egged on to make an appearance. Regardless, I will be at the farmers’ market Wednesday morning to pick up yummy vegetables and who knows what else. For a farmers’ market near you check out Local Harvest’s website, it is chocked full of valuable information for anyone wanting to shorten the distance their food travels from land to plate.