Now that it's spring (and I'm no longer living in terror of frostbite), the Minneapolis Farmers' Market is up and running. I went last weekend for the first time, and it was fairly interesting, but just a tad intimidating. Here in Minnesota, the locals are so starved for amusement apparently that the farmers' market is the next best thing to a carnival, so it's pretty much thronged with people and baby carriages and street musicians and food stands (roasted sweet corn is apparently the big thing here) in addition to the actual produce and so forth. So it's crazy and scary.
But I went! Alas, last weekend was a little early for things to really be growing, so all the vegetables I came back with were some chives and scallions, which went on top of pretty much everything I ate this week. I've been making up excuses to bake potatoes so that I could load them up with sour cream and chives. Amazing, I must say.
So, the vegetables were lacking, but there were plenty of people there selling plants, and I got talked into buying some little herb plants. I mean, really, four for five dollars? How could I go wrong? Turns out it was more like thirty dollars, after buying pots and potting soil and various other plant-growing accessories - it turns out plants don't really care to stay in those tiny little plastic cubes. Apparently they also enjoy feeding off of dried blood, which makes me feel a little nervous about having them at the foot of my bed. But still, now I have some pretty little herbs on my windowsill, and Bruce hasn't touched them, and they are still alive one week later. Now hopefully they'll actually grow, since I'd like to actually eat them.
Just to prove that I do, in fact, have plants. The oregano, spearmint, and basil all seem to be doing well, but apparently half of the rosemary is dying. I do not understand. The other half is just dandy.
Be sure to note also my ghetto pot in the middle. I bought the long planter thing and realized when I got home that it had no drainage holes in the bottom, so I punched some holes in, only to then realize that I had nothing to put under it to keep it from leaking everywhere. So I found a shoe box of approximately the correct size and lined it with a plastic bag so the water wouldn't seep through. Attractive? Perhaps not. Resourceful? Uh, maybe it would've been easier to just buy a better pot, but, um, sure!
So today I went back to the market and there were actual vegetables! I walked away with a great big bag of spinach and some parsnips. I have no idea how to cook parsnips or what they taste like, but I'm sure I'll figure it out. There was also a guy selling cheese - I bought some of his smoked gouda out of obligation after eating a bunch of his samples. I got some free-range (hopefully nuclear orange) eggs, too, and maple syrup from Wisconsin. It was a pretty good haul today.
No journey is complete without photographic proof.
I think tomorrow I'm going to wake up to a nice omelette filled with smoked cheese and spinach. Or hell, maybe I'll just have that for supper.