last farmers market of the season

November 3. This time when the rain returns I feel ready, even relieved. Not ready as in all the garden beds cleared of summer crop skeletons, or the two dozen outdoor spigots (yes, I just counted) crowned with insulating caps for winter – those jobs go on and on. But I’m happy to be indoors by the fire, to feel at one with the inward turning of the season. It’s the past few weeks of Indian summer that did it – frost most nights, but afternoons in the 70s, and I’ve managed to be outside most of those sunny days. I no longer feel that “No, wait, not yet” reaction to the shorter days and the storm system settling over northern California.
Last week was the final farmers’ market of the year in Mendocino village, and what a beautiful day for it. Sunny and warm, and we brought more condensed summer packed into the last sweet peppers – thick-walled Carmens, bright Tangerine Pimientos, twisty red Jimmy Nardellos, along with all the immature green peppers so tender in stir-fries. Plus the first fall crops – carrots, cabbages, kale and chard. We’ve loved coming out to the coast to participate in this small but very lively market, and are brimming with gratitude for our customers and for market managers Andy and Winnie who made us feel so welcome and appreciated. Chaco the farm dog loved market day too, and was more than willing to sit in the car for 5 hours each Friday before his chance to run on the beach and fetch sticks from the surf.