after our last farmers market of 2010

October 4. I love the sound of ravens’ wings, close overhead, like scissors cutting silk. I’m lounging on the deck couch, notebook at hand, in the perfect Indian summer 11 a.m. temperature of 76 degrees. Never mind I’m only sitting down because I’m under the influence of a migraine headache – it still counts as both lounging and writing. Whatever it takes, and at this point in the harvest season it takes a migraine, apparently.
There are 8 flats of tomatoes tucked around the living room in various stages of under- and over-ripeness, baskets of cosmetically challenged apples, a refrigerator full of peppers and squash – and that’s after another Mendocino farmers’ market at which I pretty much sold out what I brought. It may have been my last market for the season; even though we’re buried in tomatoes and peppers, that’s about it for marketable items. Not enough variety.
This time at the market I had equal amounts of sweet peppers and hot, and the hot Anchos are giant and a gorgeous red. I sold all the sweet and almost none of the hot, I think because at previous markets I’ve had mainly sweet and customers are coming back for more. I also had an eye-catching display of twisty Trombetta squash, some of them hanging from the basket handle.  Many people came to my table just to see them up close, many commented and asked about them, but all day only one person bought any. I said encouraging things – nutty flavor, firmer texture than other summer squash so they hold up well in a sauce – but that wasn’t enough. The Pink Pearl apples were another story. Three or four people who knew Pink Pearl bought them all, picking through the more numerous Gala to find them. I’d sliced one in half to show the pink interior, and ended up giving even that to a man who arrived just a minute too late. Those who know, love. I’m not giving up on the Trombetta – I’ll have seed packets for sale by December.