Today was the first day of the Headhouse Square Farmers Market for the season. I’ve had it noted on my calendar for over a month. Last night, I set my alarm especially to get myself out of bed and down to the market. It took me a little while longer than anticipated to get going this morning, but I finally headed out into the city around 11 am.
It was one of those perfect, spring days. People were out on the sidewalks, wearing cute summery clothes and flip flops, drinking iced coffee as they wandered. Walking down to the Headhouse Square Shambles, I took a rambling, zig-zaggy route that led me down blocks and alleys that are not part of my ordinary travels. I sometimes forget that there are so many lovely areas of Philadelphia, with appealing (if ankle endangering) cobblestone streets and small city backyards. As I walked down a stretch of Addison, around 10th Street, I noticed a black and white cat staring at me from a large picture window. She was sitting on the ledge, the curtain caught on her tail. I stopped walking for a moment to commune with this cat. After a moment of quiet eye contact, she turned her head, seeming nearly regal, as if to tell me that the audience as over.
The market wasn’t as full of vendors as it was at the peak of summer growing season last year. It was something of a disappointment, as I’ve been reading about the bounty of the farmers markets that people in other areas of the country have been experiencing and so I was hoping for something similar. I was able to find some green garlic (which you can see above), as well as some delicious garlic turkey sausage (that I cooked up tonight into a sauce for whole wheat spaghetti), local lavender honey, some fresh, tender salad greens and a dozen speckled, genuinely free-range eggs (I’m hoping for vibrant orange yolks). I had a long conversation about reusing egg cartons with the man who sold me the eggs and promised that I would bring his container back the following week.
When I had been at the market about fifteen minutes, the crowds in front of me broke briefly and I spotted my friend Roz’s head. As I tried to push my over to her (the market was really crowded), my cell phone buzzed with a text message from her. Thanks to Twitter, she knew I was down there and was looking for me. We ended up gathering a couple more people and spending the rest of the morning at the market, listening to Hoots and Hellmouth play, munching on some snacks and enjoying the not-too-hot sun.