Farewell to the season

In our town, there is a seasonal farmer's market that's quite popular. Every Saturday from the middle of June to the middle or end of October, fresh vegetables, fruits, breads, fresh spices and herbs, roasted peppers, crocheted aprons, wooden toys and more beckon to buyers from the parking lot of the old train depot, now a city museum.

Vendors come from miles around, bringing local raw honey, naturally raised beef, pork and chicken and hand made soap. Sometimes there is music as youngsters play instruments for charity or clubs.

It's a hustle and bustle kind of morning, with people coming and going, waving good-byes and hellos and weaving through the crowd with baby strollers, wheel chairs and running shoes. It's a fun place to be, even if one isn't in the market for bushels of tomatoes and wooden roosters.

Maybe I enjoy it so much because it's short lived. June to October is a short four months and sometimes the weather shortens it even more.

The last market of the season is a sad affair. Both vendors and customers begin to dwindle as cooler weather takes its toll on crops and enthusiasm until at last, there are only a handful of vendors showing up. Pumpkins, gourds, late lettuce, radishes, broccoli and cauliflower are in the spotlight now. Tomatoes and cucumbers are delicious memories, but potatoes and carrots promise rich winter dishes.

The last market of the season is here yet again. All good things must come to an end, I know, and I guess that's what makes them "good." If there was always a farmer's market, always a bushel of tomatoes, always fresh picked lettuce, always bright and beautiful pumpkins, we probably wouldn't appreciate them.

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