For the last few weekends Leah and I have gone to the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market. That’s the exact name of it, and I’m not sure why there isn’t an apostrophe in “Farmers,” and I’m not sure why it’s called a “curb” market since it’s in a building. But, it is the best farmer’s market I’ve ever been to. It’s every Saturday, and it’s also on the same street we live on, just a few miles away. They have lots of fresh produce, plants, flowers, soap, and baked goods. The people are friendly, and I feel like both the market’s vendors and customers are a good slice of the diversity we see in this fine city. Honestly, going to the market makes my morning every Saturday.
There’s usually a sweet potato doughnut man outside the market. The last few times I’ve seen him it’s been freezing, and he’s been bundled up so much I could only see his eyes. He joked that “They don’t let me come inside.” I think this is because his doughnut fryer smells like… well, cooking sweet potato doughnuts. I got my orange-colored doughnuts with maple on top, which was extra good because I’ve found that it’s harder to find maple bars—my favorite type—around here than it ever was on the West Coast. Doughnut man, you could set up shop in our apartment and make it all smell like mapled sweet potato doughnuts and I wouldn’t mind!
Leah’s favorite person at the market is a lady who sells five dollar “flower” bouquets. I’m putting “flower” in quotation marks because they are mainly bouquets made out of local greens with only a few flowers mixed in. I would list the greens, but the only one I can identify is the occasional sprig from a pine tree. I think they are materials she gets from a large yard, or perhaps even a nearby forest. The arrangements look great and they smell like Christmas. The bouquets last weeks without wilting, too. The lady calls Leah “sweetie” or “honey,” or various other older-person nicknames. Also, she calls her husband her “assistant.”
We’ve bought a good swath of what the market offers. Our produce has included Swiss chard, radishes, and beets. The beets we bought were actually the golden beets used in a past recipe, and the guy who sold them to us were passionate for beets in a way that I only thought was possible on TV. The man picked up the beets, he caressed the beets, he talked with Leah about the best ways to cook and enjoy beets, and he gently pushed back against my assertion that beets are gross. By the way, the golden beets we purchased were good. The guy insinuated that golden beets weren’t real beets, but later I tried “real” red beets and well… real beets aren’t for me.
“Only red beets have that great copper flavor,” or something—I’m pretty sure that’s what he said. But characters like this are why I like farmers markets, and again everyone there is always so nice. We’ve also gotten batches of eggs in the past (return the carton for money back), a pork shank for crock-potting, honey, pastries, and soap. They run plant sales and yoga classes, and the whole thing is held in what looks like an old grange building. It truly reminds me of where I grew up in rural Oregon, and for that and many other reasons I miss when a Saturday goes by and I can’t attend the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market. Check it out!
–Jeff and Leah