Another beautiful Colorado day! This morning’s sun was so bright that it fried my retinas. And later, taking my coffee on the patio, the sun ironed my black, denim Levis, and I felt the fabric fusing to my skin. Ouch!
“The leaves turn gold in the calendar’s rotisserie.” A line from Barbara Crooker‘s poem, “Now.” See Writer’s Almanac for October 13.
It was -22F this morning, and I was kicking myself for failing to photograph the Virginia Creeper up the street. Last night’s freeze did it in and I missed my chance. Yesterday was not my day. I also failed to get a photo of a dog and a goat riding in the back seat of a station wagon. Their heads were out the window. Sniffing… as dogs and goats do. Note to self: never leave home with out my camera.
If you read my last blog, you know that I am not attempting a weekly celebration of the Sabbath until November. We are off to England and on our return, we will layover four days in Iceland. Very cool. Yes, cool. Cooler than Colorado. The average October temperature in London is 55F with 15 days of rain; the average October temperature in Reykjavik is 39 with 21 days of rain. Not to worry. I’ve got it covered.
Today was the last of our seasonal farmers’ market! I love the market: it costs nothing to wander past the exhibits, handle the produce, and pick up some Sangres Best, grass-finished, “OUR COWS HAVE ONLY ONE BAD DAY” beef. Meeting and greeting friends whom I don’t see enough of is a bonus.
Although the summer market is closing, it won’t disappear entirely. Thanks to Cathy Snow and the Second Street Kitchen, those who are still baking, canning, crafting or greenhousing greens will have an outlet for their crafts and produce.
Going to the farmers’ market is like falling through the rabbit hole and finding yourself in a candy store. In particular, I crave the purple potatoes up from Lippis Organic Farms in Florence. I love them for the taste, of course, but also the story.
I remember a former Peace Corps volunteer telling of his posting to Peru.. some time ago… in the 60s or 70s. His mission was to bring their agriculture into the 20st century. Noticing that the native population planted on the mountain slopes and harvested tiny purple potatoes, he (or perhaps it was the U.S. Department of Agriculture) thought that the Peruvians could do better.
So he tilled a bit of flat land (a bit – there isn’t a lot of flat land to go around) and he brought in seed potatoes from Ireland. He thought that working on flat ground, the subsistence farmers wouldn’t have to climb the mountain, and the larger, meatier, Irish potatoes would bring greater rewards. It was a hard sell.
Some farmers worked the plots that the Peace Corp worker had prepared, but everyone clung to the old ways and continued to work their mountain plots. It took some time, but the volunteer finally came to realize that if you plant on a mountainside and stand below the plant, you do not have to bend over so deeply to hoe the ground. Hoeing uphill is easier on the back. As for the big Irish potatoes – taste-wise, the tiny purple potatoes win hands down.
The Peruvians had the last laugh.
If you missed my Peruvian blogs, I posted them between April 16 and May 19 of 2011.