Posted by: Jill | February 10, 2008

Farmers’ Market Cardinal Sin

I just got back from the Ballard Market, where my worst farmers’ market fears came true. Following some inspirational Barbara Kingsolver (is there any other type of Kingsolver?) I always try to spread out my purchases among as many vendors as possible. These guys are standing outside in the cold, gray wind for 4 or 5 hours, plus they spent all that time growing my food for me so I don’t have to do it myself. If I can buy my carrots from a different person than I buy my potatoes from, it spreads the love.

It’s the middle of winter (did I mention the gray skies and biting wind?), so when I saw that my potato man also had Brussels sprouts, I was elated. They looked a bit scrawny and beat-up, but his whole farm is certified organic so I figured the sprouts looked battle worn because they had blossomed in February, not from neglect or mistreatment. I bought a couple dozen and was looking forward to dinner.

Then I walked to the next stand, where there was a full table bursting with amazing greenery: green and purple cabbage, kale, several types of lettuce, winter chard, and … amazingly big, beautiful Brussels sprouts. I briefly considered asking the first guy if he accepted returns, but thought better of it. I’ll know where to get my Brussels sprouts next week; today, I bought purple cabbage from the Brussels sprouts mistress.

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