Rebecca and I recently had the opportunity to spend an evening camping in the Shenandoah National Park. It was such a beautiful time in a campground high above the valleys, overlooking vast stretches of forests and hills. We experienced the beginnings of this shifting season through the changing colors of leaves, the nip in the air, and through observing squirrels gathering nuts and acorns in a haste. What struck me most was the light. At different times of the day and night, I sensed a glow from not only the sun or the moon, but also the trees, shrubs, creeping vines, the rocks, and in the streams. It was as if all of earth was alive. Radiating light from deep within. It was magical - a great reminder that light is the essence of life, from which all things have their being. Including the food that we raise through this farming life.
Produce items available this week are apples (Matzu, McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Jonathan & Red Empire), basil, bok choy, celery, green beans (yup!), lettuce heads, spicy/hot Padron peppers, sweet green peppers, sweet red & yellow onions, parsley, salad greens, Swiss chard, and eggs (limited supply). Find us tomorrow at the farmers market @ St. Stephen’s from 9am -12pm, or at the Byrd House farmers market on Tuesday from 3h30 - 7pm.
We spend our lives at farmers markets (literally). It is a welcome home where we engage with our community members, answer questions from customers, where we give and receive our weekly dose of hugs, and where we exchange stories of our comings and goings, and everything in between. It’s almost like church. Which is to say that behind the thin veil of peace and love, there are also politics. This is true for Richmond farmers markets, other cities in the US, and around the world. Here’s a story that explores some of the politics (including fraud) and a confessional from a farmers market employee that lied about where its food actually came from. Be not discouraged, we only ever sell our own produce, except for delicious apples from Henley’s Orchards in Crozet, VA. For new visitors, here are seven ways to shop smarter at farmers markets!
Lets allow the esteemed poet and prophet of light, Mary Oliver, to bring into focus the light at the heart of life with her poem When I am among the trees. As she does, with so much grace, attention, and a keen sense of place. Happy weekend!
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
Be well, eat healthy, and be kind to yourself and others.