Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Market Miracle

During today's trip to the farmer's market, I happened upon a miracle:

The most beautiful asparagus I have ever seen.

I walked through the market as I usually do, passing by each stand and assessing the day's goods, thinking through what I'll want to pick up on my walk back through to the entrance. Everything looked good today, what one would expect at the glorious start of the spring season: leafy greens, a sprinkling of red tomatoes, many herbs ready for planting, radishes and turnips and the occasional jumbled quart of strawberries.

But today, I walked down to the very end of the market, and there on a table at the last stand, I stood awestruck: long-stemmed, green, glorious asparagus, bundled up and ready to be lovingly cradled in my arms. Asparagus! Asparagus season is really truly here! I knew it was here last week when I bought my first batch of the season, but those in no way match up to these delightful beauties, these perfect specimen of plant.

I bought one bunch, telling the farmer that his asparagus were by far the most impressive I had ever seen. He told me that they had been harvesting for a few weeks, but as I know, the asparagus would only be around for a few weeks more. I asked if he would be back on Saturday; alas, no, his farm is only in Carrboro on Wednesdays. I paid for my single bundle of asparagus, walked back through the market and added a quart of strawberries, a single cucumber, and a bunch of Lacinato kale to my tote.

But as I walked back towards the entrance to leave the market, I felt unsettled. Something wasn't right. I knew -- I needed to go back for more. More asparagus! 'Tis the season, and as short as it is, and as beautiful as those stalks were, I knew I had to have another. I returned to the farmer, from the hopefully-now-famous Whitted Bowers Farm (biodynamic, of course -- this must be related to the extraordinary quality of these asparagus) to buy a second batch.

I am most certainly in love.

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