Bob and Inez were kind enough to let us interrupt the patio project they were working on to give us a tour of their pretty place. I wish I'd gotten a picture of their garden from a distance because it reminded me of how much I loved having a garden that was pretty and artistic and not simply long, evenly spaced rows. After the heat and drought of the last month in Arkansas, walking into this garden was like finding an oasis of green with beautiful tomatoes and squashes popping out everywhere.
It didn't take long for Milan to find something he was very familiar with and decide they needed a little help harvesting.
One of my favorite features was Bob's raised beds with row covers that opened on a hinge. He has his young seedlings protected from leaf miners with insect barrier and will replace that with poly to allow him to grow his greens all winter long.
Milan's favorite feature was water, of course.
When we finally let Bob & Inez get back to work we headed on down the road to walk through a pretty large community garden while we waited for the afternoon farmers market to open.
Unlike Bob and Inez's oasis, these gardens looked a little more typical of late August/September gardens to me.
I did fine one pretty little flower bed going strong though...Ella's Flower Garden.
While Danielle and I walked through the gardens, Mom and Milan worked on spreading some dandelion seed to keep his attention diverted from the cherry tomatoes he wanted to harvest from nearly every plot.
Finally, on to the Pullman farmers market.
Considering I didn't have a lot of experience with farmers markets before I started selling at one, it was interesting to be on the other side of the table asking some of the questions I get to answer every Saturday. Knowing we had a large bag of goodies that Inez sent with us, we filled our bags with bread, sweet corn, peaches, grapes, eggs and pork. I was really impressed with the variety of produce we found and that out of the ten farmers we visited all but two claimed to grow using organic methods. I had to laugh a little when a woman in line in front of me complained to a farmer about the price of her organic eggs at $3/dozen. It's nice to see that weather and insects are not the only universal challenges small farmers face from one side of the country to the next.
Finally, it was back to the house to check out our goodies and start supper. Generosity and pride in their work are traits I find common in my gardening friends and I absolutely marveled at the beautiful produce Inez filled our bags with.
Combined with our market fare, I sit and think how fortunate we are to be able to eat this way almost year-round and know that looking forward to the food that comes from this time of the year is what keeps us eating seasonally and out of our own frozen produce throughout the winter.
Finally, with Milan asleep on Arkansas time, one last look from the deck across the fields of garbanzo beans as the sun sets.