Saturday, May 1, 2010

It's Spring?

Two Pony Gardens showed off its wonderful tomato plants!

It's Spring! It's Spring! That merry month of May!
by Charlie Leck

We get fooled by mother nature up here in Minnesota. Even if we've lived here for more than 45 years, we get fooled. April opened so beautifully. We had plenty of warm weather and none of the roaring winds we're used to as Old Man Winter moves out of our region. We started thinking it is time to get the plants outside and prepare the gardens for planting.

And then May arrived today, and with it came blustery and strong winds and chilly temperatures. I hope not too many folks put things outside yet.

The Midtown Farmers Market, in south Minneapolis, opened yesterday and we were there. Quite a few produce vendors had indicated they would be there. Only Twin Pony Farms, a neighbor of ours, showed up; and, as they always do, they came with wide smiles and friendly greetings. They're a popular vendor at the market and folks crowded around them to look at their beautiful plants.

And many of my wife's dear friends and customers showed up too, with messages about how much they had missed our lamb over the winter months. Many of them stocked up and bought all their freezers would hold. It's nice to observe how many of these folks have become more than customers in so many ways. We look so forward to seeing them in the spring, after the winter of separation. We also met a number of new people to the Corcoran neighborhood of Minneapolis. It was a friendly, enjoyable meeting and we know we'll see them again.

Farmers markets are more than just opportunities to sell products. Their gatherings create community and healthful, productive chatter. It's a chance for neighbors to converse about what's going right in the community and what needs changing. It's a chance to sit together over coffee and before the saxophonists who were there yesterday, or before whatever band or performer might be there on future Saturdays. The local grower movement is big all over America and it's one of the good things happening in the nation.

On this coming Thursday, the Excelsior Farmers Market opens (2 pm to 6 pm). We go to that one, too. It's very different than the urban market in the center of southside Minneapolis. It's a little stiff and folks don't relax like the city folks do. In Excelsior it's more a matter of buy and sell -- make your purchases and move on to other things.

It's May! It's May, the month of great dismay
When all the world is brimming with fun, wholesome or 'un'
It's mad! It's gay, a libelous display
These dreary vows that ev'ryone takes, ev'ryone breaks
Ev'ryone makes divine mistakes
The lusty month of May
[Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe, from Camelot]

Diane, one of our regular customers and friends stopped by to say hello
and to see how we did over the winter months. You can see the blustery
and unfriendly sky behind her.

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