#22 – J & N Martin Produce, 5982 8th line, Ariss
Retelling the events of this wonderful day is throwing me into a calm trance, the hot beaming sun, the radio blasting good tunes, the endless rows of trees, farmers’ fields, animals, and friendly people were the perfect ingredients to an idyllic day.
This next farm, once I came upon it, took my breath away. But of course, it wasn’t going to be an easy find; memories of “hidden valley greenhouse” was slowly creeping back into my head. I was not about to give up at this point – I had been successful thus far and I wasn’t ready to hang up my spurs for the day. I was driving down 8th line busy looking right to left; you’d thought I was watching an intense tennis match the way my head bobbled back and forth. At one point, I passed a farm on the right hand side where a large number of Mennonites were gathering as a family for a picnic. It was very endearing to watch the differences between their ways and ours. They all gave the impression of being at peace with their themselves. All the men were sitting in chairs in a large circle, chatting away. It looked like a sea of yellow straw hats. The women were standing in a large circle to the right of their men. Long skirts swaying into the wind while the breeze teased small tendrils of hair to come out of their neat braids. Made me feel like I wanted to stop by, join in their festivities. The fact that I was dressed like a real hippy that day probably wouldn’t have helped in integrate within their tight-knit circles. I am able to give you this detailed picture of this wonderful family as I had to drive by twice, yap, when I realized a few side roads later that I had obviously missed the farm in I needed – I turned my little car around and went searching once again.
It was after I passed this family affair that I finally saw it, on the other side of the road was a very long dirt road that lead to a farm compound at the top of a small hill. I crossed my fingers hoping this would the farm I was looking for – it look surreal. When I got to the driveway, I realized that there were a few cars coming up and down the dirt road. And there it was, a number of small signs attached to a post stating what was available at the farm. Aha… found it! Victory!!!!
I waited for the next car to come back to the main road before proceeding up the long drive. I first noticed the endless fields to the left of me and the expansive views that would make a house developer drool like a fool. It was then that I realized there was a car behind me; oops… sorry my lack of attention 🙂 I parked my car beside the first little building that appeared to be the farm store. I was greeted by a huge selection of flowers, planters, garden decorations. These were superb – they were bountiful and had obviously been in contact with a green thumb. I looked them over but of course quickly deduced that it was not in my cards to purchase any more flowers – I seriously wouldn’t know were I put them at this point. Truth be told; it’s a little easier feeding the family on the food that I purchase and not so easy to convince them that I chose plants and flowers instead of food ~
I stepped inside the little store – and as many before, it was very clean and laid out to appeal to anyone’s senses. I saw the people who had followed me up the dirt road – they didn’t seem to be annoyed, they smiled and said hi. They knew the owner and went back to their conversation with him.
I noticed there was fresh farm eggs. This is another staple I chose to overlook this fine day as, once again, I had not come totally prepared to bring back this type of food. Next trip – for sure. I picked a number of fresh vegetables, including wonderfully ripened tomatoes. Images of BLT’s with Avocado danced through my fantasy world and poked at my taste buds which quickly brought me back to reality. I also got some amazing radishes. I used to eat a lot of radishes as a kid – the hotter they were the better I enjoyed them. I couldn’t wait to see where these would rate on my “goodness my mouth is burning” scale.
I ended up at the register at the same time as my new-found friends. I let them go first, thinking that was the least I could do considering I had left them to eat my dust all the way up the road…
The farmer chatted away with me asking where I was coming from – I have to tell you, I really did feel like I was a million miles away from home. Such a different world than my city life and my office work – no worries, someday, I will make the change, I just know it!
Behind the farmer, through a large window I set my eyes on what first appeared to be an oil painting depicting a garden in the prime of its life. He noticed where my eyes were looking and told me “nice, hey?” I said yes, it certainly was – what a lucky man to have this wonderful tapestry of nature to wake up to each and every morning.
Purchases in the car – I was off again. See you at the next farm.