At my local farmer’s market, there are a number of Amish farmers that come in and sell their produce, baked and canned goods. It is a great place to pick up foods that have no added chemicals. The Amish are quiet folks with good business sense and a sense of humor. I enjoy talking with them. There is one woman that comes every week that I call the tomato lady because she is the first and last to have tomatoes and the biggest variety.
My dilemma is that she wears a very striking coat on cool days. The coat is made according to Amish tradition of no trim and is handmade. It is an absolutely beautiful because of the simple lines and the excellent quality of the wool. I have wanted to tell her how beautiful I think it is but the Amish dress plainly to avoid calling attention to themselves.
I know I can complement her produce and honey because they are made by God and His work is to be praised. But her coat was made by a human for warmth and not to call attention to the wearer. Is it taboo to acknowledge the beauty of the coat? Will I offend her if I say something? I am looking for feedback on this question.
Where I live in central Wisconsin, it is common to have farmer’s markets open during the spring and summer. In Stevens Point, the downtown square has been used as the farmer’s market for over 100 years. Recently the area was enlarged and a splash pad was added, making it the place to go on a Saturday morning.
The farmer’s market is an opportunity for smaller farms to sell directly to the consumer. You don’t shop the farmer’s market to get the best deal – you shop to get the freshest fruits and veggies. But what you walk away with can be so much more than a bag loaded with fresh vegetables.
As you stroll along the tables loaded with colorful produce, you hear snippets of conversations. Some of these comments can make you smile or cause you to raise an eyebrow. It isn’t like you are eavesdropping, but there are times when pieces of the conversations are just heard. Here is sample of what I have heard:
- “Only 3 cucumbers! I can eat that many by myself.”
- “What is that? It looks like a pile of weeds.”
- “Your mother said you love beets.”
- “Wonder if the dog will eat them?”
- “I want really hot peppers this time.”
- “It makes me sad to look at raspberries.”
- “Mom, Jenny is peeing in the water.”
- “Don’t touch that, it has dirt on it.”
- “Will it regrow?”
If you are looking for some story inspiration, check out the local farmer’s market. I find all kinds of story fodder there and lots of good food.