Not even the brisk morning air could dampen my excitement as I headed to Boulder for my first farmers’ market of the year. Walking the aisle, I felt as if I were welcoming a dear friend who had been out of the country. “How good to see you,” I felt like saying. “We are all so glad you are back.”
Others felt it, too. Around me, customers greeted favorite farmers, full of questions about how their winter had been, how the wife was, what was new for this season. Talk about a difference from summer when corn and peaches take center stage and crowds grow so thick you have to elbow your way to the front to pay. But on this day, under a damp, iron sky, we weren’t just at a farmers market, we were at a reunion, and people had time to talk.
Still, it was chilly, and since my two-year-old had refused to wear her coat, I finally accepted the fact that I had to stop chatting and start shopping. Not that I minded. After five months of storage crops and root vegetables, the abundance of so many tender greens was a welcome sight.
Beet greens! Turnip greens! Mizuna! Rainbow chard! All called out for my attention, asking me to take them home. I ended up with turnip greens from Jay Hill Farm, with plump jewels of baby turnips dangling from the bright green leaves; my son chose carrots, greens still attached; and my daughter picked … a cinnamon roll. Not as healthy, but still local and yummy. She obviously felt an affection for the greens, though, because she fussed until we let her hold the bag and then chanted happily the whole drive home, “To Market, to Market,” (as in Mother Goose’s “To market, to market, to buy a fat pig, home again, home again, jiggity jig”).
Turnip greens are tender and, like beet greens, highly perishable, so I cooked them up straight away for a hearty lunch. Just what we all needed after a chilly morning with an old friend.
Coming later this week, the recipe for Garlicky Pasta with Sausage and Turnip Greens.