So as I've said, I love Tuesdays because of the market. There are a few stands I love in particular from the region, including one that I discovered not too long ago, maybe a month or two ago, mostly because it's hidden behind some stands I'm not a huge fan of & rarely go home that way so I had somehow missed out.
Well, I try to buy a few things from each stand every time, help support the farmers I really like. One day the woman at this tiny stand says, "Oh! THAT's where you're from! You work at Botanic!" I was a bit surprised. Yes, I work there, but with the bajillion people I see every day, there is no way I remember every face, or if I do that I can place them.
So whadya know, she came into my store and recognized me and then placed my face the next time I came to her stand. So we got to chatting. She's a very passionate woman, very intriguing, and we came to talk about my life in France, that I'm from the States blah blah. She mentions that she has a daughter who would be interested in some private lessons in English, nothing fancy, just to help bring back the English she learned back in high school for her college courses. Now normally I say no immediately. I'm over teaching English, it's not my thing. I feel awkward about it. But for some reason that day I was in a particularly good mood and I said yes. And ever since, every Tuesday morning I go to the market & buy my local produce from the other vendors and then Marilyse comes over and we sit in the garden and read the Magic Schoolbus or Ramona Forever. We agreed on trade, which we both prefer, so for an hour or two of my time I get fresh local veggies. It's a pretty sweet deal, really.
And then last week she invited Rémy & me to her house in Tallende for lunch with her family and then an afternoon roaming their vast fields of fruits and veggies. That day was today and let's just say the day was as fabulous as it the whole affair has been serendipitous. Their house is french-ADORABLE in every possible sense. Lunch was fabulous of course, with fresh-picked produce made with lots of love. And LOTS of conversation. I learned an incredible amount about organic agriculture and agriculture in France in general.
Then it was off to the fields. I was left speechless. They work so hard and are so invested in organic as a lifestyle that it is hard to translate their passion onto paper with just these simple words. To them it is only logical to produce our food using methods that do not pollute our bodies and our earth, and the stories they tell of other agriculturists who grow "organic" produce just for the trend or because they can charge more with an organic label are quite frankly scary.
Favorite quote of the day, M. Martin talking about whether or not it's a profitable profession: "If all we end up with after a year of hard work is ten francs (of profit), hey, it's still ten francs! That means we're not in the hole, so it's a good year. In this world, or in any, you just have to stay positive."
The best part: I know exactly what they're growing so I can get excited as the season progresses. I cannot WAIT for their tomatoes, peppers, green beans, potatoes. Every Tuesday I will wake up giddy for more! It was an amazing experience and it makes me want to get to know more local farmers and see how their gardens grow. With silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row?
We'll just see. :)
keep it raw,
...and here is the rest of it.
a few words about miss chelsea elizabeth...
oregon-born, seattle-raised, bellingham-bred and franco-refined, she had moved back to the states from her affairs across the atlantic & now resides in columbia city with french husband & love of her life rémy. they spend most of their time taming the garden, taking care of their three chickens & two cats, and preparing the urban homestead for a new little chick of their own.
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