Yesterday my daughter and I headed out of the 80 degree weather in the Greater Tacoma area for the coast. By the time we’d had dinner with an aunt & uncle in Shelton and stopped to get groceries in Raymond it was nearly full dark when we arrived in Ilwaco on the Long Beach Peninsula. Fog had rolled in off the beach as it so frequently does when it is hot in either Seattle or Portland and we shivered in an ocean breeze as we hurried to the house.
This morning it was still foggy, but it had lifted some. The grass was too damp to mow right away so I puttered around the house until it was time for the Saturday Market on the Ilwaco Port Dock. As if by magic the market opened at the same time the fog burned away to reveal a beautiful day at the beach. I grabbed my shopping bag and wallet and strolled the two blocks from our house to the waterfront. Now I’d made sure to get some cash from the grocery store so I’d have it when I went to the Saturday Market, but I didn’t get but $20. There was a method to my madness. I didn’t want to have too much with me and I purposely left the plastic at home.
I made my way down the entire length of the waterfront, peering at each stall to see what they had. There was salmon chowder which sounded good, but not tempting at 10 AM and right after breakfast. Neither were the hot dogs or the fry bread tacos. I love fry bread, but tacos at ten didn’t strike a note. It was a good thing that I hadn’t brought more money. One stall was nothing but bags and there was a black one with lilacs on it that did tempt me, but since it was $20 which would have not left me with enough for that which I’d come for I sighed and moved on.
There were handmade toys, jewelry and rag rugs. The rag rugs made me sigh, too. They are dangerous because they can slip all over the place so even though they had pretty ones in colors I like I wasn’t tempted there either. It made me think of the one rag rug I have. It was given to me by my grandmother when I was in my 20s and was made by my great-grandmother. I haven’t had it on the floor in years because I don’t want it to fall apart any more than I can help and some of the stitching is coming loose. I seldom consign an article of clothing to the rag bag without thinking of my grandmother and her mother who made quilts and rugs out of the scraps of their sewing, worn out clothing, and flour sacking. Those women knew how to use it up, wear it out, and make do. Wistfully I moved on.
There were stalls with handcrafted soap which I love, but I have an enamel bowl full of soap in the bathroom now and really couldn’t justify buying more even if I have been washing the skin off my hand since this whole swine flu thing started. The fragrances coming from those stalls were alluring, but I plugged my nose and went on.
My purpose for perusing farmer’s markets is for the produce and I wanted fresh vegetables for dinner. With my money still intact I arrived at the Asis Farm stall. This family comes from Wapato to sell its produce and you take what’s in season. None of this 1,000 petrol miles produce. I bought a pound of sugar snap peas, a bunch of baby asparagus, and a fat beet to put in the crock pot with a chicken and headed home. There was just enough time to get the crockpot going so there’d be a dinner waiting for me when I got done working in the yard.
The Sixth Ave. Farmer’s Market begins Tuesday afternoon and I plan to be there with my granddaughter. I also love the Proctor’s Market, the Tacoma Thursday Market and the Gig Harbor Farmer’s Market. Farmer’s markets are the reason I love this time of year. For a listing of farmer’s Markets in Washington State click here.