|The Pleasures of Simple Shopping
||[May. 31st, 2009|09:31 am]
So yesterday Dave and I decided to go try out a farmer's market I'd read about down in Lancaster, about 20 minutes away. Honestly, I figured I'd show up and find two or three tables with flea-market type items, a bunch of Avon ladies, and some limp looking strawberries for sale. Color me pleasantly surprised!
Two dozen tables, all local growers, selling items they had just picked -- I came home with lettuce and spinach (the spinach had been gathered just two hours earlier by a young lady who was celebrating her seventh birthday this weekend ), giant stalks of garlic including a complimentary piece of scape, a bundle of asparagus, and a sack of small red potatoes, as well as two dozen fresh eggs. Total shelled out? About $12, and then we also bought a chewy hoof for the dog.
More enjoyable than the fresh food and the obvious saving of money, though, was the conversation. I met a lady who creates cutting boards from felled cherry trees on her property (and I'll probably be buying one next weekend). I spoke with another woman who was occupying her time between sales by crocheting bags out of recycled plastic sacks (something I just started doing last week, as a way of keeping myself amused). The gentleman with the garlic and lettuce extolled the virtues of scapes used in a stir fry and other Asian cooking, and we joked about his dog, an Australian shephard with startlingly blue eyes. I exchanged phone numbers with another local woman who has begun experimenting with Shiitake mushroom farming, and invites strangers to her home to come work on the logs and learn about 'shrooms... and if you like, you can take home a log of spores after you're done. It was a real delight to interact and meet these folks, and it makes me appreciate all the more the value of food production, which is something I've thought about a lot lately (more on this in another blog post, later).
Afterwards, for fun, we zipped over to the Antique Mall in Sugar Grove, another 10 minutes to the south, thinking it might be fun to spend a sunny spring morning wandering around (and me with the ulterior motive of nabbing a Dazey churn at some point). We found a used and yet still functional pitchfork for just $10, which we grabbed up for use in the compost bin, and then, I SAW IT.
Quick background here: once we finish the patio, our master bathroom will be our next reno project. We just sat down and figured out what we need to replace, how we're going to do it, etc. Part of the process involves replacing our hideous and shallow bathtub. So there we are the Antique Mall, and I look up and spot a giant white claw-footed bathtub. My mom had one in her old house, and I had serious Tub Envy, so I've always wanted one... who knows, I might actually take baths if I had one of these babies. So I asked the guy what he wanted for it, and he told me $150. I nearly melted... I've seen these advertised -- used and in far worse condition -- for between $500 - $800. The outside needs a quick sandblasting and repaint, but the inside is pristine.
And thus I brought home a 200-lb bathtub in the back of the truck. What's weird is everyone keeps asking me what I'm going to plant in it, as apparently the proper use of a porcelain footed tub in suburban Ohio is as a big planter. Except of course Lisa and Beth, who had the far more clever idea of using it as a really big adult beverage container (take four dozen limes, two pounds of salt, 20 bags of ice, and a LOT of tequila...). For now though, giant margaritas notwithstanding, it sits in my garage, waiting to be sanded down and moved upstairs some time this summer.
Best Saturday morning shopping ever.