twenty minutes

The sky was smeared gray even before the rain began. It fell in sideways sheets onto the inky black pavement. We drove to the Greenfield Farmer’s Market in near silence.

In forty minutes the market would end and it was going to be our first and last trip for the growing season. Rain fell against the ticking windshield wipers and slurring tires.
It reminded me of John Cage’s 1952 composition, 4’33,” filled with ambient sound. This was a twenty minute heart-racing score made from nature and machine, fast falling rain and and even faster moving cars.
Slap, slap, slap water pushed against moving glass, rubber, and steel. We’re not going to make it, I thought.
And then we did. Our twenty minute drive ended and we still had 15 minutes to shop before the market closed.
About a dozen vendors and half that number of shoppers huddled beneath two lines of white canopy tents. The rain leaked in and rolled down from our hoods to our fingertips.
turnips and fennel

We were inside The Kitchen Garden’s tent with a fall display of orange and yellow carrots, green cabbage heads, purple top turnips, and cherry belle radishes. Farmers Tim Wilcox and Caroline Pam run the farm in Sunderland, Massachusetts.
We were in awe of the produce for a minute or two before picking out a bunch of carrots, parsnips, and a box of shallots. It was standing in front of a Mark Rothko painting for the first time.
cherry belle radishes

Silence. Rain drummed on sagging canvas tops. Our collective fingers rolled into pockets between vegetable examinations and purchases.


I could not take my eyes off the celery root or the cabbage.
These vegetables were jaw dropping knock-outs.


It’s as if I could taste them on looks alone, a slow braised head of cabbage sweetened in a bath of milk and cream. Clearly Tim and Caroline are farmers who love to grow and eat good food.

onions and shallots

The highway was still soppy wet on our drive home. We took our time and planned out dinner, a roasted root vegetable stew with caramelized shallots and dots of goat cheese on top. All I can say is that it was worth the trip.


  1. Janis says

    What a beautiful post. I never knew the melancholy feeling of a season ending and a new dreary one beginning until I moved to New England. In California one day mixes into the next and it is one perpetual farmers market. I have to say for all my sarcasm on my blog about New England I find the seasons exciting and I have stopped taking vegetables for granted.

  2. Cristin says

    Great description of your visit and wonderful pictures! I love seeing what comes to market at different spots around the country.

  3. nikki says

    Thanks for your comments and your feedback!

    Janis-Thank you! I don't think I truly appreciated the change of seasons until I lived elsewhere.

    Cristin-Thanks! I too love seeing what's in season in different regions.

    Cate-I'm squirreling away winter squash, sweet potatoes, and more root vegetables to last until Spring!

    Megan-They taste just as sweet and bright as they look!

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