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.
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.
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.