No figs for you! Adventures at a so-called farmer’s market.

After voluntary exertions on the part of our people to which the history of the world furnishes no parallel, is the old root of bitterness still to remain in the ground, to sprout and bear fruit in the future as it has borne fruit in the past? ~ Robert Dale Owen

God hates figs. Matthew 21:19

I walked the aisle, lifting a peach, sniffing a cantaloupe, searching for a fig.  The fruit was a bit past fresh in several cases, flies buzzing about the outdoor market certainly did not add anything to the ambience.  But the tomatoes! Oh my.  Red, ripe, luscious and as fresh as a belle at a ball.

I snagged two, along with a carton of  shiny deep-almost-purple-red cherries, homemade cucumber dill dressing and peanut brittle still in one big piece that I had the unmitigated pleasure of cracking myself.

There is something special about cracking your own peanut brittle.

But no figs.  They are not ready yet, I was told. Soon though, very soon.  And there’s the rub.  This is not truly a farmer’s market.  This is a produce stand. And while the two are often used interchangeably they are most definitely not the same thing.

A farmer’s market, a true Farmer’s Market, is just that.  A market place with stall after stall manned by the very hands that grew the produce.  At one stand is farmer Joe with his prize-winning cantaloupe, at the next is Farmer Beth with her perfect Granny Smith’s and there is Tom, with his homemade peanut brittle just waiting to be broken by you.   And last but far from least is Farmer Dave with his just came in figs, picked at the peak of freshness just this morning and brought here to sell.

And so I came home, without my figs, and having bypassed the peaches that were well past their prime but happy with my tomatoes, which I sliced and ate all by themselves.  Not quite as good as my sister-in-laws and nowhere near my late mother-in-laws they were still a high step above the Kroger hot-house/no-flavor choices I am often relegated to when doing my late night, just got off work shopping.

And did I mention the peanut brittle?


In the Don’t Know but Fully Intend to Find Out Category:

This week I caught bits and pieces of things that I really want to know more about. To wit:

  • Peter Tosh.  I was only just introduced to Mr. Tosh via an NPR story that I landed in half way through.  What I heard I liked.  A lot. The music, the politics, the man.
  • Roman Polanski – Holocaust survivor.  Is this possible? He is in his seventies, right? So I suppose so.  That and the horrible murder of his wife by the Manson gang make for a tragic life. Hard to understand how someone who has experienced that much pain and loss could rape a child and spread tragedy to another.
  • Is the legalization of abortion responsible for the sudden drop in crime in the early nineties? Now this was fascinating.  Presented by economist and Freakonomics coauthor Steve Levitt, the theory is that with the passage of Roe v. Wade (who was the smart-ass that came up with “Roe” anyway? ), an entire generation of unwanted pregnancies never came to term, thus reducing the number of unwanted and unprepared for (and often under-parented) children, who are most likely to grow up and become criminals.  According to Levitt the numbers back this up.  In the five states where abortion was legalized five years before the national law went into effect had the same sudden and unexplained drop five years earlier.
  • What would it take to change the name of damn near everything in Rankin County? Starting with the name Rankin? I was watching a documentary (which I highly recommend by the way) called Imaginary Witness, Hollywood and the Holocaust.  Fascinating.  It pointed out that Gentleman’s Agreement was actually written after the author heard Mississippi Senator John Rankin’s viciously antisemitic rants on the floor of the U.S. Congress.  And of course, there is the ever charming Ross Barnett and his namesake Reservoir.  I doubt the majority of people who go have any clue just how nasty a creature that man was, or how hateful the atmosphere had to be that he would be honored rather than condemned.
  • Which leads me to a completely unrelated aside.  A man was given a “natural life” sentence and sent to Angola Prison in 1961.  He and another prisoner spoke eloquently of life in prison with no hope of ever leaving , telling how the lifer’s view of the world is so narrow, brought about only by what they see and hear on television and the radio. That IS the real world to them.  This man said that he watched the Crosby [sic] Show and could not make sense of it at all. The prisoner is a black man and when he went to prison a black man could not even ride in the front of a bus.  He cannot wrap his mind around the idea of going to anywhere he wants and being let in, much less served. That year, 1961, was the year he quit growing.  He is stuck there and it is tragic.

So, that’s about it for me tonight folks. I am hitting the sack and praying it doesn’t hit back.


~ by D.L. Graves on July 11, 2011.

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