I am so sorry. I have no pictures for you. I packed a small backpack with my wallet, keys, and a camera so I could take pictures of our small but lovely Poway farmers market and it turns out that the memory card had been left at home in the computer.
T has started taking tai chi classes on Saturday mornings. I opted out, as I think it’s okay for us to do things separately, and I can use the time to just hop on the elliptical machine. This morning, though, I woke up oddly early so I got my exercise done before T even woke up. Because the tai chi class is so close to home, he rode his bike over and we made plans to meet up afterwards to ride to the farmers market. I spent some time cleaning, folding laundry, then hopped into the shower, gathered my things, and rode off on my bike to meet T. We’ve had some trouble with my bike lately, where every time we get ready to take a ride, a spoke has broken. After numerous trips to REI, they finally replaced both wheels and now I don’t have to deal with defective spokes. With a functioning bike, I was looking forward to getting to finally ride it around town again.
The Poway farmers market is pretty small in comparison to others around the county (Hillcrest being one of the most popular ones). It’s held in on Saturday morning, from 8 am to 11:30 am, in Old Poway Park, with two outside rows of produce vendors and a middle row of “other food” vendors. We have organic fruits and vegetables, flowers, plants, the Ramona egg lady (good eggs, by the way), olive oil, honey, a cheeseball guy, hummus and pita breads, and a lady that sells healthy soup mixes. For prepared food, you can buy samosas, crepes, ceviche, and coffee. The gyros guy and the tamale lady are over at the Scripps Ranch farmers market… too bad for us. The crepes are outstanding and the samosas are fresh and hot (and heavily spiced). Don’t forget, most vendors either put out samples of their fruits or let you taste one so you can decide if you want to buy them. I tend to feel guilty about all this free fruit, so I try not to take samples unless I’m genuinely trying to decide on the quality of the fruit. Because we get an ample delivery of vegetables through our CSA, I was only looking for fruit on this visit, although I did pick up some lovely looking okra.
As you can see, we didn’t bring home a large haul. This was partly because whatever we bought, we’d have to carry home on the bike. Eggs seemed too fragile for such an endeavor, melons and pumpkins seemed too heavy. There was one stand that had pluots and golden pluots, regular and white nectarines, regular and white peaches, and gala apples. He had a try out with samples of each fruit and I bought the pluots, nectarines, and peaches based on those tastes. There was another stand with peaches that smelled divine, but after a sample they tasted almost overripe, so I passed. My favorite fruit stand is near the samosa stand, and they have little sample bowls of just about every fruit they offer. If there isn’t one there, they’ll offer you a taste of whatever you’d like. From them, I bought some guavas, a pomegranate, and something new to me – jujubes (all organic). No, not the chewy candy jujube; this one’s a fruit and is actually good for you.
The jujube is a drupe fruit, where the flesh of the fruit covers a pit. They range from golden to red in color and resemble a date in shape. In fact, when the jujube is fully matured, it resembles a date and is also known as a Chinese date. When I asked what a jujube tastes like, I was offered one as a sample and told it tastes similar to an apple. But when I bit into it, the first thing that came to mind was the texture of a date, albeit much less sticky. The flesh is very soft, but not mushy, and the flavor is reminiscent of an apple – like a soft dried apple ring. Next to the baskets of jujubes was a sign claiming that eating them alleviates stress and is good for sore throats. I guess everything can have a medicinal use.
I’m glad I bought a basket of jujubes, as it’s fun to discover a new fruit at the market. They’re fun to snack on and if they do alleviate stress in my life, well, isn’t that just a bonus?
Our farmers market is just right for our needs and having it just up the street is quite convenient. We don’t go often, as it’s rare that we’re home on a Saturday morning, but when we are the market makes the perfect excuse for a morning bike ride and a stroll among fresh foods.