EVERY Saturday morning this previous April, when my spouse was catching up on well-deserved relaxation after our daughter Effie started sleeping by way of the evening, I’d quietly whisk the newborn out of her crib at eight a.m. and safe her within the jogging stroller, the one we couldn’t afford if not for its prior life as a beat-up ground mannequin at buybuy Child.
Seven or eight minutes later, the scene would come into give attention to the horizon as we approached Amelia Avenue.
We have now an idyllic farmers’ market right here in Fredericksburg. Located close to the middle of downtown on two bisecting streets (Prince Edward and George) and bordering Hurkamp Park, it’s two blocks of uninterrupted open-air commerce.
Since shifting again to Fredericksburg in 2016, my spouse and I professed a easy credo: In the event you knocked out the farmers market by 9 a.m., the weekend was your oyster. A espresso date? Antiquing? Something was potential.
Within the earlier than occasions, tents housing greens, flowers and soaps overlapped such that it looked like strolling below a steady cover. You felt bilked out of an important Saturday morning ritual in case you didn’t browse all the run of choices.
I jogged previous it this morning, which simply occurred to be the third Saturday in April. In a world with out COVID-19, it might’ve been opening day.
However the one vestige of frivolity was a lone masked vendor, peddling produce to a couple anxious prospects. (The close by sight of rubble the place the previous Free Lance–Star as soon as stood did little to quell my negativity). On its web site, the Fredericksburg Farmers Market has introduced that it’s going to delay the beginning of its 2020 season till Could 9 after which solely “with social distancing procedures in place.”
Within the meantime, I discover myself lacking tomatoes and bunches of basil. I miss the heads of purple cabbage, their unfastened interior leaves certain for a buttermilk slaw. And I miss the chance to brush up on my conversational Spanish (not in a patronizing method however as an earnest act of human connection).
Talking of connections, you by no means knew who you’d encounter on the farmers market. I continuously encountered Stafford County sports activities founding father Jimmy Jones on the sidewalk. I cowl highschool sports activities (once they’re taking place), so it was fairly cool to choose his mind concerning the soccer sport of the week or story I’d written just lately.
In the intervening time, my relationship with recent produce is sophisticated. Throughout quarantine, we’ve restricted ourselves to venturing out for groceries as soon as each two weeks, and it’s been slim pickings of late. I attempted to join an attractive local-ish subscription service, however the firm briefly halted signal ups as a result of overwhelming demand.
Clearly perturbed concerning the lack of herbs in my life, I texted my father-in-law, a retired agronomist, to ask for recommendations on rising basil seeds from a kind of Burpee packages designed to accommodate even probably the most uninitiated of inexperienced thumbs.
I’m nonetheless ready to listen to again.