It is official. This unreadable sign says that fall is here. If the farmer’s market is announcing it, it must be true, right?

It was certainly a lovely fall morning. We went down to the square to buy some apples, and managed to get green beans, leeks, salad mix, tomatoes, bitter melon, and squash as well.

Also bread from this stall. Do you see all the smoke? There was smoke absolutely pouring out of the construction site behind the bakery stalls (there are four). We asked some people about it, but they didn’t know what was up. No one was allowing the smoke to spoil the bucolic pleasure of the morning, even though we could hardly see through it at some points. “Oh, I think it’s fog,” said the young lady purveying cinnamon rolls, in a truly amazing feat of denial.

We once had a fire at our store (in the wall between us and the Chinese restaurant next door, to be precise). People kept shopping. The firemen came in two trucks, tramped through the store with their hoses and axes, and chopped through the wall, and people still shopped. “I’m sorry,” I would say, “we’re having a fire. Can you come back tomorrow?” “Oh,” they would say, “I just want one thing and I know right where it is.” Sang froid or stupidity? I don’t know. Anyway, we also ignored the smoke.

Here are the folks with the bitter melons. They also had winter melon, hot peppers, and eggplants, but we restrained ourselves. We also resisted the long beans.

It is easy, at the market, to end up with more produce than can be eaten in the week. Of course, the best thing then might be just to eat more vegetables. I am not at all sure that my boys would be persuaded by this argument…

There was not much fruit left, apart of course from apples. Raspberries, at a price more suited to a jewelry store than a market stall, but that was it. Plenty of vegetables and flowers, though.

There were some surprises as well. This stall had cotton blossoms. It can’t have been intended for spinning, given the prices and the quantity, so I suppose it was for putting into flower arrangments.

There never has been a whole lot of cotton grown here, though most places grew a bit for home use. Rural people usually kept a patch up through the Depression, in fact, to sell in order to buy shoes so the kids could go to school. I didn’t ask the grower what she had in mind with these, but we petted them a bit.

There is a knitting stall. The knitter uses tree branches for handles on her purses. She also uses all natural materials and does quite a nice job on her knitting. Her color combinations are ugly, to my mind, so I have never been able to buy anything from her, even though I would really like to encourage her. She did have a newsboy cap, though. In an ugly combination of yarns, and with a knitted crown and an odd little crocheted brim. I really had to exercise self-control to keep myself from picking it up and measuring all the parts. Or even closely photographing it. It was just right as far as size and shape went. Sigh.