Farmers’ Market

The Farmers’ Market in Olympia, Washington, was full of interesting things to see, but although we are officially into spring, this March day was particularly cool. An icy wind blew through the open-air building. Spaced around the corridors were heaters that attracted shoppers who huddled near them to chat for a few minutes before moving on.

Some of the merchants had heaters set up right in their own selling space. See the tall heater on a post above the lady selling baked goods? Notice one of the customers walking by wearing a warm jacket? It was a COLD day!

The lady who sold lavender products wore her quilted jacket zipped up to the top.

What a wonderful assortment of organically grown mushrooms. No problem keeping them chilled.

The girls selling homemade jams were happy. But no wonder! Do you see the heater on the left, glowing and sending out warming rays?

For a brief moment I contemplated buying a treat for my little dog, but then I realized that these bones are bigger than she is.

And that price is in U.S. dollars  – $14.00 for each bone. For a Canadian, that’s a hefty chunk of change, and even if I were to “bite the bullet” and splurge on my dog, and if I were allowed to bring it across the border,  I would probably frighten her with it.

They must have some awfully big dogs here in the United States. 

There is much more to see at the Farmers’ Market, but that will be for another post.

Sticky Buns

Saturdays from about nine until noon, the Farmer’s Market is a big attraction at the local fairgrounds. One reason to get there early is to be sure of finding a place to park so you don’t have to walk a mile. The other is to try to beat the line up in front of the baked goods booth where the best sticky buns in town are sold.

These huge homemade buns are like cinnamon rolls with a topping of baked on maple flavoured syrup and pecans. To die for! It’s like an addiction. My friend and I rush from our car to get in line even though the sticky bun baker hasn’t opened her stall yet. We get in line behind about ten people who are already waiting and in no time twenty more fall in line behind us. These sticky buns are famous.

We check our watches every two minutes, waiting for the magic 9:00 a.m. opening time, commenting on the passersby and calling out to friends going by.

A dog fight catches our attention. I’m glad we’re safely out of the way of the ruckus. “Wish people would keep their dogs on a leash. Did you see that schnauzer almost trip that woman?”

“Yeah, she spilled her coffee.” My friend shakes her head. “They shouldn’t even allow dogs in here where there’s food served.”

The baker uncovers the sticky buns and announces that she’s open for business.

Several people and one shaggy dog crowd closer to the table. The line splits into two, as the baker’s helper serves people as well.

“Good thing we got here when we did,” says my friend. “Sure hope they don’t run out of buns before we get to the front of the line.”

“No, I don’t think we need to worry. I see a whole bunch more on cookie sheets under the table.”

A shaft of sunlight comes streaming through the stall at an early morning angle, lighting up the sticky buns on the table as well as those underneath. The shaggy dog shakes himself. The beam of sunshine highlights dog hair everywhere as it floats through the air. I feel as if I’m watching the whole thing in slow motion. I’m horrified to see the dog hairs landing one by one, two by two, too many to count, right on the trays of sticky buns under the table. It’s not as if you can brush the hair off them either.

We get the last of the sticky buns from on top of the table and as they bring the trays up from underneath I know it’s the end of an era for me. I make a promise to myself.

“This will be my last sticky bun. My addiction is cured.”