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Farmer’s Market September Song

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Farmer’s Market September Song

Stanley Stephan | Sep 1, 2002 10:29 PM

When the Gravenstein and Pink Pearl apples make an appearance, I think, they are just early this year. Then a caravan of red and orange Gypsy peppers so brightly colored they seem to be laughing, tumbles happily into the market. The first peach stand sings its swan song promising to return next year. The grapes nudge the berries out. But like that first gray hair and the first laugh lines around my eyes, I pretend not to notice.

Then Peter Chan Nursery returns with mums and sunflowers golden as the summer sun inviting me to stop. Wonderful mums for 3 - 4 dollars a bunch, so fresh they last 2 weeks. But I resist. I need a final summer fling.

A festival of summer tomatoes rests momentarily on the kitchen counter, deep red, pale green, bright yellow, delicate ivory and some as orange and golden as Californian poppies. A few wild punk tomatoes with streaks of green and yellow round out the group.

The basil seductively leans over the tomatoes and suggests a final rendezvous with Cow Girl Creamery’s delicate mozzarella di Buffalo and Sciabica’s smooth and sensuous olive oil. Guest wine to be determined.

The last figs of summer are a memory. The voluptuous jammy and dark missions, brown turkey figs with faint pink interiors, sweet yellow Kadota’s and bright green Adriatic’s (AKA Strawberry figs) did a last duet with Andante’s Piccolo cheese. The meltingly creamy cheese’s saltiness a perfect complement to the sweet figs.

The crimson peaches, green plums, golden-pink and red raspberries wait expectantly. The peaches and raspberries will soon take a swim in liquor de framboise. Later the plums will join them in a ski vacation down a mountain of vanilla Hagen Daaz.

The last roses blush deep pink at the memories of summer.

The peach and tomatoes will linger a few more weeks, like middle aged people at bars who don’t realize the party is over. There are delights to come. Frog Hollows zaftig and juicy Warren pears. Bright orange pumpkins and Indian corn. Marshall’s pumpkin blossom honey. But already there are inquiries about New Year’s reservations and where to plan holiday parties. September … November.

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