Saturday, 12 February 2011

An Attraction of Farmers' Markets

Our local Kent town has many delights. There are new discoveries to make there, week by week. Today, I stumbled on a top class Italian restaurant, the size of a delicatessen, with only five tables. It is so good that to eat there, one has to book well in advance, by phone. The town also has an elegant shopping mall, like one in the richest areas of London, opened by Princess Diana in her heyday. In some ways, it is her most fitting memorial. It still takes one's breath away.

Today, I really enjoyed the Farmer's Market outside the Town Hall, in particular meeting a young farmer at his table selling potted herbs. He was not like a half-bored "middleman" or retailer whose only job is selling. This man had tended his hyssop, rosemary, oregano, parsley, thyme and other herbal bushes with his own hands, with special love and care, even trimming them into shape. He knew each one and as a result, they are handsome and robust plants. What a privilege to meet their grower. Using these robust herbs, I am starting to build a small, raised brick area as a herb garden outside the kitchen window - to watch how they grow in our English weather. I hope they get enough sun here.

I could not see basil for sale, but no doubt this farmer is lovingly tending his pots of basil, on his Kentish farm, ready for sale, at a very good price. He enjoyed the idea that his plants would start my small herb garden, and even offered them at discount.

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