I started a new job on Sunday.
It was a miserable day. It never hit 30 degrees F, the wind was gusting to 40 mph, and the sun was reluctant to show its face.
On the other hand – I was working a booth at a farmer’s market!
I think that’s a pretty fucking cool thing to do, in general. A friend made on the boat this summer, Natalie, has worked for the Monkshood Nursery for a while. Summers are pretty great, I gather. Winter in Travers Park is harder.
The nursery does certified organic greens and more. Lots of booths have carrots and roots and such, but we’re the place to come for spinach, arugula, mustard greens, and other salad greens.Greenhouse
It’s a good position to be in. Cash money each Sunday, any leftover produce I want, and the ability to trade what I don’t want for bread, cheese, other produce, fruit, honey, syrup, etc, etc.
On the other hand, it was so, so cold.
How does one prepare for 8 hours in the bitter, windy cold? This one layers up. On top – smart wool base, cotton turtleneck, heavy wool sweater, button-down heavy cotton shirt, hoodie, and foul weather coat. On bottom, smart wool long johns, fleece mid-layer, and jeans. Plus both cotton and wool socks inside my heavy leather boots. Oh, and a wool hat and ear muffs and “windproof” gloves.
How does such preparation pay off?
Pretty well, actually.
Natalie was far colder than I was. My nose and chin got stiff at times, in that way that affects your speech. We danced and jumped up and down. I did the twist. She rocked out. I stayed on my feet and kept moving. She wrapped up in a blanket and shut down some.
Overall, it was a good reminder that being cold is not the end of everything. It’s uncomfortable and some dead feet are pretty creepy, but everything warms back up if you get the blood flowing.
On the other parts of the day, there are lots of regulars. We had well over 50 customers – amazing on such a day! – and many of them bought frozen greens, which I never would do. The kale was fine, the carrots less so. The japanese turnips didn’t sell – you could see the translucent patches that would turn into mushy bit when thawed. But people were out and about and everyone was pleasant or better.
A wonderful woman named Tenzen had us over for tea after the market closed. We played with her dog’s puppies and ate paratha with hot hot chili paste. Then Natalie and Ehsan and I had Tibetan food at a place that’s not on Google Maps, so I can’t link to it. It was wonderful food…and the company was even better.
Thanks Natalie. Thanks Ehsan. You both rock.
And two trains later, I was back in Jersey City. The bike ride to and from the boat was the coldest, darkest part of the whole thing, but at least I’m active on the bike. Home, with carrots and beets and some of the hot chili paste from Tenzen.
You know what? I can totally rock this market.