If you love farmer’s markets, you really have to take a visit up to Mossyback Farm off of the Stanwood/Camano exit. Mossyback operates spring through Thanksgiving, and it’s set up in a tent. You can’t help but love a farmer’s market in a tent. Am I right? Here are a few pictures I took while waiting for my cucumber order awhile back.
Here’s the view from inside.
And Mark, the owner, will even eat a mushroom for you if you ask.
The signs are decorated with Christmas lights. All by itself, that little fact makes me love this place.
Along with just about every fruit and vegetable imaginable (minus the very exotic ones, like … you know … heirloom Persian variegated cumquats … ), Mark also sells soap.
And jams, jellies, local honey, chili sauce, spaghetti sauce, pickles, etc.
Outside, you are overwhelmed with flowers.
There’s a tiny pond for sitting by, and someone was thoughtful enough to paint these rocks for you to look at while you do so.
Of course, there are seedlings.
And if you happen to arrive at 9:30 thinking to just dash in real quick-like and pick up some pickling cucumbers, only to discover the cucumber man is late delivering the 400 pounds of cucumbers Mark ordered, and you end up waiting until 12:30 to get them, Cody is happy to keep you company while you sit on that one bench just to the left of all the flowers.
Oh, but you are the cutest thing I’ve seen in forever!!! Does Mark know how close I came to accidentally putting you in my car and driving away?
After you play with Cody for a good long while, you will remember to load up on all the garlic, jalapenos and dill you will need for pickles. Dill is magic, I tell you.
Finally … the cucumber man cometh!
But … what’s this? Not only is he late, but he’s also 250 pounds short? And all but two boxes of those cucumbers are spoken (and paid) for already? And Mark, knowing you’ve been waiting three hours, gives those last two boxes to you, even though there are customers standing just behind you who are also waiting for cucumbers? Oh, this has trouble written all over it.
You’d leave one box and try to make due with one yourself. You would. Except … how do you decide who gets that second box? And don’t forget — your family really loves your pickles. Even with those two boxes, you’re going to have to dole them out a mere two quart jars per month until you’re back at the stand next August, ready to buy the makings for more. And you did wait THREE HOURS for those cucumbers … and the closest other waiter was only about 30 minutes, and she’s already made a big batch of pickles (you know because she told you while you both waited). And if everyone will just come back in a few days, more cucumbers will be waiting. And … and …
You put your money on the counter. You stack those boxes. You make a run for the car. And this is the scene behind you:
Can you tell I feel just awful? I really do. Now, maybe if I’d only waited two hours and fifty-five minutes instead of the full three hours, I may have been more benevolent. But it is what it is. Or it was what it was. Whatever. Anyway, cukes, dill, garlic and jalapenos in hand, and the angry villagers with pitchforks and torches in my rear-view mirror, I finally headed home to make pickles. Ended up with 25 quarts of hot kosher dills, 10 pints of sweet pickle spears, and a small batch of the cucumber-onion refrigerator pickles my grandma used to make.
So that was my August morning at Mossyback Farm. Look for the tent, and the friendly frog in front. You’ll be very happy you made the drive north.
Just a few of the many great hiking trails in our area.
We had a nice visit this morning at the new site fo the Farmers Market down on the waterfront near Scuttlebutt's. Here's a quick 2 minute look:
Of course, we're talking about Bill Gates' Medina Mansion. Twenty-four bathrooms. It's a safe bet that Bill and Melinda run to Costco when they're out of t.p.
That's just one of 15 facts in this interesting article in Curbed Seattle.
The mortgage website HSH.com posted an interesting article this week in which it estimated the salary needed in order to afford a house (including principal and interest, taxes and insurance) in 27 U.S. cities. With the average home price at $359,900 (up 3.5% from last month and 8.2% from this time last year) and a monthly mortgage of $1752.29, Seattle ranked 7th among major U.S. cities. Want to own an average home in Seattle? You'll need to aim for a salary of $75,098.06.
To see how we compare to the other 26 cities, check out the article here.
. . . Snow-vember
We don't always get snow in November, but when we do, it's delightful. Want a peek? Here's what it looked like in my backyard this week …
The little red shed in the middle used to be our chicken coop, but last year we converted it into an art studio where my grandson and I can make messes without getting into trouble.
Coming back up our driveway
You can't tell from this picture, but our front porch has two facing swings. Pretty much my favorite spot whatever the season.
Dave's shed and the delphiniums and hollyhocks I had to paint on the side because the real ones kept getting mowed down. 🙂
Light along our walkway
Dave's wood shed, and some of the wood he's been chopping this summer
The Centennial Trail we like to walk along
I'm not going to lie to you. If you're thinking about relocating to the Puget Sound area, you're going to encounter a little rain now and again, like I did on a trip up to Samish Island with my friend, Cathy Taylor, early in September.
But doesn't this look like fun? 🙂
Sure, you're going to step on a slug or two if you become a Washingtonian. You're going to get rained on. You're going to endure Big Foot jokes from your out-of-state friends. But you will never, ever have to deal with this …
Good call. You could have relocated to Florida!
I could probably blog for an entire year about the characters in this town. And up till now, the only reason I haven't done so is because I couldn't choose which story, which character to share first. But yesterday I found my beginning place. I'm going to start on one specific street in downtown Marysville, the one that runs byStarbucks.
I saw the boy as Dave and I were driving out the back entranceof the Starbucks parking lot. I'm amazed I noticed him at all because I was totally consumed with my iced grande soy latte. I'd been trying to get up the courage to try a soy latte for two weeks. But every time I stood at the counter and opened my mouth, some other order came out. Yesterday, however, after managing to gush my worries to the barista and hearing her assurance that I could dump it if I wasn't delighted and she'd replace it for free, I went ahead and jumped off that cliff. And you know what? It wasn't bad at all. Theyuse vanilla soy, which apparently masks the fact that you're drinking bean milk.
I was sipping and savoring and mmm-ing as we turned left out of the parking lot, but in the midst of all that I caught a glimpse of the traveler sitting on the right side of the road. I knew he was a traveler because he was thoughtful enough to announce it, to me and every other driver within passing distance. Traveling — Low on funds, his cardboard sign read. I'm not sure if it was the honesty of that sign or the fact that he had dredlocks which drew me to him, but something did. (On the dredlock topic — I've always been fascinated. I'm quite sure that if I were a twenty-something young man, I'd have them too).
I looked in my wallet and found a five-dollar bill with no immediate plans attached to it. "Mind if I give this to that boy?" I asked Dave. He didn't. I pulled down my window and waited to catch the traveler's eye. He grinned when he saw my outstretched hand and jogged over.
"Where are you headed?" I asked.
"Seattle," he answered. And then, because he's a traveler, don't you know, and travelers have to make friends quickly, he kept talking. "I have a job interview there. I might stay. Or I might go north … or south. I don't know." He grinned, and that cinched it. I liked him. I actually wanted to take him home with us and make him a pot roast, but as we were talking in the middle of the street and the light had just changed and a line of cars behind me didn't share my fascination with the boy, we had to part ways.
"God bless you," I said.
He God blessed me right back.
My heart stayed on that street corner with the boy I would never see again. And all the way home, I hurt that I couldn't bring him to our home and to our church. My reaction startled me. I'm not the first person to hand out money to sign-holders. In fact, I often suspect that when their day's work ends, they hop in their somewhere-hidden Mercedes and jet off to their beach-front homes. I have no proof, mind you, but that's my suspicion. From time to time, God nudges me to help someone, but until I feel that holy prod, I look the other way.
I grieved over my lost friend all evening, and thought about him again this morning. But it wasn't until I sat down to write this post that I made the connection.
Just a week ago, as I'd been pulling out of Starbucks again on that same back road onto that same street, a small blur on the pavement between me and the front car caught my eye. It was a mouse, and he was running for his life. For right on his heels came a (proportionally) giant black crow. Just as the crow was reaching his feet out to snatch the mouse, the big-eared, long-tailed little guy ran beneath the front car. Seconds later, that car moved. Not wanting to run him over, I scanned the pavement before moving forward, but he was nowhere in sight. It occurred to me that he may have hitched a ride on the undercarriage of the car — and I was right. After that car had turned left and gone twenty feet, the mouse reappeared, and skittered across the left side of the road. I looked up the road, saw an oncoming car, and held my breath. But the mouse made it to the curb unsquished. However, his troubles weren't over, for thecrow had been watching as well, and he flew from behind me and swooped right toward the mouse. I so wanted him to get away. I watched as he bounced against the curb — no doubt fighting panic —and lay dazed for a split second. He ran back, just barely missing the crow's talons, and then ran forward again. But the writing was on the wall for this battle. Before the light changed and I left the scene, the crow had snagged his prey and flown off to enjoy his lunch.
The entire drama had played itself off directly across the street from where the traveler sat waiting. The mouse was long-gone, long-digested by the time that boy sat himself on the grass and penned his cardboard sign. But I must have made a sub-conscious connection.
It's a great big world, and he was just one young man–a young man who reminded me of my own boy. A young man whose mother might be looking up from her stove somewhere and wondering if her boy is hungry. A young man about to venture into a world chock full of taloned predators. I know there's an adventure involved, and I hope on his search he finds whatever he's looking for. But I'm praying he simply lands somewhere warm and safe, and that at the end of his traveling, he knows he's loved.
We're all on a journey of some sort. May your travels today lead to joy.
Snohomish Pumpkin Hurl & Medieval Faire What could be more fun than hurling pumpkins from a Trebuchet? Afterward you can watch sword fighting and a jousting theatrical troupe. (September 13-14)
Schack-toberfest The urban pumpkin patch at this 4-day event features 600 blown-glass gourds and pumpkins. Enjoy glassblowing demonstrations, face painting and a raffle.(September 26-29)
The Great Pumpkin Glow. Gather at Craven Farm for storytelling, a 3D Pumpkin Adventure, hay rides, a corn maze and more. (October 26)
Historic Downtown Snohomish Trick or Treat Kids in costume receive treats from the downtown merchants. (October 31)
Foster Farm's "Wizard of Oz" Corn Maze For one of the best corn mazes around, visit Foster Farm in Arlington. (Oct 1-31)