Market Fresh Treasures

It’s difficult to think

anything but pleasant thoughts

when eating a homegrown tomato!

                                              ~Lewis Grizzard

saturday morning ritual

The first glimmering rays of the early morning sun filter through the pines and ancient maples — the sun is just rising over the river valley. The cool morning mist lingers a bit, but is slowly lifting across the meadow below Rose Cottage. I look out a bedroom window. A doe and her offspring — a fawn still with mottled spots — are laying in the dewy meadow grass under the cedar trees. The chickadees, gold finches and cardinals are eating breakfast seeds at the feeders outside the kitchen windows. Boisterous Bob The Rooster proclaims to the world that it is another new day, and “it’s the early bird that catches the worm — so get out of bed you sleepy head!”

saturday morning

In the summertime, it is off to the farmers market in the capitol city — truly a highlight of each Saturday. My Favorite Son, recovering at home following his surgery, joins me on the early morning market adventure to gather the freshest, local produce. How sweet it is! Soon the sights of covered market stalls come into view.

market vendor 1FAV

market vendor 2 FAV

The market growers stalls are filled with a plethera of seasonal produce — brillant green romano beans, purple and yellow onions, perfect green peppers, aubergine and soft pink eggplant, lush red raspberries, golden corn with the silk still fresh and tender, heirloom Italian zucchini, yellow and green pattypan squash, crisp English cuccumbers . . . the fragrance of fresh produce is envigorating and fills the early morning air. Superb aromatherapy.

heirloom tomato and blueberries FAV

tomatoes and cauliflower

 apples and pear 2 FAV

sweet mama 2


eggplant 2

Friendly “good mornings’” are exchanged as the market bustles with liveliness. The rays of the early morning sun brings some of the vegetable offerings to center stage — as if under spotlights. Ah, the tomatoes!

Cauliflower and tomotoes with sunlight FAV

Peppers and Beans FAV

The aroma of freshly-brewed peace coffee calls to the Favorite Son. The steamy dark roast brew fills his mug . . . a sip . . . a smile . . . and his eyes are opened! Now, we can continue on to visit some of our favorite market growers.

coffee FAV

a few favorites

Mark Christopher brings outstanding produce and product from the Maple Leaf Orchard to the market each Saturday. In March, Mark and Sue produce gorgeous amber maple syrup in their sugarbush when the sap starts to flow in their maples just across the river. “I have the dark, full-bodied syrup this morning — your favorite,” Mark says. A half-gallon goes into the market basket . . . Who can resist?

Mark and Maple Syrup FAV


Maple Syrup FAV 2

Mark reminds us it will be a good late afternoon for picking pie (sour) cherries at his orchard across the river. I ask, “will your new cherry pitter from Michigan’s Upper Pennisula be working?” Mark replies wholeheartedly and is confident we will shave hours off of the hand-pitting alternative. I am eager for the cherry picking later today, and cherry jam and jelly making tomorrow.

Cheeries and Honey FAV

Sour Cheeries Marks FAV


Next stop is at Dan and Meryl’s herbs. Rub and sniff the distinctive fragrance of thyme, rosemary and lemon verbena. The yellow and red flowering maples are in this week. Sniff some more aromatic herbs.

red flowering maple FAV

yellow flowering maple FAV

Meryl learns that the Favorite Son wants to plant another pot of herbs for his house. She excitedly asks, “how do you want to use them?” A few quick recipes are exchanged between the two. Dan shows me a few treasured culinary lavender he brought in for us from last week’s request. Rub and sniff some more. . .  sweet memories of dream trip to France return . Several of the lavender are placed in my market basket. The Favorite Son proudly carries his tray of herbs to the car.

Thyme 1 FAV

more favorites 

We visit Otis Family Farms market stall down the same aisle for a few fresh cuts of pasture-feed meats. This stall is also one of the highlights with the flavored honey sticks — especially for those with a sweet tooth. Usually, a long line forms.

Otis and Maple Leaf Signs


honey sticks

bountiful gifts

More visits to other favorite vendors. The produce is gorgeous and bountiful . . . I am a little girl in a candy store! What would you like to take home in your market basket?

beets FAV

Cabbabe FAV

 bok choy FAV

eggplant FAV

garlic and tomatoes FAV

green onions FAV

onions red FAV

pickle cukes FAV

potatoes FAV

raspberries FAV

jeweled bouquets

The crowds start to arrive. We are finished with our weekly gathering of fresh treasures. One last item on the list — a bouquet of golden jewels. Aren’t they spectacular? Which bouquet shall we take home? I think all of them would be quite lovely, don’t you?

flowers and shoppers FAV

colorful bouquet2 FAV 2

colorful bouquet FAV 1

dahlia FAV 1

lilies FAV2


Flowers always make people better,

happier, and more helpful; they are

sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.

                                                         ~Luther Burbank

Rose Cottage Cooks! is coming soon

We are creating some fabulous cooking adventures at Rose Cottage Gardens and Farm using mainly locally produced and seasonal foods. Watch for our first batches of “Cheery Cherry Jam” from cherries picked this afternoon at Maple Leaf Orchard. The Favorite Son will be sharing his fabulous home made pizza and other baked goods.

Hope you will like some of these tasty treats . . .and will share your recipes, joy of cooking and the fun in sharing meals with others, too! Stop by in a few days for a link to the new site.

What is your favorite recipe using market or garden fresh produce? 

We would be delighted if you shared a recipe in the comments section below.

Post note: Special thanks to the Favorite Son for all the photography at the market this morning!

Be sure to visit A Southern Daydreamer for more outdoor musings.

See what other’s are “hooked on” at Julia’s Hooked on Houses, and find out more about Melissa’s inspiring beauty at The Inspired Home.


Filed under Cooking, farmers markets, Gardening, preserving

21 responses to “Market Fresh Treasures

  1. Your son

    I can’t wait to go again this weekend! I just love how it smells and all the colors of the flowers and vegetables… it’s almost to much to handle!

  2. Edie

    Good Morning Debbykay~
    What a wonderful tour of our local market. I believe I can smell the herbs and flowers from here… Thank you for sharing !
    Love, Edie

  3. Debbie, this is an outstanding post. The clarity of your photos was almost as good as being at the market itself. I’m so glad you had a special day with your son. Have a wonderful week…Mary

  4. DebbyKay,
    Your pictures are poetry! I am so very thankful I was not brought up on fast food. It really doesn’t get any better then this, yum!

  5. Francesco


    Thank you for once again sharing a fabulous adventure and this time with you son. My goodness, you have the ability to every day tasks and outings seem like wonderful and mystical event.

    Best regards,

  6. you have an amazing market! thanks for the tour. Your photographer did a fabulous job…I wish for photos so clear!

  7. Wow — sensory overload! What fabulous pictures — I didn’t know what to look at first. Amazing farmer’s market — it’s glorious!

    (Love the veggies, but OH I want some of those flowers!)


  8. Love the farmer’s markets and your pictures are beautiful! It is a tradition on Wednesday and Saturday morning here as well.

  9. DebbyKay, I have the most overwhelming desire to go into the kitchen and cook. I can almost taste the beautiful produce in your photos. I grow a few vegetables and lots of herbs in my garden, but weekly trips to the local farmers market provides me with all kinds of interesting ingredients. Isn’t summer grand? Lovely photos!!!!

    Best Wishes,

  10. Oh DebbyKay!

    You are making me covet! Look at all of that wonderful and beautiful produce and goodies! Our Farmer’s Market is on the very small side. What a blessing to have such availability 🙂 I look forward to seeing your Cherry Jam adventures 🙂 Thanks for a lovely post. I am praying for a speedy recovery for your son.



  11. Amy

    What a farmers market! You’re so lucky to have such a nice one!!

  12. Wow! What beautiful produce and flowers. Your pictures are fantastic! Thanks for the excursion. I finally got a chance to read your final writing on your trip to France. Loved every minute of the read. Thanks for sharing that glorious dream trip with us.

    Have a great weekend,

  13. For us southern folks quoting “Lewis Grizzard” is always good thing. Super pictures, just super. Thanks.

  14. Laurie R.


    Where do I begin. Your photographs are incredible. I feel as though I can step inside one of your photographs and become a part of it.

    Your writings open my senses to see, touch, smell and hear. I feel as if I am there experiencing right along with you.

    Thank you for your wonderful website. Whenever I need a mental vacation I open your website. Your writings and photos refresh me and bring a calmness to my sometimes stressful, hectic life.

  15. Dearest Debbykay,

    I don’t quite know where to begin! First of all I must say, I wish I could compile your lovely and descriptive writings into a book and read them over and over. You truly have a gift for writing sweet friend! The photos your favorite son took are simply gorgeous. I do pray he has a speedy recovery and is feeling much better soon! I can imagine the wonderful time you two had together at the farmers market. I wish that we had a farmers market like that here. I have to order organic grass-fed meat and eggs online and purchase the organic produce at the local health food store. Sadly you never seen anything locally grown. We drove to Texas for years to purchase grass-fed meat, eggs and raw milk directly from the farmer, but the journey grew too tiresome, and we resorted to ordering online… but I can dream of going to a farmers market like this one!!! We would love it!

    The produce is so fresh and amazingly beautiful! I can see the people that grew it quickly become good friends. It is such a joy to know you are purchasing organic food directly from the person that grew it, a true labor of love. Everything looks and sounds so delicious. Food for nourishment and the soul! Yes, I think all of the flowers would be lovely! What a blessing you have this wonderful market to go to. I look forward to all the recipes you and your favorite son will share. I know they will be wonderful dear friend!

    I hope you enjoy your Friday and have a beautiful weekend! Thank you for all the beauty and inspiration you share!

    Much love from your kindred heart in the south,

  16. Gorgeous photos! Everything looks so tempting, I would want to take it all home. I have got to find a market like that near my home. I use to live in Madison, WI and they have the most wonderful farmer’s market around the square. I miss it so! Thank you for sharing your trip to the market, almost felt like I was there!

  17. I love the quotes your shared and the beautiful photos
    the fruits and vegitables are looking so jammie.
    great photo’s
    thank you for sharing!

  18. Your website is gorgeous and inspiring. will definitely visit often.
    Rita from Rita’s Shabby Chic Rose

  19. What a lovely adventure!

    Like you, I have a passion for Farmers Markets (in fact in several of my posts I have used them)

    Sweet content and the photography is good!

    Have the best weekend.

    TTFN~~ Claudia ♥ ♥

  20. Thanks for swinging in to say hello. I’m sorry to hear of your husbands health issues. It is certainly a difficult journey we go on at times isn’t it? It is so nice to meet you, I truly look forward to getting to know you. If there is ever anything I can do for you please don’t hesitate to ask.. I hope this finds you and yours having a super Sunday..
    hugs ~lynne~

  21. Simply lovely! My favorite part of the farmer’s market is the lovely flowers. I have a great recipe for rhubarb cake posted at my blog. You will have to go back a day or so to get to the recipe. I look forward to your new blog!

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