This year, the Bellingham Farmers' Market has started to host a winter market, meeting one Saturday a month at the usual time in the usual place, during January, February, and March. The every-Saturday market will start up again the first Saturday in April. Until then, those of us who are addicted to our favorite local vendors will be able to partake once a month. I showed up for the first one today, after our Fairhaven walk was over.
There was only one stand with vegetables. I bought three of those kale bunches on the far end. They were very robust looking, and I asked the vendor if they had been raised in a greenhouse. She told me no, these were harvested yesterday from the field. They didn't last long; by the time I left in a half-hour or so after arriving, this entire stand was bare except for a few stray potatoes.
Even so, the market customers were pretty sparse, compared to what I am accustomed to seeing, but it was foggy and cold this morning. The mushroom man was waiting for people to buy his wares. It was early, however, with many hours to go before the place will close at 3:00pm. And then we will have to wait until mid-February for the next one.
It was this man, a tulip expert from the Skagit Valley, who told me that although garlic and onions are good for your heart, the reason we need tulips is to make us smile. I told him that during this season, these beautiful tulips did indeed brighten my day. He says nobody ever comes over and gazes at the tulips without taking a smile along with them. Outside the window you can see a group of young people singing a rousing song. I love this place!