When we moved here to our new home, we moved FROM a small town in New Jersey that is near Marlboro Township- a so called 'bedroom community' of NYC- where the people work hard to acquire the trappings of America's financial upper middle class-everyone is beautiful, and their homes are beautiful, glossy as a magazine cover, as fashionable as the malls will allow, and then some!
There are 2 farmer's markets in the Marlboro area, both as glossy and citified as the people require- and we rarely indulged ourselves of their bounty- for the prices reflect the preciousness of having a farmer's market in such a fashionable township.
Imagine, now that we are in Salem, we find that just down the road another Marlboro has come into our lives, but a very different flavor of Marlboro-a real country farm!
Marlboro Farm, with a market, open year 'round, called, appropriately enough, Marlboro Farm Market. We have been going there every week or so, since we found the market on one of our leisurely "what will we see if we go in that direction" drives.
The vegetables, fruits and plants- they are beautiful!
Just as the Marlboro Township folk, their homes and their farmer's markets are beautiful, so is everything at Marlboro Farm Market, albeit an entirely different kind of glossy beauty- the timeless beauty of nature- the beauty of vegetables and fruits freshly arrived from the land- a gorgeous sight to behold.
The market is a rustic building, with foot worn cement floors that are a companion to our own foot worn wood floors at Cape Coop, and a rustic theme that belies the modern refrigeration against the back wall- and the computerized registers that the smiling young ladies who ring up purchases at the center counter depend on.
We walk around and look at all of the always varying produce, and we sidle to the back of the market and fill our basket with the discounted "yesterday's" produce that the farm puts into bags every day- 2 pounds of yellow string beans for half a US dollar, an immense purple cauliflower for 75 cents, a 10 pound bag of sweet potatoes for $4.00- 6 large local apples of various varieties for another dollar. We spend almost all of our weekly food money at this market - and we eat the most delicious meals all week with the finds that we have acquired!
Of course, there is always the local squash, the riotous colors and frenzied shapes calling to La Principessa, and we do indulge- at a dollar or less a pound- it's an affordable adventure- the multitude of gourds and soft skinned beauties calling to us, their colors just DELICIOUS to the eye- their shapes offering no clue to the shade or flavor of the flesh therein.
We roast or bake the lovelies in our kitchen, we eat the flesh in simple ways- with a drizzle of maple syrup, or a dusting of cumin- sometimes I will keep aside a cup of the squash meat and make a soup of it, or a tiny stew- with onions- and lots of Kiddle's favorite spices, so sumptuous! With homemade croutons atop the dish, or a hunk of our own kitchen's bread, what a feast for lunch on a cold day! We roast the seeds and snack on them- so much pleasure from these many globes of such amazing shapes and colors!
And that is where we are going today- Marlboro Farm Market-our new neighborhood Marlboro- and one which is a bit more in tune with our own sensibilities, humble as they are. I wonder-what mealtime adventures will stem from the upcoming visit? I hope that you all have a local market to adventure in, as we do in our new hometown- and, if you don't, don't fret- come for a visit- and we will take a drive down the road together, to Marlboro Farm Market- we'll spot you a fiver for a treat, and I'll cook it for you, in Cape Coop's kitchen.