Photo Essay: Spring Bounty at the Farmer’s Market

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Story and pictures by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – I found myself at the farmer’s market around 8 AM Saturday morning. Only one word to describe it: bounty. Fruits and vegetables (and dog treats) piled high. I had to take some pictures.

Spring Bounty at the Farmer’s Market

Cary has three farm markets. These photos were taken at the Western Wake Farmer’s Market (WWFM) in Carpenter Village, but I’m sure it was much the same at the Waverly Market and the Downtown Market.

WWFM has expanded this year – more tents, more vendors and more food. I don’t mind the occasional stand selling ceramics or garden ornaments, but I go to the farmer’s market to buy food. WWFM had a dazzling array of fresh produce on Saturday.

Piles of rainbow chard, tables groaning under the tomatoes, a bucket brigade of peaches, yards of cucumbers and coolers brimming with lettuce. Maybe it was the bright morning sunlight or the clear, dry air, but I felt like I was wearing 3D glasses.

In addition to what I photographed, the market also had breads, pastries, artisanal cheese, meats, fish, eggs, coffee, honey, flowers and culinary plants. And gourmet doggie treats.

Photo Essay

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Shout Out to Gardenias

While we’re here, I have to give a shout out to gardenias. They’ve been having their star turn in the garden this past week and deserve a mention.

The plant is a shrub like any other, and the flowers only last a week. But the scent of gardenias rivals that of roses as one of the truly sublime pleasures of the garden.

How to describe the smell of a gardenia? It has the freshness of cucumbers with the rich overtones of ripe fruit, almost a mango-y fragrance. It’s an earthy scent, not as high-toned as the roses, but completely unique in the garden.

Maybe a part of the attraction is their brief glory. If you see a shrub in bloom in your travels around and about Cary, take time to stop and smell the gardenias.

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