“How much are the peaches?” asked the lady in front of me at the farmer’s market. I had a melon and some peppers and some parsley, and all I needed before getting back to the car and out of the heat was peaches.

“Three dollars,” the woman behind the stall replied, and started putting the peaches in a bag.

“All right,” said the lady, holding up a voucher. “That makes nine. What can I get for a dollar?” Her daughter started arguing that they didn’t need to spend the entire thing right then; the vendor started discussing the vouchers in general; and I perceived that I’d be a while getting my own peaches, so I walked down the corridor to the other vendor I’d seen with Red Havens.

These were cheaper, $2.50 for a small tub instead of $3, but the man there was also helping another lady. “I don’t know,” she was fretting. “I’m not sure I can eat that many. And they don’t all look good.”

“They’re not sorted,” the vendor said, his hand on one of the long, deep tubs I’ve been seeing at other stands full of cucumbers or tomatoes. The small tubs held six or seven peaches, the big tubs at least three dozen. “Those are,” pointing to the small tubs I was looking at, “but not these. But even if half of them spoiled, it would still be a better value.”

“That’s true,” the lady said. “And I could give some away, I suppose.”

“You could freeze them,” the vendor said. “You just blanch them to get the skins off, slice them, pop them in bags, get all the air out, and there you are.”

“Oh, that sounds good,” the lady said. “I’ll take them.” She handed over $5.

“That does sound good,” I said to Eric, whom I’d taken along to see the market full (only we got there late so he didn’t) and carry things for me. “I’m tempted.”

“Do it,” he said, and pulled out two dollars to match my three.

“You’ll love them,” the vendor promised, handing the last big tub to Eric. “They’re just picked, and very juicy.” As soon as we got them home I picked a bad-looking one, speckled with black, and cut away the bad portions and tried one. He was right. I had two more throughout the day and I remain pleased with my purchase.

Advertisements