On the second Friday of the month Hubby Tony and a friend from church meet at the garage by the soccer field, where they pick up sandwiches and bags of fruit donated by parishioners and transport them to two organizations that feed the homeless. (Other groups of volunteers do the same thing each Friday of the month.)
This morning at breakfast Tony said his friend wouldn't be able to make it, so he would do the drop off himself. Every Friday morning I attend a meting of a fellowship, but a half hour later when I was brushing my teeth it occurred to me that if I changed my plans I could accompany him. Both our fruit and vegetable produce bins were almost empty, and one of the drop off locations was very close to Soulard Farmers Market.
Even though it's too early for fresh local produce, and most of the items would have come directly from Produce Row, it's still a fun experience. We could get what we needed, then walk around the historic neighborhood. The day was supposed to be lovely, with morning temperatures in the low 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the skies are hazy, the smoke from the Canadian fires is pretty much out of the area.
When I broached the subject to Tony he thought it was a good idea.
It was interesting to see all that went into the sandwich delivery project. When people volunteer to make sandwiches they use an entire loaf of bread, add whatever meats and/or cheeses they want, put each sandwich into a plastic bag, then put all the individual bags back into the bread bag and close it up with a twist tie. We put 15 bread bags worth of sandwiches, five bags of apples, and two bags of clementines into the trunk of Tony's car. A second program allows church members to freeze and donate individual servings of main dishes. Today there were six of those waiting to be taken.
At the first location we dropped off half of the sandwiches, half of the fruit, and the frozen items. The rest went to the second location. Each stop took about ten minutes, then we were free to do what we wanted. Saturdays at Soulard are extremely busy, and parking is an issue. Today Tony was able to find a non-metered spot just a block away.
The market is
shaped like the letter H, with a central enclosed building and four legs
branching off of it. Today two of the legs were basically empty, and
the others half full. Our plan was
to look through the market to see what the vendors were selling
and use the bathroom, walk through the neighborhood, then come back and buy. However, when I stopped to look at some cherries another shopper clued me in on a better place to get them, then pointed out some deals at her favorite booth. I went from admiring some broccoli to deciding to purchase it. When the shopper pointed out that the red onions and yellow peppers were a 'steal' that I should snap up I thought about it, then added those to my pile. Tony was nice enough to pay and carry the things back to the car.
From there we walked up and down the Soulard streets for a half hour, trying to stay on the shady sides. Back at the market we focused on fruit. At one stand we bought a bag of cherries and some peaches. At a second stand I picked out four clamshells of blackberries and a large Arkansas tomato, but the clerk convinced me that buying a case of 12 blackberries was a better deal.
On our way back to the car we stopped at a coffee shop. I grabbed a seat at a table outside and Tony went in to get coffee. While we waited for it to cool off we each polished off a clamshell of blackberries.
|Our haul, less two missing clamshells. Time to process some food!