I needed to cool down quick, and this time the hamster-wheel-powered air-conditioner unit wasn’t going to cut it.
I was nearly to Glen Arbor Road before I remembered what day it was — Tuesday! — and that meant that there would be shaved ice at the Felton Farmers Market.
I zipped over to the parking lot of St. John’s Catholic Church, my brain already anticipating the tropical frosty goodness that was surely to come.
Clutching the three pictures of George Washington that had somehow managed to survive a weekend trip to the ballpark, I deftly strolled among the crowd to where frozen treats would await.
Like so many autumn leaves, my three dollars were soon cast into the swimming pool of the local economy, but in their place, I held my prize: a child-sized rainbow shaved ice.
As I sent my taste buds on a tropical vacation, I paused to take stock of my surroundings.
From the far-flung corners of Santa Cruz County, farmers and bakers and vintners and cooks had all gathered to share the fruits of their labors with their neighbors.
As I walked amongst the booths, I couldn’t help thinking how cool of a concept it was to buy groceries from the people who actually grew it. It’s comforting, I think, to buy food — or anything, really — from someone who’s willing to put their name on a product, look you in the eye and stand behind what they’re selling.
Question: Do I want to adopt a berry pie? Answer: Yes. Yes I do.
It’s such a different experience from buying from some faceless chain store, where whatever it is you’re buying most likely came from a distribution outfit somewhere, and from there — who knows?
At the risk of coming off a little snobby, I like to know where my food comes from. That’s not to say I actively go around demanding that information, because, let’s face it, we’ve all heard that guy making a scene at the restaurant about that sort of thing.
But if you’re willing to not only grow something but then take the time and the pride to attach your name to it and stand behind your hard work, that’s aces in my book.
**The Santa Cruz Farmers Market comes to St. John’s Catholic Church, 120 Russel Ave., in Felton from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through October. In Scotts Valley, the market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays year-round at the Scotts Valley Community Center, 360 Kings Village Road.