Saturday, July 21, 2012

CE, later.

Another morning round of chores, the kids in borrowed footwear.

Lounging with c.Ginny.  As I sit in the courtyard writing this, the kids are on a blanket having a picnic with c.Ginny.  Rather, they are on Ginny, who is on a blanket.  They like her, and considering how much whining they have exposed her too, and her continued affection, I would say she likes them too.

We took a day trip to visit my parents at u.Pete's camp at Square Pond about an hour's drive away.  I hadn't seen u.Pete in almost 10 years, and though Alexe and he have chatted on the phone, (u.Pete is a butcher by trade, something dear to Alexe's heart,) they had never met.

We had a nice afternoon playing in the lake, eating endles ribs, and chatting.

Alexe and u.Pete.

We headed back to the Cape, with promises of a double sleepover at the grandparent's house when we get back to VT.  We stopped for our first of many soft serves in ME.

Caspian, in a surprise turn, has difficulty finishing a tot sized cone, whereas Annaliese has no trouble getting it down in an organized, melt-controlled fashion.

The next morning we headed to the farmers market for the second time.  (The first time Alexe packed us all up and we headed into Portland's Farmer's Market, only to find Alexe had been looking at the Portland Oregon website.  She was similarly heartbroken when the sausage shop she wanted to visit turned out to be on the opposite coast as well.)

This is Alexe's happiest: looking at fresh produce, display concepts, and pricing.

I really like the trend in this country moving back towards direct-sourcing from the producer, or local retailers who do the best they can on the direct sourcing.  What's making this shift slower than it could be is the scale of the suppliers that are coming to these markets, and the economic counter-intuitive pricing that is scaring the majority of shoppers from coming out.  

At this point the moral and health drivers of the farmer's market are the only upside; the economic impact of removing the middle-people from the equation has effectively raised the price of almost all products sold.  Somehow local brick-and-mortar establishments (coops and markets,) with all the costs these retail locations include, can sell comparably local products, at more affordable prices. I wonder if this will shift in the future, and the willingness to support the small farm lifestyle by paying a premium to the farmer directly, will find a balance with scaling operations up to a point of true economic sustainability.

Regardless, the bounty and freshness at a farmer's market is always pleasant to experience first hand.  And with that, here are some pictures to poorly substitute for the real thing:

Yes, that's $7 for a pint of raspberries.

Then, on the street where the farmer's market is held in downtown Portland, a brick and mortar market. Actually housed in a space that is rented out to many businesses, an interesting way to both purpose a large historic space, and promote small markets that would otherwise not be able to afford a prime location like this.

The first story housed three businesses, this market, a bakery/sandwich shop, and a wine/beer shop.

The market had a nice produce display:

And a nice cheese display.

The wine and beer shop.  I would love to have one of these in WV, but the town wouldn't support it as a single-product based business, and these two beverages aren't allowed under the same roof in MS anyway.

Upstairs we took a hot chocolate break.  (Alexe had a café o lait, thank you Nicholas for the starting point on where all the accents are hidden on the mac keyboard.)

The upstairs had a juice bar, a coffee/tea bar, a sandwich shop, and a soup shop.  All independently owned and operated, with communal sitting areas.  It's basically the business model of a mall food court, without the mall, and with a much beter quality of food.

A have a heart trap was open at Phantom Farm, and this little ground hog wandered in.  He is now living somewhere several miles down the road.

Kettle Cove, a lovely beach right down the road.  All the following pictures are courtesy of c.Ginny, who grabbed my phone and snapped away while we played.

Since our time at BG both kids are pretty fearless.  Caspian heads right in and stays at chin depth, Annaliese is plugging her nose and kicking around under water.

There were hermit crabs everywhere.  You could stand in one place and pick up a dozen from around your feet.  Being small enough that their pincers can't really get a grip on a finger, they were great amusement for the kids.  The larger crabs, which there was also a healthy supply of, were another story.  I caught a few for the kids, one of which got a good grip on my finger and held on for much longer than I would have liked.

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