Mennonite Farmer’s Market and “old school” Winter Pleasures

The weather has bounced back warm for now. November was colder than usual, so perhaps it’s a payback. There have been some nice afternoons for porch sitting, and I’ve been able to catch up on a few neglected outside chores.

We visited the Mennonite Farmer’s Market at Delano, Tennessee on Saturday for their last day until they open again in late March. I’ve put up a freezer full of various kinds of peppers already, so I was hoping to snag bushels of beets and butternuts. They had sold out of those, but I was amazed at what they did have, including a vegetable I’ve never seen before, a romanescio. It’s a weird looking thing that tastes like a cross between cauliflower and broccoli. They also had several kinds of lettuce, greens, cabbage, and potatoes, along with about a dozen other offerings. I wish they’d stay open all winter – they have a lot of greenhouse space – but they tell me that they “need some time to hibernate.”

The woods are in their full winter colors, with the orange-red of the bluestem and the browns of the Johnson grass dominating the rougher pastures. I was a little grumpy about the fall turning cold early, but I wouldn’t miss this time of year for anything. I love the winter colors and the sense of quiet in the woods. When it gets to be this time of year, I turn back more to the old things – long walks in the woods, sitting by the fireplace, watching it get dark. I realize that’s awfully “old school,” as they say today, but after all, I’m only hurting myself.

The real estate business is ending the year on a pretty positive note, especially given what’s gone on for the last few years. We’ve finally seen some real stabilization in our market, and the same thing seems to be going on nationally. From this point on, barring catastrophe, I expect that we’ll begin to see slow and steady appreciation, year-to-year. That may seem a bit disappointing, given the frantic appreciation that we saw at the peak of our market, around 2005. But given that it didn’t last, I think I’ll take slow and steady for the next few years.

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