The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 29, 2005

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Carlisle has a Farmers Market

Yes, Carlisle has its own weekend farmers market which opened last Saturday, July 23, from 8 a.m. until noon, at the Kimball Farm parking lot on Bedford Road. Organizers report there are plans to hold the market each Saturday morning throughout the summer and into October.

First mentioned in a Mosquito article on April 22, organizers Gale Constable and Annette and John Lee have been working hard over the past several months to bring the market to fruition. "Where to hold the market was one of the first things we had to decide," said Annette. "A shady spot with available parking was needed," she added. As for the vendors, several have gardens on Foss Farm, while others brought produce from gardens in their back yards. "Two gardeners donated vegetables for vendors to sell to support the overall costs of holding the market," added Annette. John Lee, the manager of Allendale Farm in Boston, also donated produce.

Having been out of town on Saturday, I was eager to hear all about the market from those who had participated, as well as from the friends and colleagues who had been able to attend. Enthusiasm was expressed by all! "Those fresh string beans, cucumbers, zucchini and beets were terrific," said Janet Churchill. "The herb bread with butter was yummy," she added. And as for the Shohets' ground beef from their farm on Bedford Road, "nothing you can buy in a supermarket can compare with it," said Bea Shneider.

Kathy Coyle, who arrived late in the morning said the market, which was held on the Bedford side of the parking lot under the trees, was a lovely sight. "It's the beginning of a wonderful tradition," said Coyle. Terry Golson could not have agreed more: "It's a reminder that we are a community that values rural things like flowers, bees and honey. I was impressed with the variety of the produce that was being offered. It's a real community event where people can buy fresh produce and gather together with friends and neighbors."

So what are we waiting for? See you tomorrow morning at the Carlisle Farmers Market.



One little world

The thing I like best about visiting other countries is the chance to check out the little differences between life there and here. Like the kinds of tools they use in their yards, viewed from the window as I'm driving along. The color of the topsoil. The kinds of packages the milk and butter come in. Whether the waiters bring the check when you've indicated you're done eating or whether they wait to be asked. Whether they bring it within an hour of being asked.

Back from Italy for just a week, I'm wistful for the Italian version of a suburban supermarket, which carries as a matter of course bufala mozzarella and three or four different kinds of prosciutto at about the price we pay for bologna. I sorely miss the gelato, much more intensely flavored, if less creamy, than our ice cream — and served in non-gluttonous portions, on almost every block in the cities.

I admit I was happy to get back to my screened windows. But, then, Italy doesn't seem to own a mosquito.

Although Europe has embraced the bathroom shower in the last few decades, it's still suspenseful as you enter your accommodations to see how they've interpreted the shower. Will it be tall enough to stand under without stooping? A few years ago, in Nice, we had a wonderful shower head in a very high-sided bathtub with a shower curtain that didn't quite reach the top of the tub, rendering the bathmat a mere formality. Ah, but this is an improvement over the curtainless, rimless European showers I remember.

Lots of toilets we encountered in Italy are flushed with a big device on the wall that reminded me of a PC mouse, with two pads to press. My family doesn't support me in this view, but I think you right-click for an environmentally sound, low-volume flush and left-click for heavier duty.

We stayed in a small hotel in Rome in which your key card is used to turn on the lights, a good way to ensure that you turn off the lights when you go out — and a measure happily sabotaged by the hotel's own repairman, who showed us how to use a small piece of paperboard in place of the card.

I don't know whether these little things are remarkable to me because I expect the differences to be bigger when I travel, as though a culture much older than ours would somehow produce people very different from us, or as though the small sliver of foreign life we view in our media is the prevailing reality. We felt completely welcome in Italy, and we were moved that the reaction there to the first bombings in London was the immediate appearance of walls and walls of posters saying "We are all Londoners" and notices on the buses from the transport workers of Rome expressing their sympathies and encouragement to their British counterparts.

Maybe my delight in the little things is the comfort I take in finding that we humans are pretty similar. Or maybe it's just a refuge from the terrible truth that the comforts of our common humanity do not extend to those who are (or who feel they are) marginalized for their faith or their appearance. I hope desperately that their torment and the wrecking ball of their hatred does not leave us a world in which we cannot travel, learn about others, and appreciate the little things that both unite and distinguish us.

 

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2005 The Carlisle Mosquito