I had last Saturday off, so I checked out the Palo Alto farmer’s market. The Madison farmer’s market is a tourist attraction and generally entails being trapped in a crowd of people all shuffling along in the same direction. The Palo Alto farmer’s market is much different. It is quite a bit smaller, with only 15 or so vendors, but still boasts a huge variety of goods – everything from the typical fresh flowers and veggies to dried apricots, infused olive oils to baked goods. It wasn’t crowded and I felt like I could take my time to check out each stand, without “holding up the line.”
I was admiring a flower stand and the owner started talking to me about his wares. He was about my age, and I have a sneaking suspicion that he quit a “serious” job to grow a huge beard and start an organic flower farm. He had so much advice to give about keeping cut flowers fresh and which flowers to pick so your bouquet lasts a long time. Did you know that a pinch of sugar will prolong the life of your bouquet? Also, every time you add water to the vase, you should completely clean it to remove all the debris and bacteria that build up on the sides. I admit, I usually just stick them under the faucet and top off the existing water!
When I explained to him that I’m living alone in a tiny place on the Stanford Campus and that I’m not home much to enjoy flowers, he insisted that I take a small bouquet home to put in a coffee mug. It definitely makes me smile as I stay up late pouring over my pediatric nephrology textbook.