Monday, 25 February 2013

Embrace the Contrast! [a.k.a. Market Season Is Around The Corner]

The rolling, sun drenched hills of sunny California
Oh, to live in sunny California, where the growing season is perfect for fruits and vegetables to be harvested all year long! It is a place that embraces market culture. A place without the cold that we experience in the depths of winter. A place where going to a local market is as normal for Californians as running up to the local grocery store to grab a jug of milk is for us. All. Year. Long. [Sigh….]

At first blush, this seems ideal… but is it? I think not. I know I would really miss the seasons. Sometimes, life is truly lived in the contrasts. By experiencing one extreme, we come to joyously embrace the other. It may sound crazy, but without the deprivation that winter brings… and without the marked differences that exist between the seasons… we would settle into a boring routine existence without our lives being enriched by contrast, by difference, by variety….

The contrast of the changing seasons can bring such
fun and humour to our traditional celebrations.

The rains of spring are wonderful in the way that they wash away the dirt of winter and tease those early plants out of the cold soil. The warmth of a spring day feels glorious on our faces, our arms, our hands and our legs. Our burdens seem lifted as we shed layers of bulky winter clothing, and accept the promise of summer that it brings. The heat of summer is delicious because it is so far removed from the icy -25C to -35C of an Edmonton winter. And yet the icy blast of a winter wind… you know the one… the one that bites your nose as you breathe it in… the one that needles its way right through the layers of protective clothing and attaches itself to your bones… is incredibly refreshing and even exhilarating because it is so different from the +30C of our typical late summer days. And then there is fall, spectacularly beautiful fall with its bountiful garden harvests and technicolour displays of changing colour in its leaves!

The pyrotechnics of fall are amazing...
especially when contrasted with the
very first snowfall of the season.
Those incredible winter days where the air is
so cold that the moisture is sucked right
out of it and hangs, suspended, as a layer of
spectacular ice crystals, catching that brilliant
winter sun that we have, making every
twig and branch glitter as if it was covered
in diamonds! 
Having no outdoor markets in the winter, is not a bad thing as there is something new to look forward to come spring. As the days grow longer and the sunlight creeps into our lives, seemingly unnoticed, reaching into the dark recesses of our winter moods, we are uplifted. As the snow melts, those westerly winds scream down over the mountain tops and roll out over the prairies toward us, drying everything in their wake.  And as the prairie wind comes and cleans up the slushy muddy puddles and the days get longer, I find myself reveling in the excitement and anticipation of the approaching market season.  It may sound silly, but I really do believe that our outdoor market is even more fantastic because its season is so short.

Have you noticed our days getting longer? How at 7am, daylight is now seeping back into our days? We are getting closer… closer to that time when locally grown, amazingly fresh, essentially nutritious and incredibly tasty produce is ours to be had at the Southwest Edmonton Market.

Visit our website at
Like us on Facebook!

Contributed by Sheri Hendsbee

No comments:

Post a Comment