He tells me that he isn't Ted. Ted is mostly retired these days, doesn't make it out to the market. But Ted's Greenhouse has been a cornerstone of the Oak Park farmer's market since it started, thirty-five years ago. His name is Kim, and mostly, I am drawn to his hat. I would like a hat like that, a proper gardener's hat.
My first photo of him is awkward -- I feel strange asking him if I can take his photo for my blog, and he clearly feels strange being photographed. Sorry, Kim! But a few minutes later, he is enthusiastically calling a woman over to taste the Mexican hyssop, tall spikes of tiny purple blossoms, delicately sweet. Ah. This is what I imagine a farmer's market to be -- small producers who really know what they grow, who will chat with you in the sunlight.
The children run by, stuffed full of donuts. The bluegrass musicians sit in a circle, cheerfully jamming, and I wonder if I will have time to join them someday. If I ever learn how to jam. There are small red wagons full of vegetables and flowers everywhere. It is a perfect morning, and all I wish is that I'd brought Kevin and the children with me. Next time.
Oak Park Farmer's Market, 460 Lake St.