Thursday, 26 June 2008

Tai Chi, a Tree and a Pickle Recipe....

Yesterday was a good day. I try to see goodness everyday, but there are days when you really have to look for it, and then days like yesterday, where gladness walks up and wags its tail at you like a puppy. All sorts of good things happened yesterday, but there were three things that happened all in a row within the span of an hour or so, that had me bursting with enthusiasm and gratitude.

The first two things happened at the Farmer's Market. More and more, this doesn't surprise me. Gord and I were wandering around the market before going to Tai Chi, and we ended up at the table for Shallow Creek Nurseries. I had popped by their table a couple weeks ago and noticed that they were selling some very hardy (Zone 2), yet sweet cherry tree varieties that we had learned about when we heard the Urban Farmer talk a few weeks before that. We ended up buying a Cupid Cherry tree, which already had cherries on it, which we will be able to harvest in about two more months! And this already-fruit producing tree cost us the grand sum of 22 bucks. As soon as Gord heard the price he zeroed in on the little tree, and bought some strawberries to boot!

The second thing happened up at the Lindbrook Farms table, where they sell delicious cucumbers. I gobble these things up like popcorn if I don't watch myself - I can eat 5-6 of their slicer cukes all at once. Back at the table, Gord is being his silly self asking absurd questions about cucumbers and pickles and how you make one into the other. Eventually the vendor lady finds out I don't have a clue about pickling and she says she has a very good recipe for first time picklers that she will happily share with me when they bring the pickling cukes out later in the season. I am taken aback at the generosity, and when we leave the table Gord and I agree that this sort of thing just wouldn't happen at the grocery store.

The third thing happened just a little while later, after I've eaten a cucumber, changed into my Tai Chi clothes and joined Gord and the rest of the members of my Tai Chi class. We are doing the warm ups as usual, and the instructor gives us a little extra instruction on one of them, called the Tor Yu. I have struggled with this exercise and it can bother my knees sometimes. Today for some reason the instructor's way of talking about and demonstrating the move tweaked some part in my brain and body, and I finally got it. I could do it! I could use my leg strength and not my knees! I could do it over and over again! This completely changed how I did the entire 108 move set, and I was a chatterbox about it for the rest of the class. Tai Chi is good for teaching me that repeated effort and practice, without apparent progress, can come to fruition any time. This gives me hope, and for more than just my Tai Chi.

Then, when we went back after class to pick up our tree and strawberries from the Shallow Creek lady, I mentioned I was thinking about building an arbor and trying to grow grapes in our yard one day, she offered to teach me which varieties to grow and how to prune them.

Things were coming to fruition (fruit-ion?) all over the place yesterday! It was a good day.

Picture of cherry courtesy this flikr site.


Heather @ SGF said...

What an awesome day! And that cherry looks yummy! Dave and I have been talking about putting fruit trees in as well. Hopefully this summer. Good luck and may you harvest LOTS of fruit :)

P.S. I'm curious what you think of pickling when you try it. It's still a mystery to me.

kale for sale said...

I so enjoy your good things happened today posts. It reminds me to recognize and appreciate it in my own life.

And I agree with you and Gord that there is something different that happens at the farmers' market compared to the grocery stores. Not that we are different people or better or worse but maybe that we have a bit of extra time to see each other. And maybe that we are buying or selling something that we love and we are excited to share that appreciation. Who knows. I know I like it.

Anonymous said...

What a nice post.

I think we are more laid back and "at home" at farmers markets. However, I find that when I am open - things have a way of coming to me, no matter where I am.

This has happened at regular grocery stores. I've actually gotten recipes from several people by just mentioning that I don't cook, but that it sure would be less expensive if I did. I think down deep, most people are nice and want to find a way to help others.

Theresa said...

It was an awesome day Heather! I hope the cherries from our little tree look as good as the one in the picture - they are supposed to! And I've read and heard only good things about how they taste as well. If/when I do any pickling, I will certainly be posting about it!

Thanks Kale, the little things that happen daily are really cool, and lift my spirits usually right when I need it. The farmer's market is a whole different atmosphere - it's like going to a fair or something every week. People are strolling around, chatting, little kids and pets are scurrying about, and there are lots of things to see and taste. And every week is different - this week there was lettuce and new potatoes,and the cucumbers were bigger. All this stuff just fascinates me these days!

Artby, ya, I know I feel more at home and laid back at the market, and it seems to make it easier to be open and receptive to good stuff. And you're right, good things can happen at the grocery store too - maybe I need to work on being more open there, instead of just whizzing around with my cart and getting out of there.

I remember one time Gord and I had a nice chat with the produce guy who told us all sorts of interesting things about citrus fruit and how you can tell which ones grew from flowers that bees spent a lot of time around, because of the markings left on the developing fruit's skin. The produce guy said this was the mark of a good orange, so we've been looking for those marks ever since when we buy citrus. I'm going shopping at the grocery store this evening, so I will open my mind and heart and see what happens....:)

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

What a good day! Sounds like you guys found a wealth of yummy stuff and information at the farmer's market. I'm always impressed with how helpful they are, they want you to enjoy the food they grow to the fullest extent possible.

I bet you will seriously enjoy that cherry tree! I can eat cukes like that too! Good, local cucumbers might as well be candy to me.

Awesome you finally got your Tai Chi move down!

Theresa said...

Well hey, it worked! I was at the grocery store today and thinking, ok, what neat thing is going to happen to me while I'm here? I kind of forgot all about it though and then I'm in the check out line with my canvas bags and lo and behold, for the first time ever, there is a guy in line behind me and he has cloth bags too! So I complemented him on bringing them and he said he often forgets but today he remembered! That was neat :)

Jennifer, thanks for stopping by :) Yes, I just love the farmer's market. I'm starting to get familiar with the vendors there, and vice versa. We planted the little cherry tree last night in what we hope will become an orchard area on our little acreage. I can't wait for the cherries to start growing - it just amazes me to think I can grow cherries on the Canadian prairie!