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Georgia On My Mind Again, Part 8

Twice a week, Blairsville entertains a Farmer's Market at a facility built explicitly for that function. Most Farmer's Markets that I've visited are rather small affairs but this one is really quite large — complete with concrete floor and a roof over the open-air stalls. In addition to the usual fresh produce, there are elements of a Flea Market — with crafts, antiques and some people's junk.

Back in 2006, shortly after I retired, I attended several photography workshops in Santa Fe. One of our field trips was to a Farmer's Market there. I was skeptical that I would find anything interesting to photograph. Fortunately, I was wrong to be skeptical and captured one of my all-time favorite images of a farmer's daughter. If you are curious, click here.

A few of the non-produce items did catch my eye. Some folks are so clever at putting words on a sign — and then collecting $26.95 a pop.

This buffalo head also caught my attention — it wasn't for sale but was the bison equivalent of a barber pole, inviting prospective customers to sample their buffalo jerky. It was quite good, by the way. And they also had bison meat in freezers on a trailer with a gasoline powered generator helping to keep it all frozen.

Now, this is what I expect to see in any Farmer's Market — plentiful produce displayed in an artistic way. Enjoy those banana peppers.

Squash and tomatoes (two different colors) could make the basis of a nice dinner. Let's buy some. Yum.

Okra — I know for sure that we're in the South. I must confess that I am not a fan. When cooked, okra produces a slimy goo that, to me, is very off-putting. I sometimes make fun of people who don't like particular foods because of the mouth feel. I guess I'm just as guilty when it comes to okra. But there are lots of folks out there who love the stuff.

Snap beans, green beans, or string beans — call them what you like (here backed by an artistically pleasing arrangement of ripe tomatoes). When I see them, I often recall my childhood, sitting with my grandmother with a bowl of string beans in her lap, trimming the excess then breaking them into smaller chunks (they would make that "snap" noise). She even gave me a few to help prepare for dinner. It was easy to do but I was much slower than she was.

And who knew that eggplant could be so photogenic? I was intrigued by the variety of coloration in this one batch — very artistic.

And peppers are no slouch when it comes to beautiful coloration, begging for someone to take them home or take their picture. Of course, I obliged with the latter.

And what would summer be without watermelon? And I could tell this was a real Farmer's Market with real farmers — the young man at this station would pick one out for you — thumping it to find the best of the bunch. He really seemed to know what he was doing.

He even had a variety of watermelon that was yellow on the inside. Curious, I found a website that provided the answers to all my questions — "The flesh of watermelons turning yellow is a natural mutation. In fact, the originator of our commercial variety, which comes from Africa, is a yellow- to white-fleshed fruit. The fruit has a sweeter, honey-like flavor as compared to red-fleshed melons, but many of the same nutritional benefits. Yellow watermelon fruit is now widely available and a fun alternative to traditional watermelons."

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com