I took every piece of dripping, sopping and drenched market equipment out of the trailer and hung it up to dry as best it could in the freshening breeze. Of course we all know it rains in Vancouver and we are no stranger to wet markets, but this rain was remarkable because it really never let up. I went through three rain jackets on Saturday, dried them all off and went through them again on Sunday.
I turned all the market equipment over to dry the other side, everything still soggy: am keen to start last weekend of markets with dry things.
I also today began making the winter storage boxes, which customers in Vancouver have been ordering for pickup at this last market. It takes ages to make all the boxes: although we start the season with a commitment to consistency, we donít say no very much, and so the winter boxes are often custom orders.
I love coming back to Pemberton after the last weekend knowing that there are boxes of Pemberton potatoes scattered all over Vancouver ó on West End balconies, East Side co-op lockers, the trunk of an old Ford in a Shaughnessy mansion garage, and in Kitsilano drawers that once contained socks.
Today I am willing to accept that not everything is going to dry out, but have decided to not pack it all back into the trailer just yet. I detect signs of procrastination. I would rather go home early today.
Before heading off on my bike in the latest rain storm, dad and I finally put the harvester away for the winter in the barn built especially to house it. This is a very precious piece of equipment, as you may know. Remember the time when I wasnít paying attention and bent the hopper feeder arm out of all recognition and use?
I decide to finish making the winter boxes, guilty and anxious memories spurring me on.
I had such a good day today. I think in the depths of the sweltering summer I might have fantasized about this: garlic planting with mom, rain, fabulous fall colours, hands and knees in the cold mud, full raingear on the bike commute, and coffee in front of the wood stove.
My skin feels tingly.
I pay the price for not putting the trailer back together. Rain has blown sideways into the barn and re-soaked most items. Very disappointed in self. Promise to never put things off again.
It takes four hours to load the trailer for market. This is one of the biggest loads ever. I check the tire pressures. A chef calls with a last minute order and I stuff it in there somehow, adding a few more bins of carrots for good measure.
Snow on the road! I wake up to Veronikaís calm announcement as she gets the fish-tailing trailer under control. Hail on the tents! I summon despondent stoicism until I notice the blue sky in the distance. Sure enough, the sun comes out and so do the customers. Some would have come anyways, hail or no, and knowing who they are I give them a hefty discount. They are the ones who make it possible for us to make a living like this.
Thatís it. Markets are over for two weeks. The winter months stretch out ahead, with minimal scheduled farm obligations.
Anna Helmer, farmer, also likes to get in touch with her inner consumer.