Saturdays are busy days for me, so sometimes I just plan to stop by for a pickle. The pickle vendor sells pickles on a stick (the half-sours are legend!) and it just feels good to walk through the market and see everyone abuzz.
But I can't ever get away with just a pickle. The blueberries were only $2.50/pint this week, and the tomatoes were literally calling my name. "Lina," they screamed. "Bring us home! We need to be with you and your basil and maybe a little mozzarella. A chunk of that bread wouldn't hurt either."
Who among us can resist the cry of a ripe red tomato? So through the market I trekked, collecting tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, eggplant, garlic, fresh eggs, a loaf of bread, some sunflowers, peaches, blueberries and, yes, a pickle.
The Montclair Farmers' Market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. At this time of year it transforms the whole Walnut Street business area into a food-lover's street fair, with artisan food trucks and lots of breakfast goodies from Walnut Street eateries - Montclair Bread Co., La Salbuen, The Red Eye Café, Gina's Bakery and newcomer-that's-bound-to-be-a-hot-spot, The Corner. In the winter, there's a scaled back version, and far less al fresco dining, but it's wonderful to have farm fresh produce available all year long.
And because Montclair is so full of foodies, the Farmers' Market has even expanded to include a Tuesday venue on South Park Street from 1-7 p.m. from June through November.
The Saturday market is centrally located, so many people walk there or bike there. Sometimes there's live music or a pet adoption event. If we're looking at houses together on a Saturday, try to stop over. You'll walk away with a real taste of what Montclair is like. (Get it?)