Our current time zone: GMT +8 (We're home in Singapore!)

Monday, May 11, 2009

To Market, To Market

So, we all know that spring is here when the flowers start blooming and baby animals are popping out all around (even in the parking lot of our motel.) But when farmers markets start populating the town on the weekend, it's a sign that summer's just around the corner.

We headed to Boulder, 30 miles northwest of Denver, to check out the town's Saturday farmers market. As usual, we woke up pretty late (12 noon!) and after working in the drive to Boulder, had only an hour to spend at the market before it closed at 2pm. We're starting to get rather tardy on this trip, I must say. Turning into a pair of slow lorises.

The farmers market was one of the rowdiest I've ever been to. People were milling around trying to taste food samples, pick out items for purchase, mind their pets, find their children, squeeze through any available nugget of space and talk to their friends all at once.

Farmers Market, Boulder (what a 'duh' caption, but I can't think of anything else)

We started at one end of the market, where some guy was espousing the evils of soy products, and the consequences of eating fowl or other animals reared on a soy diet. I like soy (I miss the Horlicks-fortified soyabean milk from the cranky old man at Maxwell Market!) and I'm not about to give it up any time soon so I didn't stick around to listen. Down the row, there was a lady trying to get people to adopt a rubber ducky for Boulder's Duck Race, just like the one we (used to) have back home!

There were alot of stalls offering homegrown produce, like veggies, coffee beans, wine, organic this, organic that, gluten-free bread/cookies, jams, chutneys, sauces, etc. Some offered tasting samples. With this flu scare going on, we didn't dare go around picking up food samples from the finger bowls (although I can't say the same for the locals, who were happily sharing dipping bowls. Eeeee yerrrrr.) The only thing we tasted were a couple of almonds flavoured with chai spice, dropped neatly into our palms with a spoon.

Bulbs of garlic - awfully fresh, and awfully pungent! Pee eww.

And look what some cheeky vendors got up to while trying to push plant and bouquet sales:

Oh really?

Lily buds

The most crowded part was undoubtedly the cooked food fair. Every stall was selling some exotic speciality from some exotic place in the world - corn tamales from Mexico, gyros from Greece, Thai food, sushi, and some fried meat/veg-filled pancakes (I forgot what they were called) from Salvador.

Dancing to the band while cooking!

And look what we found that really made our mouth water: 'wo tie' as we know it at home or pot-stickers, more commonly known as Chinese dumplings to the locals. There was a long queue for these.

I want some!

There was an even longer queue for a seat at this interesting building, that looked rather out of place amongst the tents and food stalls. We found out later that it was a Tajikistan restaurant.

What's there to eat in here?

Then, a symphony of mellow chimes and light tinkles wafting down the row of stalls from the far end of the market caught our ears. We followed the trail of musical notes to a shady spot under some trees. A marimba band was playing! The performers were a bunch of kids from the local school. And they played really really well, hitting the keys with utmost precision and artistic flair. Some of them were too small for their instruments and had to stand on boxes in order to reach the keys! These kids even have their own CD, which was retailing at one of the stores.

Just a bunch of kids - or dedicated musicians?

After tinkling on their instruments, the kids jumped into their gumboots and did a sort of tribal dance, slapping their boots in between little skips, jumps and cries. Sorta like a New Zealand hakka, but I think these gumboot rituals hail from Africa.

Smack 'em booties, I mean, boots!

The appreciative audience

Looking forward to more farmers markets as we move onwards to the east coast... and into summer!


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