A white tent popped up this summer in the parking lot of the Party Beverage store at Powell Drive and Western Boulevard near my house. The first few times I flew by it on Western, I figured it was some kind of beer keg annex, until I saw that it had plants.
It’s actually a little curb market, like the ones that sprang up on the sides of the road when I was a kid in Winston-Salem, N.C.
When I stopped to look around, it was obvious that some of the items were not local (limes, for example). I asked the quiet teen who was manning the stand where the produce came from. He quickly pointed out what was not from North Carolina, and said his grandfather grew most of the rest. I couldn’t get a lot more out of him as he went to help another customer.
The honey was from Mocksville, N.C., and there were corn, cukes, melons and herb plants. I went right for the tomatoes. Wherever the rest of the vegetables and fruits came from, these tomatoes were obviously farm grown, and from not too far away because they were a tumble of tender-skinned heirlooms in pink, red, maroon and bi-colors. Red and yellow cherry tomatoes were displayed like jewels in china bowls.
I bought an assortment of the large tomatoes. They were the best, along with the CSA’s, that I’ve eaten this summer. And now I’ve ruined it for myself because y’all will drive straight over there for these mystery ‘maters. But I’m closer. I’ll be there first.