(Read Brenda Payton’s on the street commentary in the Sunday Insight Section of the SF Chronicle)
In these recessionary times Farmers’ Markets appear to be thriving. This is reassuring. Many of us look forward to their arrival in our neighborhood as a high point in the week. The sights, smells and flavors of the countryside spilling out onto concrete and asphalt. The opportunity to support small, family farmers, to pick up gardening tips. To enjoy the food stands and musicians. It’s hard to imagine a time before most of these markets existed. It wasn’t so long ago.My first encounter with an outdoor farmers’ market was in Florence, Italy in 1966. In those days this market occupied the piazza behind the Mercato Centrale. The local farmers had large handcarts with colorful awnings that could be unfurled on sunny days. It was a picturesque and animated scene overlooked by the pale yellow palazzi with their green shutters. The Duomo floated in the distance.
(Continue reading + more paintings and sketches; click images to enlarge)