To market we go: Madrona Farmers Market

by Beth Shepherd
( October 7th, 2015 )

This little piggy went to market. And this little piggy stayed home. This little piggy had smoked salmon. And this little piggy had none.

Friday Farmers Market

This is how we say the nursery rhyme in our house. Always have. Because for our family, smoked salmon from THE Fish Guys (and now a Fish Gal too) is where it’s at. Every Friday during market season, May through September, Little Bird and I make our way to the farmers market. In the three years I’ve taken her, she’s gone from stroller to standing, from sampling the wares to helping sell them (in her own pint-sized fashion). The Madrona Farmers Market is the high point in our week…especially because of her fan club.

Breadstick at the Farmers Market

First there’s our beloved Fish Guys plus one Fish Gal. Oh Wilson Fish, what would we do without you? Every week you fill our bellies with fish and our warm our hearts.

Let’s go see The Fish Guys, Mama. My excited is what I hear Friday afternoons all summer long.  And I’m sad, Mama. No more Fish Guys. I miss the Fish Guys, is her mournful refrain each Friday when the market closes for the season.

Wilson Fish

Two years ago, she missed them so much, she insisted they were living in our fan all winter long. The Fish Guys are in the fan, she’d state matter-of-factly. This year she wanted to bring them a few gifts to end the season, a few drawings and—appropriately—made a lovely fish out of clay with rainbow scales.

Paintings for the Fish Guys

Clay fish

Then there’s Rand of One Leaf Farm. Is Rand going to be there this week, Mama? If not, I don’t want to go, is what she told me several weeks running when I tried to explain that her buddy Rand needed to be doing what farmers do on the farm rather than at the market. This year she started helping Rand take in money from a customer and put it in the cash box. She made a few pennies for her “work” and is fascinated by the process.

Helping Rand at the market

I love watching her flit from market stand to market stand with spirited enjoyment. It’s fun observe her curiosity about “how things work” whether it’s putting ice under the fish to keep them fresh or exchanging money so we can bring home a bag of beans.  But I feel the greatest pride in the relationships she’s built with the people who grow, catch, and make the food we eat. It doesn’t get any more local than that.

Rand from One Leaf Farm

Wilson's Fish

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Take the road less traveled, Beth

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A gift from Gyumri: Armenian fruit leather

by Beth Shepherd
( October 2nd, 2015 )

A package arrived from Armenia this week. Inside were several special gifts including Armenian fruit leather. There is nothing more delicious (in my admittedly biased opinion) than homemade—IN ARMENIA—fruit leather.

Armenian fruit leather and Armenian coffee

The fruit leather from Gyumri, where my daughter was born, has a certain something that makes it so good, you want to wrap yourself up in it. And you could. The piece I received measured in at a mere 13-inches square. I remember buying a piece during one of our visits that was literally as big as a baby blanket.

Armenian fruit leather measurements

Of course, looks aren’t everything…the proof is in the pudding. Or fruit leather. So we brought in our little Armenian for a taste.

Where is the fruit leather fromWhere is the fruit leather from?

The sniff testThe sniff test.

Checking out color and clarityChecking color and clarity…just like wine tasting!

The taste testThe taste test.

Armenian fruit leather reportThe full report.

Where is Armenia?Dada, where is Armenia again and how far is it from Seattle?

Where is Armenia close upYes, this fruit leather came from very far away.

Other side of the worldOn the other side of the world from where we live.

And if you want to read more about all things Pampers, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Take the road less traveled, Beth

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Shoot the moon: Photographing the 2015 supermoon eclipse

by Beth Shepherd
( September 29th, 2015 )

Supermoon eclipse in Seattle

On Sunday Big Papa, Little Bird and I went down to Lake Washington to see the Supermoon eclipse. I told my 4-year-old daughter that when the next Supermoon eclipse came around, she will have graduated from college.

We spent a lot of time waiting, my camera and tripod at the ready. Standing on either side of me were professional photographers, with mighty impressive lenses. All of us stared hopefully eastward, towards the Cascade Mountains, an awe-worthy backdrop befitting such a rare celestial event.

When the Blood Moon finally appeared, it was—at least from our vantage point—rather hazy and not nearly as bright and spectacular as we’d imagined. But when we headed home and I went out into our backyard and, as the moon came out of its eclipse, I got some decent shots—handheld, no tripod, just me, the camera and our little slice of urban oasis.

Here’s my first attempt at a sequential lunar collage. I’d like to improve my technique and since we won’t be seeing another supermoon like this one until 2033, I have 18 years to do so.

Supermoon lunar eclipse

And if you want to read more about all things Pampers, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Take the road less traveled, Beth

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