Another Saturday, another farmer’s market in the vibrant but somewhat sleepy suburb which we call home, Danville, 30 miles east of San Francisco. In the shadows of the old railway station, market holders have gathered. More sunflowers, lavender, olive oil and a wide array of luscious orchard fruit, exotic orchids, field grown flowers, which look as they have just been gathered from the meadow, ripe local corn and a splendid assortment of vegetables.
To the strumming’s of a local guitarist, people wander happily down the aisles, trailing an assortment of baskets and packages, toddlers, buggies and brightly coloured plastic tricycles. Small children, and sometimes not so small children, are treated to freshly popped kettle corn as their parents try to avoid the temptations of the bakeries, home baked pot pies and buttery pastry enfolded bri cheeses!! Friends gather on corners and happy shoppers meander away in to the small town’s streets to share a coffee and catch up on the week’s events.
The old station looks proudly on, the bustle of its former steam train life long since gone, replaced with the different rhythms of market days and exhibitions. Now a local museum, it proudly displays constantly changing and fascinating stories of the region’s historical heritage. Elementary school children chattering excitedly, scribbling answers on worksheets which haphazardly hang off their clip boards, small groups of pensioners listening intently to the local curator and people like us, casually wandering by gathering information about the excitement of the Californian Gold Rush, the museum’s current exhibit.
Laden with orchids, sunflowers and heirloom tomatoes we also seek our morning coffee, avoiding the hubub surrounding one favorite spot, clearly the meeting place for ‘The Tour de France’, or so it seems! Grubby faced, somewhat weary cyclists of all ages, awkward in their too tight pants and bike shoes, clip clop their way across the courtyard to rest over steaming coffees, cappuccinos, lattes, non-fat this and low-fat that! We sit outside ‘La Boulange’…..French in name and sort of French in style. Resisting all the pastries and baked delights we smile at each other thinking of different coffee shops far away but agree this isn’t such a bad place to be after all!!!