Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Robbie Hits the Farmers' Market from @MaddieDayAuthor

Robbie Jordan here, from Maddie Day's Country Store Mysteries.

Even though I'm a native of Santa Barbara, I've lived in Indiana long enough to really appreciate February on the west coast!

And as a chef, OMG, I soaked up the sights and flavors out there, especially at the twice-weekly farmers' market. All we get in Brown County is a twice-a-month winter market indoors. It mostly features stored potatoes and carrots, lots of jams and pickles, greenhouse greens, and sprouts.

Here's what the Santa Barbara market was like:

I stood at the entrance to a long row, spanning two city blocks, of white-and-green pop-up tents belonging to the Wednesday farmers’ market vendors. The first one on my right displayed boxes and baskets overflowing with fresh vegetables in all hues and shapes. The next one sold showy, colorful bouquets of flowers. Beyond that was the Pistachio Man, with dozens of flavors of bagged nuts in their shells. After him was a goat-and-sheep-cheese seller.

Moms pushed strollers. Senior citizens ambled with walkers. Even a banker type in suit and tie carried a full bag of produce and other foods in each hand. At the very end was Mama Tamale, the stand selling hot breakfast tamales and burritos. 

As I strolled, I sampled a fruity olive oil at one booth, then bought a bottle to take home. I added a bag of chili-lime pistachios from the Pistachio Man and four huge artichokes—despite not having a kitchen to cook them in—from a coastal farm to the north. When I reached the end of the first block, a sand-colored alpaca with huge dark brown eyes in a white face gazed soulfully in my direction. 

Don't you want to be there, too? You can be, by preordering Nacho Average Murder, out June 30 in all formats! If you're not caught up on the series, books #2-6 are on a Kindle sale all month.

Readers: how do you shop at an outdoor market, whether selling produce or antiques? Do you zoom through all the aisles and come back to the ones you want to buy from, or stroll and purchase as you go along?

Maddie Day creates the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. As Edith Maxwell, this Agatha-winning author writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Local Foods Mysteries, and short crime fiction

Maxwell/Day lives north of Boston with her beau, where she cooks, gardens, and wastes time on Facebook. She blogs here, at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, and with the Wicked Authors. You can find her on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and at her web site,


  1. As I get older, I'm definitely a stroller and buy as I see it person. Through the years, I've found that if I rush through thinking I'll be the first to find something, I actually more times than not overlooked some great gem.

    Love Robbie's adventures in the Country Store Mysteries series! Always anxious to see what happens in each book which are always a delight to read.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. I'll stroll through first then go back to the ones where I saw something I might want to buy. I may buy something on the first round but only if it's a very special must-have.

  3. I stroll through first to check them all out, then go back through, stopping at the ones I want to buy something at.

  4. Brittani SticklerJune 4, 2020 at 9:07 AM

    I kind of take my time strolling through, checking out each table on one side of the row, then I go back down the other side. I won't purchase anything the first go-through but I'll then go back and make purchases after I've viewed everything. sticklerba (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. I stroll through, then go back..I'd carry a small notebook with me, before there were cell, now I take a pic of the booth & what I maybe want to get. Thanks, y'all all stay safe. nani_geplcs(at)yahoo(dot)com