This morning, Mirepoix market was bustling with people--and carpeted with vegetable plants. Herbs too. Basil, chives, savory, even occasionally coriander, parsley both curly and flat-leaved, it was all there. Here's a producer who specializes in tomato plants. From her and others, I've so far collected four varieties including Green Zebra and a black-red variety whose name I've forgotten. Meanwhile, growing in a small pot on the patio, much to my delight, are tiny plants that have sprouted from seeds that I saved from last summer. Not sure what kind that are but I know I salvaged them from an heirloom tomato so you can't fault their family background.
The lady in red is buying asparagus and baby purply-green artichokes. Right now, stalls are heaped 40 cm high with white and green asparagus. You can buy thin, medium or thick or odds and ends to make soup or risotto with. If you love to cook, this is an inspiring time of year.
We came home laden and I've just now taken a break from preparing the veggies for pasta primavera, a dish that'll use some of the produce we bought. Skinny purply-tipped asparagus, beautiful, beautiful young sweet purple-striped garlic, parsley...The most labour-intensive chore is shelling the broad beans. After you've podded them, you toss them in a pot of boiling water f0r 30 seconds, then pop each one out of its skin.