Summer’s Made for Markets: Flea & Farmer

“Collect things you love, that are authentic to you, and your house becomes your story.” – Erin Flett

Summer is signified with the pungent smells of pollinated buttery corn silks and perfumed pages of old books. As a child, Thursdays meant heading over to the Westminster Livestock Auction to spend the evening at the junk sale. I would tag along with my grandfather as we sifted and dug through boxes of treasures: an old Avon bottle in the shape of a Dalmatian; a gold-leafed novel dog-earred and underlined with love; a palm-sized brooch sparkling with the finest costume crystals. These riches, relinquished to cardboard boxes, sparked my love relics with a past.

I may be thrifty, but I'm not that thrifty...

I may be thrifty, but I’m not that thrifty…

My taste for thrift has matured, I now pass up the perfume bottles and costume jewelry for stained glass windows and snakeskin suitcases. Upon moving to Connecticut I discovered that New England’s best flea market (and frequently seen on Flea Market Flip) is less than an hour away in New Milford. The Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market is the perfect place to spend a summer Sunday. Just $2 at the gate, and you enter a massive field loaded with menagerie of miscellany.

During a recent road trip down the East Coast I stumbled upon Black Dog Salvage, a vintage nirvana located in Roanoke, Virginia. A hodgepodge of housewares: a cluster of clawfoot tubs; a multitude of fireplace mantels; scroll columns and crown moulding; and the STAINED GLASS! The selection of gorgeous stained glass church windows made me wish I had brought a flatbed trailer instead of a Forrester.

 

“I know that if odor were visible, as color is, I’d see the summer garden in rainbow clouds.” –Robert Bridges

I grew up on a farm so my love of farmer’s markets was cultivated later on. Life in the city made me long for a taste of my rural roots, and farmer’s markets nursed that nostalgia. When I lived in Gettysburg I was lucky enough to have the farmer’s market located a few feet outside my front door. I’d spend each Saturday collecting local produce, milk, coffee, flowers and baked goods for the week. Since moving up north, I’ve spent each weekend exploring markets in neighboring towns – an ideal way to spend the summer.

Growing up a farm girl, I’ve never met a vegetable I didn’t devour, but I have a great fondness for tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes are as alluring as they are appetizing. The most photogenic of produce, heirloom tomatoes are a conglomeration of colors and contour, tasty gems just begging to be sliced and salted.

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