One of the things I've loved about this project has been exploring the areas I thought I knew. And today I got to know my former home city of San Jose a little bit better. My best gal Kelsi had invited me to join her in checking out the annual fundraiser for the Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County.
Today's New Activity: Visiting the Gardener's Market
This was the coolest thing. It was basically just a place for people to pick up starter plants for their garden (mostly tomatoes and peppers for some reason), and there were about a drillion different varieties to choose from.
I felt a little out-of-place among the market-goers, who were a predictable bunch of fifty-and sixty-somethings, definite NPR devotees in canvas hats, carrying reusable Trader Joe's bags. Ok so basically that IS me, but I'm a younger version. Also, I am firmly anti-A Prarie Home Companion, which I'm almost positive would be a unique stance among today's crowd.
Anyway, the sun was out, the people were friendly and helpful, and the available plants could be had for a steal . Unfortunately we got there a little too late to get in on any tomato action, but there were plenty of peppers, each with its own little Hot or Not-type verdict--a rating from 0-10 in hotness listed on a sign above the variety, along with the pepper's characteristics and country of origin.
I ended up choosing three varieties of peppers, along with some French lavender, an ornamental pumpkin plant, and a flower called a "firework," in honor of the Katy Perry song my Ma's been singing to the baby :)
The market took place at History San Jose, an outdoor museum of sorts that houses the historical Victorian homes moved from downtown San Jose to make room for the new City Hall. It was fun to walk around there and see hints of a bunch of organizations I had no idea about, which were headquartered in the homes. Poetry Center of San Jose was one I saw that I'd like to look into further, but really I could have spent the entire day there checking out organizations and reading about the history of the area, gardener's market or not. I'll have to go back on a weekday, when everything is open.
Also, while Monkey and I were waiting for Kelsi to arrive, we visited the beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden, which is right there, along with Happy Hollow.
It's just all the way around a great place to take kids (even the minor league San Jose Giants' stadium is right across the street, along with an ice rink--a family could spend a week on those two blocks alone and not spend too much money in the process). Monkey had a great time running around there, and little Max, Kelsi's son, was perfectly content to lie on the grass at the Botanical Garden after the market, just taking in the sun and making his baby noises. It was a beautiful day, and I can't wait to get my little plants in their new homes :)