Audrey and I made our weekly trip to the Fulton Street Farmers Market this past Saturday morning. As we were having our ongoing dialog about what we needed to get and what we would be having for dinner over the next few days, Audrey asked if we could have Pesto for our Sunday dinner. I replied that basil only grew when it was sunny and warm and even though it was a sunny and warm day for November in Michigan – the basil was long gone for the year. We browsed on looking for promising dinner ingredients.

But, on our way out on our right, there it was: bunches and bunches of fresh, green, leafy basil! Not the scrawny, dim end of season stuff either; but summer hot, bright green, fragrant bushes! We were on our way to great summertime Pesto for Sunday dinner.

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While washing leaves and mashing garlic, I was reminded of an episode from our design meetings with the FSFM Development Committee.  In times of design frustration, it was not uncommon for one of the committee members to exclaim: ‘…I don’t know why we’re wasting all this time, the market is just fine as it is…let’s just leave it alone’. Christine Helms-Maletic, Mark Miller, and I all had our standard responses but the answer that stuck with me came from John Platte.

John’s been selling his apples at the Fulton Street Farmers Market for a long time. The last few years, because he noticed that customers have been coming to the later and later into the season and throughout the offseason, he decided to change some of his practices in order to keep selling his apples later and later into the holidays. From his perspective, the commitment of the neighborhood and the vendors to  aspire to an improved, year round market have inspired his fellow vendors to find new products to sell and to find new ways to extend their seasons – cold storage, greenhouses, aquaponics – to sell to customers who are shopping deeper into the season and would really love to have some fresh Pesto in November in Michigan. John and his fellow vendors have seen the opportunity and risen to meet the demand. The FSFM Development Committee had to follow through with a design and construction to validate the everyone’s faith.

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The smell of  Basil in November is the sweet smell of success.

Construction starts this week. The Pesto was great.