Growers, bakers, florists, bean dryers and cooks gather to celebrate a weekly harvest. A cornucopia of goodness. Fresh every Saturday. Inside the hall fresh fish is being scaled, de scaled and sold. The Piri-piri peppers as they are known in Olhao and much of the south produce a heat that is initially gentle and then grows with time (very little) into heat that will make most other peppers pale.
Dried beans are a staple of the southern Portuguese diet. Baskets, measured and sold in cubic volume, are on display at the anchor corners of the market. Meals are not complete without flowers.
Along the waterfront the flower seller watches the tide and her flowers. An ebb and flow of nature that speaks of certainty and beauty.
But this is a market. The peddlers bring every vegetable and fruit from home based gardens to the weekly event. The buyers seek fresh and healthy products. The winners are those with unique offerings. The tree strawberry (We are still looking for a correct English name) presents briefly from native bushes. These will not be subjugated to horticultural methods. I pause to think of all the things that need to be done in the Keystone gardens. Growing fresh food is about presentation, is about flowers, is about adding something of the beauty of the earth back into the lives of the creature. A moment of pleasure for pallete and eyes! Seed shopping next week. Winter planting of garlics. Blending compost into top soils and then waiting for winter to abate and the fresh breath of new life to resurrect the gardens to life.