spent the morning at Octane in Westside. i have a tradition of going there every time i’m in atlanta. when i was living in auburn and had to pick someone up for the airport i would come a couple hours early and read there before heading to the airport. a friend introduced me to the place years ago and since then i’ve always loved it. so i wanted to spend some time there while i’m in this city.

i realized this morning that atlanta holds many more memories than i had anticipated remembering in coming home to this southern city; good and hard memories. i’ve never actually lived in atlanta. i lived in Jasper, GA about an hour north up 575 and commuted in on sundays to attend Trinity for a year. and i went to Auburn University, which meant several people came from atlanta and and ended up here after school. i’ve been here for church, for birthday celebrations, for weddings, for late night outings, for concerts, for spending time with people, for heading to the airport to fly out to other places, for adventures and for escape.
but it’s never been my place. i cannot get around atlanta well, i get lost nearly every time i come. part of that is i didn’t have a car many of the times i’ve been through here and part of it is that i can navigate the interstates well, but in all the winding roads through neighborhoods i get turned around.

but today i managed to navigate the roads and, as Ginna would say, “stitch together” a few different parts of town and the tapestry of memories that have formed this girl.

i made it to the East Atlanta Village Farmer’s Market early and stayed only for a bit since we had other plans. it was great to see what is growing here. orlando doesn’t really grow much in the summer on account of the heat. but here there was a great variety – summer squash, potatoes, onions, beans, tomatoes of all colors and sizes, eggplants, and figs! i never tried a fresh fig in my life until today. actually, i asked the guy at Cosmos Garden if i could try one before considering purchasing them. the only time i could think of having figs were in fig newtons…pathetic. i neglected to mention that thought to him, and really enjoyed the fig. he told me that figs only have a 3 wk harvest period. and have you ever seen the inside of a fig? it’s so interesting!
i also admired the chickens one of the vendors on the end had. i still want chickens, desperately. i told him about the pilot permit program that orlando started this year. i’m wondering when that means it will actually become legal in city limits. mostly i think it means i need to go visit Brent’s chickens again.

the market was really beautiful and backed up to a wooden seating area and a small community garden. they have several vendors – some prepared foods, sweets, breads, honey, several farms, spices, food vendors, granola, salsas, and an atlanta produced yogurt!

these were my purchases:
Cosmos Organic Garden – onions. zucchini.figs.
Gaia’s Garden – eggplant. beautiful tomatoes. cucumbers.
The Little Tart – apple blueberry tart. (still have a sweet tooth for fancy baked goods.)

i also met David, who runs a city composting service throughout Atlanta! Roger and i have been talking the past two weeks about trying to start something like this in orlando and here this guy was standing in the middle of the market. he gave me the very brief logistics of what they do and told me to email him for more information. he also said it might take awhile to start because of getting permits and working around city waste ordinances. but if we are starting to have chickens within city limits, well, a girl can dream.

the real adventure of the day was going to the rock quarry. just a quick slide through a barb-wired fence, down a trail with some thorns that tore into my leg (so much for being careful), through a field and over to the beauty of the abyss and the mineral rich water below. so glad to have gotten to see this place. we sat for a long while, enjoyed the relative quiet and watched the sunset behind the trees. talked about movies and what animal we would be – golden eagle, duck, manatee. climbed the structure and talked about adventures. then headed to Yeah! Burger for Yeah! sauce and sweet potato fries, seeing Michael Christmas, and enjoying the warm summer night. this was my favorite atlanta day on the trip thus far.