Monday, March 9, 2009

The 9:03 to Santa Fe

It's been a long time since I've shopped in a real store (Walmart doesn't count), or since I've been to Santa Fe. Now that there's a commuter train between Belen and Santa Fe, on Saturday, I decided to do both. I boarded the 9:03 northbound, welcomed my friend J. aboard in Albuquerque at 10:01, and arrived in Santa Fe at 11:15. Train schedules are the only things in New Mexico that are precise. We're really much more laid back.

Travel time is about the same by rail or by car, but had I driven, I would still be driving around Santa Fe looking for a place to park.

Did you know that "Santa Fe" is also known as "The City Different"? Truer words were never spoken.

Our first stop was the Farmer's Market, just down the block from the train station. It is a bustling indoor market featuring free range organic grass-fed everything.

Whatever I would buy here would have to be lugged around all day, so I had to be very selective.

As lovely as these sprouts were, I didn't think they'd survive a day at the bottom of my bag. I'm not really a sprout kind of gal anyway. But they sure were fresh and green and organic.

I was dazzled by this display of radishes, so artfully arranged on darling $4 mini bales of hay. Sort of makes the $7.50 I've been paying for a 60-pound bale seem like a real bargain. Yep, things are always a little pricey in Santa Fe. But I'll bet those little bales were organic and grown on a free range.

Now here we have some grass-fed singers. They were singing in a language other than English - I never could figure out what it was. The important thing to note in the photo above is the yellow sign that says Shepherd's Lamb. Can you hear it? Linda, come over here.

It was hard to hear over all the certified free-range singing, but that sign kept calling me and I obeyed.

And here we are at the Shepherd's Lamb booth. There are several things I must bring to your attention (you can click on the picture to enlarge it).
1. Skeins of organic lamb's wool - $12 each
2. Fresh lamb
3. Weird guy buying fresh lamb who must have thought I was taking a picture of him. (Please note that to take this overview, I aimlessly raised the camera high above my head and clicked the shutter. I had no idea that Weird Guy was looking at me until I downloaded the picture. Eww.)
4. Lamb pelts

Now which one of these things spoke to me so loudly that I just had to have it?

Why, the lamb pelt, of course. It was just so luxurious and warm and wooly and wonderful. I had no idea what I would do with it once I got it home; all I knew was that I had to have it. So I bought the darned thing and lugged it all over Santa Fe all stinkin' day. What a p.i.t.a. But it was worth it.

I'm sitting on it right now as I type this. It has turned my desk chair into a warm cloud. The trick will be to keep my beautiful, white, clean (but machine washable) lamb pelt for myself. If I get careless and leave it unattended, someone else is likely to lay claim to it.

Here is Smooch, looking a little sheepish, don't you think?

Come back tomorrow for part two of my personal attempt to stimulate the economy. Sadly, it does not feature a new hat, but does include a little bling I can wear under it.


  1. Who was buying the hay? Maybe people who have pet rabbits? I am so intrigued now! If you go back, would you ask the radish and hay lady who pays $4 for a half a pound of hay?

    I am very jealous of your lambskin. It looks amazingly comfy.

    I visited Santa Fe once, about ten years ago, and it struck me as a very strange New Agey town. Had the best creme brulee of my life there, though. Mmmm.

  2. What an awesome day. I think a train ride is the way to go. No parking and you can relax and just enjoy the scenery.

    I didn't know that's what Santa Fe meant. I've never been there but look forward to visiting one day. I love farmer's markets and that looks like a good one.

    I think the lamb's wool throw was an excellent choice. Smooch appears to second that.

    BTW, my bunny would love those little bales of hay. :o)

    Looking forward to Part II.

  3. What beautiful, interesting pictures of Santa Fe and the farmers market ... the lamb pelt looks so soft/comfy, but why was I NOT surprised that Smooch wound up on it! HA! I love her look before jumping on it and then her contentment as she relaxes.

  4. That is the coolest thing ever! I love the train ride, how much fun is that? Instead of driving, just sit back, talk to your friend, read a book. That sounds SO good! Then the Farmer's Market! Take me with you!!!! Love your lamb pelt, I would have had to have it too. Smooch looks like a calendar dog there :)
    You, my dear lady, are entirely too much fun!! Can't wait for tomorrow's post to see more. Thanks for taking us along!

  5. Sounds like a great trip. I have always wanted to detour to Sante Fe but we never had the time as we drove through to Arizona. Anyway, love the lamb's wool throw and can't wait to see what else you managed to drag around with you all day.

  6. Ha... the weird guy pic is great. It'd be funny if he read your blog anon and found himself here!

  7. Our farmers market only runs from mid April to mid October. Won't be long now...I can taste all that fresh picked goodness! And I LOVE the lamb pelt!!! I've always wanted one...

  8. I once had a lovely warm lambskin. Then two terriers got hold of it. Shredded wool. Moral of the story: lambskin and doggikins don't mix.

  9. Oh Carolynn, Linda was being playful. The city motto is 'the city different' (Where you can find every kinda different). Santa Fe means Holy Faith, short for City of the Holy Faith Of Saint Francis of Assisi.

  10. the guy who sells the hay bales is Jeff. but he said mostly people use the mini bales for center pieces or decoration. i think it really just makes his booth look nice and probably draws people in and helps his sales. also i have some of that chard in my fridge right now. enjoying all the shots of the market i always want to take but am always too busy

  11. I wouldn't have been able to resist the sheep pelt, either!! ;)
    Smooch does look like he has a guilty plan in that photo, hee hee!

  12. The last time we went to Santa Fe we took our dually that still had our capri camper on it, talk about having a hard time finding a parking space! I do love the market but can't stand that getting gas and eating in Santa Fe is like going to Europe!

  13. Yes lamb pelts are wonderful aren't they! Whenever I butcher lamb, (we sell it to whomever wants one, packaged in little white packages and delivered!) I send off pelts to get tanned. Imagine those pretty Jacob pelts with the spots on them! So pretty! :D
    This summer I plan to do more, let me know if you're interested... That way you can have your own. ;)

  14. LOL!! organic mini bales of hay...

    I snorted my coffee out my nose on that one...


  15. I was so excited to see a post about Santa Fe! I was even more excited to see 'Sprout Lady', a lady I worked for when I was in grad school! My husband and I both worked in her organic sprout farm! Great photos, brought back some good memories!

  16. This world is too darned small. Alex knows the radish guy and Carrie knows the sprout lady.

    Mudranch, I'll email you about a Jacob pelt.