Are you a fan of farmers’ markets? I hope so! Nowhere else are you going to find produce this fresh. Nowhere else can you meet the farmers and gardeners proud enough to stand behind their wares–literally as well as figuratively. It always amazes me when someone walks the paths of the market but doesn’t make eye contact with the vendors. If you don’t want to see the faces of the growers, the grocery store is perfect for you!
I believe in real food, grown as close to home as possible. I believe in looking the grower in the eye and asking questions about their methods and choices. I believe in buying in bulk while food is in season, and preserving it myself for the off-season.
That means the farmers’ market is perfect for me. Not only can I buy a few tomatoes in July from growers who use all their tricks to get them to market before my own are ripe, but I can also order a hundred pounds of them in September if my garden is having an off year. . .or I am!
There’s just nothing like the flavor of food picked fresh (and ripe) that morning, be it asparagus, berries, corn, peas, or baby potatoes. It’s like a drug. Once you’ve tried it, you won’t want to go back to grocery store produce. Too often it’s been picked unripe a week before you see it and artificially ripened, which means you don’t get the robust, rich flavor of vine (or tree) ripened.
Sure, I buy bananas and other produce in the grocery store, but I specifically do try to be aware of what’s currently available locally. This means this week I’m processing late cherries for the freezer. Nothing like cherry smoothies in the dead of winter!
My family is now a regular vendor at our local farmers’ market with our honey. . .and I’m not opposed to selling a copy or two of Rainbow’s End on the side!
Do you frequent your local farmers’ market? What is your favorite thing to buy there?
Here are my personal reasons for focusing on local food and here is a series I’ve written about food preservation basics.
I’ve never lived near a farmer’s market, but I think I’d really enjoy it if I did. Yours looks like fun.
Ours IS quite cool. A little bit of everything locally made or grown–veggies and fruit, cheese, meat, mushrooms, baking, woodworking, and other crafts.
Diana Lesire Brandmeyer says
I love Farmer’s Markets, but they aren’t easy to find where I live, or maybe it was just that the drought kept them away. My favorite is Soulard Market in St. Louis but it’s a bit of a drive so I don’t get there often.
Farmers’ markets seem to be growing in popularity but I can see how a drought like you guys have had would affect them. 🙁 Not every small town around here has a thriving market, but many do have them.
Niki Turner says
Farmers’ markets are awesome, and need to be made more and more accessible and available to the general public.
Of course, having spent the last several weeks trying to keep up with an abundant harvest of green beans, zucchini and summer squash, I may just be looking for ways to rid myself of excessive summer produce! : )
There’s that, too!
Where I live there has been a farmers market for years upon years, recently it start to “die out” Although we still go there to hang around before the sun rise and have a cup of coffee it is hardly to buy vegetables and meat.
It is beautiful there. Snow on the mountains, is it still there or is it early? Or maybe such high mountains.
That photo was taken in June, hence snow still on the mountains. There isn’t any right now, though it feels like it could arrive any minute! Brr…
I’m sorry to hear your farmers’ market is not thriving. There are some in our area that aren’t, either. Thankfully ours is robust, but that’s only in the past couple of years.
I’m mourning the end of the farmer’s market season. While I can’t always afford what I really want (read cherries :)), I do get something that’s delicious. I had grown away from peaches and plums, getting the nutrition in smoothies because I wouldn’t eat them straight, but this year’s pit fruits have changed that.
Glad you found pit fruit you enjoyed 🙂
Donna Winters says
We’ve been buyers and sellers at farmer’s markets. I’ve sold a few books, Fred sold some woodcraft projects, and we bought some great lettuce greens at the market. We were more active with it a few years ago. Now it’s mostly just a stop by to see what we’d like to eat from the local growers.
Yay! I enjoy being on both sides of the table from time to time, as well.