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?