I typically am not shopping’s biggest fan.
The exception is the Farmer’s Market.
The local farmer’s market is right in town on Thursday afternoons, so the kids and I can walk there easily, do some shopping and get the good stuff.
I like local, really fresh food and buy it when I can. Living, as I do, in Northern New England, I don’t get to enjoy a long growing season. But the fresh greens are already coming up, and the fresh eggs are marvelous.
I got to try raw milk for the first time today. It’s good. Next week when I go to get milk, I’m going to buy some.
I went to get an eye for what’s sold there to plan my shopping around it. Yeah, the grocery stores where you can get something pretty much year ’round are nice, but it’s more fun and more… “real” feeling to buy it right from a farmer. I know, technically food’s food. I don’t even really believe it when they say that local food is more nutritious, though if someone can point me to a study that proves it, I’d be delighted to read it. But there is something really satisfying about going to an open-air market and buying food from the people that actually grew it.
When I lived in Fredericksburg, I’d walk down to the Farmer’s Market in Hurkamp Park many mornings during the summer. We’d get most of our produce there from about May until September –fresh snaps and butterbeans, sweet baby watermelons, cantaloupes and strawberries… I still remember Hanover tomatoes and sorely miss them.
Up here it’s a lot of locally made cheeses, a elk farmer (don’t wince, elk is delicious. I don’t care how expensive it is, I’m picking up some at least once this summer), local honey, and the really early spring stuff right now. Strawberries aren’t even in season yet, and I’m already yearning for them. I’m also looking forward to late summer, as there’s not much that can touch the really good cold-weather squashes.
There’s a lot going on about trying to eat food grown within a hundred miles of your home. While it’s not really practical for me to do that 100%, I do prefer the local produce when I can get it. I like buying directly from the farmer and certainly intend to get as much of my produce as is practical locally. I was internally cussing the fact that we had a fridge full of lettuce, as I wanted to try the fresh greens for sale.
I picked up some eggs (and if you’ve never tried fresh eggs straight from the farmer, give yourself a treat. They really do have a richer taste), some honey, and a little pot of rosemary so I can have my little herb garden. I found out herbs grow really well in my jungle room along with the rest of the plants, so I think I’m going to treat myself to a year-round herb garden.
There are also bakers here, and the children tried cannolis. It’s not something I’d generally think of as a farmer’s market type treat, but the kids sure liked ’em.