I’ve always liked the idea of going to Farmers Markets, but I don’t think I fully understood the importance of supporting these smaller vendors. I doubt I ever considered that it might be their livelihood. I went when it was convenient.
Then, last summer, I read Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.” The premise of the book is the “journey” that Kingsolver’s family goes on when they move to a farm and vow to buy only local food for an entire year. (Adios, bananas!) Their stories are entertaining and the book is extremely informative. I also love that all the family members get involved in the process and throughout the book they weigh in on the topic and the difficulties.
Kingsolver writes in such a witty way that you’re laughing the whole time. The chapter on breeding turkeys made me laugh so hard I was nearly crying. Yes, you read that correctly. In a society of dooms-day news, I appreciate when someone can sort of wreck my comfortable world and change my opinion/habits, while making me laugh.
For my family, the biggest take-away from the book was that we needed to consistently shop at and support our local Farmers Market. We’re blessed to have a great Farmers Market in our neighborhood and it’s open several times during the week. Besides being more convenient than we thought it’d be, the gain was all ours because the quality and taste of our produce improved about 1,000-percent. I’ve had the best tomatoes and blueberries of my life. Plus, it’s fun to talk with the vendors. Last week, a vendor gave me some tips for my home garden and another vendor gave us fresh beignets to try. The meat vendor will often give my children a brief history lesson about the area. It always ends up being a fun outing and now we look forward to it every week.
Want to find a Farmers Market near you? Here are a few resources…