The Starter Farm

Adventures of the Local Farmers' Market

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A trip to the farmers’ market always makes me happy, especially on those rare occasions that I do them alone.  My partner and I surround our selves with family and friends but every once in a while I’m on my own.  There’s something about being alone there that heightens my senses and allows me to absorb the entire scene.    People must think I’m crazy as I walk down the aisles with a huge smile on my face.  I love and await the scene that is about to unfold as I stroll.  I usually stop at the French bakers for a warm ham and cheese croissant or chocolate one if they’ve run out but really I’m there to try out my weak French to the jolly guys behind the counter.  I tease; they tease back, and ask where I’ve been.  A small child passes happily with his ice cream cone and newlyweds pick out their first produce together.  The flower stands draw me immediately.  Sweet pea and lilac season has arrived and I rush over to inhale the intoxicating fragrances.   I know, simple pleasures but pleasure nonetheless.

 

I am a people watcher and there is no better place to observe.  There are types that are attracted to the markets and I love finding them.  I loathe the sample eaters.  They eat and eat but never buy, content to get a free meal from these struggling farmers.  There’s always at least one crazy old woman that wants to know way too much information about the birth, care, feeding, hobbies and musical likes of the produce presented.  Of course I want to judge but chuckle to myself instead.  Oh the aging hipsters are fun to watch.  Wearing clothes and hats that are way to young for them, I love their commitment to the localavore movement and their individualism.  I sometimes wonder if their wives dress them.   Then there is the rare sighting, another optimist, head in the clouds, goof ball like me.  It is only in that split second that I catch the glint in their eyes and the wonderment in their glaze that I realize a fellow tribesman.  I spot them and they smile in return.  We usually exchange a comment about the beauty of the day or the awesomeness of the produce in sight. 

 

One of my favorite markets has a petting zoo and I visit without fail.  Pot-bellied pigs, pygmy goats, chickens and the rare calf dot the scene.  I feel sorry for the bunnies that receive the too tight squeeze of the youngsters and they stare helplessly at me begging for me to take them away. 

 

There is much happiness around farmers’ markets, families enjoying the day, buying supplies for that night’s dinner and stall owners shouting out their wares to entice people over.  The market is an adventure for me and I love that my meal that afternoon will be decided by what produce speaks to me.

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