To Market, To Market
August 24, 2011 by The Chick
One of my favorite summer activities to do with my family is visit our local Farmer’s Market (the above sculpture sits just outside our farmer’s market). Every Saturday our family treks downtown to see all the fresh, local goodies our market has to offer. Sometimes we buy things, sometimes we don’t. Many times I have a shopping list in hand and walk away with more than I came for.
There are always surprises at our Farmer’s Market. This week, it was this man, raising money for the American Cancer Society:
He was SO good. The kids totally did not believe us when we told them he was a real person…until someone put some money in his jar and he tipped his hat at them. It totally freaked them out! Of course, we thought it was hilarious.
There are so many things I love about our farmer’s market, that it is hard to narrow them down to just a few to share with you. But I’m going to try.
1. I love that I am setting a good example for my children.
By supporting our local farmers, my children are learning to vote with their dollars. They learn how important it is to support, monetarily, the things that we believe in. They are learning valuable life lessons about caring for their bodies and making good, wholesome choices.
One of our local farms. Don't you just love this sign? My kids DO love their vegetables!
2. I love meeting like-minded people.
It may sound silly, but sometimes I feel like being at the farmer’s market is like being at home. Everyone is so friendly and kind and helpful. There are so many people there that we have much in common with. We tend to be the type of family that makes “non-conventional” choices. Whether it be something as simple as not having cable to something as significant as homeschooling, I feel like we are often bucking the system. There are many times when the people around us think we’re a little nuts (we DO own 1/14th of a cow after all). But at the Farmer’s Market, we are right at home…along with the rest of the nut jobs!
A mama after my own heart, wearing her baby. I'm normal here!
3. I love having a voice.
At the farmer’s market, I love shaking the hand of the farmer who grew the food I am feeding my family. I love being on a first name basis with those who are providing for us. I love that when they hear that we are in a tough spot financially, they throw in some extra and refuse our money when we try to pay for it. I love that I can help them just like they help me. I appreciate knowing that my money is not going to support GMO, pesticide-laden, months old produce. At the farmer’s market, I have a voice. I am heard.
The Chicklet helps me choose some corn
We later discovered that the 12 ears we paid for was actually 19. Could it have been that it was nearing the end of the day and they just wanted to get rid of it? Maybe. Or could it have been that these are real people, who grow real food and appreciate their faithful customers? Maybe. What I do know is I never would have gotten a deal like that on just-picked-yesterday corn from the supermarket.
4. I love finding new things that we can’t get anywhere else.
Like tomatoes as big as your hand
Or organic treats for the puppy
5. I love a good bargain.
Don’t even get me going on the whole, “Eating healthy is SO expensive!” myth. Sure you may have to get a little more creative or make sacrifices in other areas, but I have a hard time believing my pound upon pound of freshly-picked, pesticide-free, non-GMO, organic produce costs more than someone else’s grocery cart full of pop, chips and cookies…or meal at McDonald’s.
Please don’t take me the wrong way-I am not judging people who buy those things (I might be judging the companies that make them…just a little), but to me, it can just become another excuse. And, trust me, the only reason I know this is because I’ve used them all.
Excuses, that is.
A bountiful harvest
This week's haul-all for less than $9
Do you frequent your Farmer’s Market? What is your favorite thing about it?