Sunday, May 5, 2013
Episode 75: To market, to market
The cool morning air buzzed with the voices of the patrons and from the center of the market stalls, a single violinist fiddled away, singing folksy country songs behind a metal can. Familiar voices ring out from the stall and the scent of barbecuing meat wafts over the open market stalls. There is no need for catcalls or showmanship by the sellers. It is market day and there is very little reason to call attention to any particular booth, as all are busy with customers, some empty handed, some laden with goods from other booths, pick over the selection, chose their week's produce and go away happy.
This is the paradise I stepped in to this morning. The sun wasn't hiding so much as clothed gently in the wispy clouds, making the temperatures bearable in the early May morning. I love going to the farmer's market. We try to go weekly, but we will sometimes skip a week, but we are never really disappointed either. WE go so often that we are beginning to know which stalls are our favorite. We are beginning to learn the names of the men and women who work behind the tables planted under canopies and tents. They recognize us and smile and ask how we liked the selection that we took last week. We mention soups and they smile, recommending cooking methods. One merchant even gave us a handout with a recipe for red bean chocolate cake.
I've written before about using locally grown produce, and about supporting our local economy and eating what is in season, what we find there at that market. It is wonderful to watch the colors change in the booths, from the verdant greens and yellows of the winter squashes to the bright beautiful redness of the ripest sweetest strawberries I have tasted in a long time. We walk up the rows before we buy anything, checking prices against prices, looking for the best produce, never buying everything from just one booth.
Market day used to be a tradition. It was a gathering place once a week for the town to get together and celebrate the harvest, celebrate the products that people brought out. It was a chance for money to exchange, for a local economy to grow strong and for an area to flourish. It kept the people together, and it kept the people's safe. You didn't steal from the guy who sold you your food and if you were the seller, you didn't steal from your customers. In fact, you would often give someone down on their luck who was a good customer a deal on food.
I think this is what we need to go back to. Create a community around these markets, create an idea that we are all in this together, and the world will be more peaceful! Yay for market days! :)
Off to bed!
Love and Lollipops,
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