“All my hurts my garden spade can heal.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
A dream of mine is to grow a lot of my own food and flowers. Alas, a garden is a demanding avocation. So, I must set aside that dream for now as my schedule does not permit. In the meanwhile, thankfully, there is the farmer’s market.
I go to the farmer’s market usually every other week. To me, it is an almost magical place. The veggies and fruit seem more ravishing than jewels. It makes me happy to gaze upon them, nestled in their display cases, practically bursting with delicious ripeness. I was so excited by the first Long Island tomatoes, you would have thought it was my birthday.
One of the greatest pleasures is eating, fresh, ripe fruit and veggies in season! I buy almost all organic produce when I shop at the supermarket but not even that tastes quite as delicious as food that was picked within a day of when I purchased it. That first bite of tomato was like eating sunshine, the rain and the rich earth all in the form of a juicy, delectable, plump, meaty red tomato! There is something very satisfying and right about eating tomatoes or corn, grown in the same environment you live in.
The farm I buy from is about 90 miles from my home or just shy of a two hour drive. (The farmer’s market is about five miles away. I really appreciate the farmers doing the lion’s share of the driving!) While there is no universal agreement on what makes food local for a consumer. 100 miles has become the standard for many. So, let’s go with that, shall we?
I think eating food that is grown locally is important for several reasons. Taste is number one, as you probably already surmised by the way I went on and on in the previous paragraphs. A close second is that you are buying the food from the people who grew it. So, they can tell you in detail what their practices are and you can decide if they meet your standards. Also, you are supporting people in your community by purchasing from them. The last one I am going to mention is freshness. Much of the produce you buy in the supermarket is not picked at maximum ripeness. It is picked early to keep it from rotting in transit. So, you are not getting the maximum flavor and nutrition, you would have enjoyed had it been allowed to ripen on the vine.
Do you go to your local farmer’s market? What is your favorite part about going there? Please leave me a reply and let me know in the comments section.
Many blessings to all,