Saturday, June 20, 2009
Parks, libraries and farmer's markets- they rate right up there with fire and the wheel in my book.
Thursday night we hit the Mainstreet Marketplace in Hamilton, and this morning we went to the West Chester Farmer's Market. It's early in the season, so vendors were a little scarce. Still, I scored the most adorable strawberries in the universe, 2 bunches of beets to make The'Ralda's vampire soup, and giant homegrown garlic to ward off said vampires (and to make her pretty and smelly and superdelicious cucumber yogurt soup).
But the thing about farmer's markets- beside eating seasonally, paying honest prices for food, lessening of the ecological impact- for me- is the connecting. Going to the source. The honesty of the process and the joy of the interaction. The vendor is not going to roll her eyes at you, sigh or grumble for the inconvenience you pose. Nope. She (he) is truly delighted. And the cash you hand her (him) has actual meaning and value. The transaction is so pure, elemental.
And the not-just-produce things: locally roasted coffee, the silhouette I had made of Edward (word to the wise, 2-year-olds are toooo squirmy for a true likeness- but she nailed the eyelashes and the hair, I'm a little confused about the weird overbite and multiple chins), and the lady who sold out of her cinnamon rolls and Shanghai donuts (didn't try them, they did look suspiciously like cinnamon-sugary donut holes), so insisted that we eat the entire plate of samples.
And the stories. If you are interested, if you ask questions- then be prepared for answers. You will definitely get more than you bargained for. These folks are passionate about what they have to offer. I like commerce, I really like it when it's like this- gentle, honest and connecting a need with an honorable and nutritious solution.
If you are from the Cincinnati area- this is a great resource for finding a farmer's market for every day of the week. If you are not from the area- you can find a directory of local farmer's markets here at Local Harvest.