NOTE: An edited version of this article appeared (August 14, 2016)in The Sacramento Bee’s Forum Section.
Sorry to be sending this out again, but the numbering was messed up in the previous post.
You don’t need 10 reasons to shop at a Farmers Market
Want to know the tale behind your kale? Or what is the back story on that white nectarine? Well, then you need to visit your local Farmers Market because here every bit of produce has an earthy beginning or a seasonal anecdote.
Our area market is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month and it is a perfect time to visit your local market and make that important connection between food and farmer.
Shopping in south India was an intensively personal experience. We knew the farmer who grew the spinach we used in flavorful dal (lentil) dishes. Everyone knew the Egg Man (with an odd egg-shaped head) provided not only the freshest eggs, but also legal advice on the side.
While I miss shopping in my hometown market in the beautiful Nilgiris or Blue Mountains of south India, I find solace at the Davis Market. Here the personal touch is not lost, it is celebrated. Along with nutrition the melons, onions, leeks and cherries provide a dash of nostalgia.
Top Ten Reasons to shop at a local Farmers Market:
10.Taste before buying. Cheese, bread, apples, peaches and berries are there for you to taste.
9. Variety. Everything from fresh peas to tortillas is for sale. Buy an artisan loaf of crusty bread, a container of eggplant pesto or even a lemon tart. It’s all there at your local Farmers Market.
8. You get to meet the farmer. Shopping at the Farmers Market is a chatty experience.
7. Even kale tastes better if it comes from the Farmers Market. Everything is so fresh that you’ll never eat supermarket produce again.
6. You can buy a lot or just a single tomato. Choose exactly what you need.
5. Eat seasonally. This can mean a lot of broccoli in winter and lots of corn and tomatoes in the summer.
4. Yearning for days of old? The leisurely pace of shopping at a Farmers Market will satisfy the Norman Rockwell part of your soul.
3. You will never know who you will meet at the Market. A long-lost friend? An acquaintance from Little League days.
2. You will be missed if you skip a Market. If you are a regular customer, farmers take notice and will actually want to know why you didn’t come last week.
1. Forget about politics for a few hours. You may find that choosing a bunch of turnips is more important than talking about Trump or sampling some chili-lime pistachios is better than re-hashing Hillary’s emails.
So no more excuses. Visit a Farmers Market and enjoy the last of summer’s bounty.