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​What I Found at the Farmers’ Market

Posted by Didi Gorman on

What a beautiful Saturday morning!

How about we head to the farmers’ market?

I love farmers’ markets.

Right up my alley those abundant straw baskets oozing with fresh produce that has just been picked.

Always great in my book too, spending a lovely morning outdoors with no admission fee.

The closest farmers’ market is in the center of a picturesque village a short drive away from us, with a park right beside it, picnic tables, and a splash pad. I’m sure the kids would love that.

There’s a bike trail that goes all the way from our town straight there, but I’m not sure we could fit all the goodies we find onto our bikes, so the car is a safer bet.

We’ve been going to different farmers’ market almost every weekend now.

We always get some fresh veggies for salads, soups (and the occasional ratatouille), and usually we spot a few other unique ‘gems’, be it a homemade jelly, hand-knit socks, handmade soaps, candles, or even live music!

Really something for everyone.

Last time we went, our local dairy farm was promoting their new line of organic whole chocolate milk, which they handed out in small glass jars. Only one word to describe it: Wow! Lucky us, they only sell in our little town and the few villages surrounding us.

We also treated ourselves to a fruit juice, freshly squeezed right there in front of our eyes.

One of the highlights was the honey and hive stand, where I got a little jar of raw honey with propolis, and had a chat with the owner about its health benefits.

Another surprise was a cookbook written by a local chef, with beautiful food pictures and family recipes.

See these flowers? Someone had the brilliant idea of selling delightful flower bouquets.

I also bought a bag of dried Shiitake mushrooms (grown locally), which are said to capture the essence of the elusive umami flavor. I’ve heard so much about it, I must give it a try. They also sell little wooden logs, should you wish to grow your own mushrooms. Really unique.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a selection of fermented products: Miso by a local manufacturer and homemade sauerkrauts and kimchis.

While my husband was exploring the meat booth with its selection of wild venison, wild boar meat and bacon, I went to the baker’s counter with its vast display of artisanal breads including sourdough bread. Oh, the aroma!

Oh, yeah, and then there was that lady… the one who beat me to the beets! I could just see those gorgeous fresh beets from the corner of my eyes, calling me from their little basket: “Buy us! Ferment us into a delicious kvass, and then write a post about it next week!” (I know, it’s amazing! Beets can be such mind-readers!)

But that lady! She got there a split second before me and snatched away those attractive beets! I hope she made something really delicious of them, they deserved at least that.

By the time we finished strolling around it was almost lunchtime, so we got a basket of fresh crisp mini-carrots and a few of those delicious homemade pastries, and went to the park nearby for a little picnic.

On our way out we popped to the yard sale, and the kids found all sorts of… well… thingamabobs, and uh… stuff, all under a buck. They were pretty pumped about it.

The farmers’ market offers a direct and first-hand experience. There’s nothing like meeting the person who made the cheese you’re putting in your sandwich, or the lady who baked your bread.

My hat’s off to these individuals who are passionate about their craft in a way that is quite rare in this highly-commercialized day and age.

It’s my family’s way of supporting local farms, family-based businesses, small-scale producers, local artisanal entrepreneurs, homemade products and handmade crafts.

There are farmers’ markets all across the country. Whether big or small, out in the country or in the city center, you could visit a different market every weekend. Take your time and stroll around, and you will discover the charm and simplicity of the olden days.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend to enjoy outside!

See you at the farmers’ market!

Wise Choice Market