I was raised in the Seattle area and one of the historic tourist attractions was the Pike Place Market on the waterfront. The sights, sounds, and smells of the market were amazing and a person could wander for hours and look at all the fruits, vegetables, fish, and hand crafted items. As teenagers we could ride the bus to town and spend the day. All of a sudden a peach was important. Not something among all the items in the sterile grocery store but now it was a real piece of fruit that smelled and tasted delicious. There were always people of all ethnic groups so many languages could be heard speaking at once and suddenly you might see a fish being thrown through the air. The facility had many small eating and coffee places to sit when your feet needed a rest. Even if a person just bought a couple of items the joy was in the selection and adventure of the moment.
One of the ways to support your local businesses is to shop at a farmers market. And, it's fun. All over the country farmers, small vendors, and artisans gather in their booths and sell their products directly to the public. Most of the food products would be classified as organic or natural.
We had the opportunity to go to a small Farmers Market this past weekend and these are some of the booths they had:
- Farm fresh milk. Taste a sample and set up your home delivery.
- Bread. Crusty and home made in many unique varieties.
- Dips and Salsas. These were delicious and many contained garbanzo beans which I had not tried. http://www.ediblesbyelyce.com/ These were popular for catering and tasting parties.
- Fresh Corn.
- Dog Treats.
- Home Made Soap. Attractively packaged and easily used for gifts.
- Handmade Jewelry.
- A Tea Stand.
The one disappointment was that there was only one stand with a variety of fruits and vegetables. It was crowded standing room only. The vendor had not even had the time to put up prices so people were bagging things up and taking them to pay without even knowing how much it cost. That's how good the vegetables looked.
It's harvest time. If you are looking for food or fun (or both) consider a farmers market this weekend. As an added bonus looking at all the home grown and handmade items may get you motivated to take up a new hobby or extra money adventure.
Photos courtesy of google images
I agree. Farmer's Markets offer great venues to get some excellent food. The challenge I face is that I have to pass so many other alternatives before I reach my nearest FM that the great tasting food doesn't always serve as incentive enough to motivate me to make the drive.
Yes, convenience can be a factor for many people and preclude regular shopping. A couple times in the harvest season helps promote the businesses and a fun outing. As interest and partication grows more locations will be established.
I really hope this is the future of food.... decentralized real food markets have the potential to topple a few big chains when people finally wake up.
I have always wanted to visit Seattle. So much cultural history in music, movies and protest.
I feel very lucky that our Farmers Market has 3 locations (on different days). I felt guilty going across town for my one errand, the farmers market. With the closer location I can bike over!
Yes, Seattle is a great place!
And, Molly, it's great that you have one so close.
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