Monday, July 18, 2011

Made in Germany 17 - Farmers Markets

Farmers markets belong to German life. In Tübingen we had a farmers market in the market square right in front of the town hall every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In addition to that there was a downright wonderful gourmet market in one of the little church squares every Saturday morning.

The big market day was Friday. I loved to shop there. Kaefer was in her stroller, happily chewing on a soft pretzel while I pushed her to my favorite booths, buying fresh fruit and veggies, beautiful flowers. I never bought flowers in a flower shop, only at the market. There were big booths where you could get all sorts of fruit and veggies, and there were those where a farm woman would sell her produce, potatoes and some cabbage, apples and pumpkins.

No matter what the weather, the market would be there. Rain or shine, hail or snow. Only a few times did some of the sellers not reach the market because of some heavy snow. But usually you would tough it out, as a seller and a buyer.

Because - it's not only buying produce (and cheese, meat and bread as well for that matter). It's talking with the farmers, meeting up with friends, a color feast for the eyes, sitting in a little street cafe and watching market life - it is community. I felt something was not quite right when I missed the Friday market. The weekend just started on the wrong foot.

When I was a child, my mother took me to the farmers market every Wednesday and Friday. At that time, back in the 60's and early 70's, farmers markets had a little extra attraction that most of them are lacking today: the "Marktschreier", the sellers who would praise their goods loudly, yelling the prices and the great quality of their product. I felt like being at a circus, and I enjoyed it tremendously. Every seller tried to outdo the other ones with wittier slogans - it was hilarious. But it really wasn't such a fierce competition, sellers were friendly with each other. It was part of market life and they definitely enjoyed it.

I miss that kind of "circus".


Molly said...

Outdoor markets are at the TOP of my list for Paris sights to see. This is so quintessential Europe to me and I am looking forward to experiencing the "circus" for myself - several times :)

Darla said...

I always like going to a good farmer's market. The one in the picture looks perfect, even without the "circus".


sil said...

Sounds also very Italian :) Love your pic, so colorful!

Chantal said...

I love to photograph markets too...

foxysue said...

I have lovely memories of market days too. My local town is deemed an 'Historic Market Town' the cobble stones are treasured although uncomfortable to the feet. Years ago as a young mum I had a part-time job on a cheese stall, the community spirit was great the stall holders looked out for each other, they still do. I loved Christmas especially when they decorated up.

Happy Days

Sue x