A place where I often feel community and where everybody is welcome is our farmers market. We are lucky to have two year-round farmers markets here with most of the booths selling organic food and most of them coming from our county. I love to support local businesses, and one of the best ways to do this is at the farmers market.
Again, this will be a very photo heavy post.
Walking along the booths feels like being in a candy store for me. The colors, the scent, the beautiful displays - how can you not like that? I love to see the seasonal fruit and vegetables. It is so easy to tell who is a local farmer and who is not. Usually I tend towards the local farmer, even though their produce doesn't look quite as crisp and clean. However, I do know where it comes from, and often we strike up a conversation.
Last Saturday a farmer and I were exchanging ideas what to cook using eggplants and how. It was so inspiring. Her eggplants were small and absolutely yummy looking - I knew that they would cook up fast and would just go well with my own home grown zucchini and a few tomatoes.
Talking of tomatoes... there were already the first tomatoes available, wonderful sweet and juicy Early Girls. They were so delicious in our Caprese that we had yesterday for dinner - one of my very favorite summer foods.
I saw beautiful greens, onions, squash and zucchini...
... as well as radishes and fresh garlic - the garlic really does it for me! I love garlic and use it generously!
There were peaches - oh, how do i love peaches! -, grapes (after all, this is wine country), blackberries, strawberries and blueberries, all of them delicious.
There are two bakers at the market, and I buy from both of them. Their bread is to die for. They use a lot of whole and/or ancient grain. One of the bakers likes to put fancy designs on top of the crust so that their bread looks even more tempting. I can never pass the bread booths without buying one or two loaves. They never keep long in our German household.
There is coffee, too, if you like - organic, fair trade, low acid coffee roasted here in Santa Rosa, freshly brewed right here at the booth. A pleasant break while you're shopping!
And of course there are flowers. What is a farmers market without flowers?
This is a very important part of summer that I love. When I work on Saturdays during the school year I cannot go to the farmers market (so I will have to bake my own bread again!). Having lived in Europe for 40 years where it is quite common to shop at the local farmers markets in all seasons, rain or shine, I know that I will miss it - that's why I enjoy it the more at this time.
Tell me - do you often shop at the farmers market? Do you enjoy what they have to offer? Or are you perfectly happy with the supermarkets in your area?