Farmers’ Markets and Fresh Food

I love farmer’s markets.

I like the odd-ball things you can find at some of them: hand-beaded jewelry, antique button hair clips, waffles made fresh on the spot, local organic gardeners selling starts I can add to my garden, and even a novice comic book illustrator.

I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.

We went to one of our local farmers’ markets on Saturday and found apricots for $1 a pound. I bought two pounds. Everyone else in the family thought they were still in need of ripening, but I thought they tasted plenty sweet. I nearly ate the whole two pounds myself that afternoon. I also bought two pounds of Rainiercherries for $5. Those two food joys were worth the trip to me.

Organic Heaven in my own town.

Goji berries, they are so good for you! :/

Then we rounded the corner and encountered a green oasis among the jewelry vendors, and the tortilla salesmen. It was the lovely booth of an urban organic farm right here in my city! I was delighted, but now I don’t remember the name of the place, phooey. I will find out and let you know later. Anyway, they were selling some of the healthiest vegetable plant starts I’ve seen anywhere. We came home with basil (I’m replacing some I lost to a hail storm and strawberry root weevils), rose eggplant (I can’t wait to try this!), and goji berry (of all things – this was Mr. Hot Stuff’s choice) in red plastic cups. Please don’t ask me too many questions about the goji plant. If it survives to it’s third year, I’m told it will be a remarkable bush. Apparently the whole plant is edible and birds love it. It would be even better if I decide I like goji berries between now and then.

Bread Heaven?

Nothing quite as good as homemade freshness.

We saved my favorite stop for last – the artisan bread booth. We carefully considered the samples and then chose the two we wanted to buy – the asiago cheese sourdough, and the German rye bread. I couldn’t wait to try them. We came home, planted our new plants, and then came inside to enjoy the bread, only to discover that we’d been sold day-old bread. The store-bought squishy stuff you buy in a bag stays soft for a long time, but artisan bread is generally stored in the open, unbagged until purchase. When fresh the crust is crisp and the inside is melt-in-your-mouth tender. This had tough crust and was dry and stiff on the inside. I felt personally insulted that they would sell this stuff for full price. I didn’t want to make the 45 minute round-trip to return it and bring them to accountability, but you can bet if I ever buy from them again, I’ll make them cut it in half so I can check for freshness before I walk away.

Bread of Life.

Then this morning, I was sitting in church thinking about bread and the references to it in the scriptures. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” James 6:35. It made me stop and think about all the good things I deny myself when I don’t seek out fresh “spiritual bread” every day, but instead rely on “day-old” bread. I can remember the goodness I got from yesterday’s study and prayer, but I won’t have the satisfaction that comes from getting it fresh, every day. Guess I’d better work on this.

winner-winner, veggie dinner 🙂

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