I go to my local farmer’s market all the time. So I talk about it a lot, on twitter and on my blogs. One thing that amazes me is a certain response I get: “I wish my area had a good farmer’s market.”
And worse: “If I were as lucky to have as good a farmer’s market as you, I would go, too.”
I’ve seen pictures of beautiful farmer’s markets around the internet. Or, at least ONE beautiful farmer’s market. And, at least, it seemed to LOOK beautiful in the pictures.
Which is one of my points with this blog post — pictures glorify reality.
I remember the first time I went to my local market. My friend, Adrianne, told me about it and invited me to go with her. I had visions of beautiful flower vendors and rows of tables with stunning baskets of perfectly arranged produce. I’ve seen pictures online. That’s what a “good” farmer’s market looks like. Right?
A good farmer’s market is an existing farmer’s market.
When I first arrived at my local market, I was disappointed. Our market is tiny. It has two short rows of vendor tables along a sidewalk. It doesn’t even span the length of the parking lot on the side of it. My first thought was, “This is it?”
But guess what? It has fresh local produce! And believe me, fresh local non-genetically altered produce is pure awesomeness. So, if you have fresh locally grown produce at your market, and nothing else, then you have a good farmer’s market.
Izzy and I make the twenty minute drive to our market about every other Friday for just three vendors:
- produce farmer
- hummus vendor
- vegan tamale vendor
I got over the fact that our produce vendor is under an ugly green tent that discolors photos in an ugly way. I don’t fret that our produce sits in banged up florescent yellow bins instead of gorgeously displayed baskets — which I now realize look better in pictures than in reality.
On the other hand, I do enjoy the chit-chat and joking we do with the farm family we’ve gotten to know over the past year. I definitely enjoy the fresh local foods. I like being a part of my community.
If you’re waiting around for “good” to come — any kind of good — you’re probably just missing it. Because of the internet, we see great-looking pictures of other people’s lives where the ugly and the clutter is missing, and we compare that to the unedited view of our own environment.
Ugly is everywhere. Mundane is everywhere. But beauty is everywhere, too. Beauty that is unique to an area’s personality, that isn’t the manufactured big-box beauty we’ve learned to expect, only shows herself to those who look for her.
I don’t have a “good” farmer’s market. Except that I do. Because any farmer’s market — by its very nature — is good, even if it’s not the gorgeous one we’ve seen in pictures.
If you think your city or town doesn’t have a good market, please rethink that. Go visit your market. Is there naturally grown produce?
You’re so lucky — you have a good farmer’s market!