There are 4 farmers markets in my town, held in various locations depending upon the day. In a former job I used to split a CSA share with 2 coworkers. We would make a weekly pilgrimage to the downtown market to retrieve our box of produce, which we gleefully separated and squealed over once back in the office.
Thursdays weren't very productive, I'm afraid to say.
I've loved open air markets since my first trip to France in 1992 when I was just (mumble mumble) years old. The market in the city where I lived in France carried local produce, antiques, a wider array of cheeses than most American grocery stores, bulk products like beans and popcorn, clothing, and even live animals.
I once allowed the 12-year-old daughter of my host family to buy a duckling at the market. Hey, my host family had property and fowl, so why not? Marie named the duckling Magnum, after a brand of ice cream bars that are just like Dove bars.
I never said a peep about the connotation of "Magnum" in English. Magnum was a pet and never got eaten. Or so they told me some years later.
Anyway, today was the opening day of the downtown farmers market, just 8 or so blocks from my office.
In honor of the market's opening day, Mother Nature decided to be contrary and throw a storm. I was lucky enough to dodge the rain showers but not the cold. It was windy and a mere 48 degrees. Infinite Soups was doing a brisk business and had sold out of about half of their soups by the time I got in line around 11:30! I'd never had their soups before and lemme tell ya, that Roman Artichoke is delicious. It's also about half cream, but it's positively delectable!
Here are my spoils, as arranged on my desk at work:
My boss was in my office talking to me when I was trying to take this pic. The aroma of the soup was killing me and I wanted to shoo him out so that I could enjoy it.
There were lots of greens at the market as well as spring onions, garlic, and herbs. Oh, and radishes, beef, salmon, and plants. It was so lovely to see all that fresh, locally-grown food!
One thing that's new since the last time I went to the farmers market was the use of tokens. You can see them at the bottom left of the picture. Maybe they've done this for a few years but it's friggin brilliant.
PROBLEM: Most of the vendors don't take plastic.
SOLUTION: People can purchase tokens at the Information Center using plastic. All of the vendors at any of the city's markets will accept the tokens just the same as cash. Our markets also accept food stamps (hooray for supporting our community in multiple ways!) by letting people buy tokens with their EBT cards.
Is your favorite farmers market open yet? What are you buying?