Love at the Farmers Market!
What’s so great about farmers markets, anyway? I mean, I can get organic produce at the supermarket, I can go have breakfast at that restaurant right down the street from my house, and I can buy my clothes and jewelry at the mall. What does a farmers market have that these places don’t?
In a word: Love. Farmers markets are full of it! It’s everywhere! Sure, we can shop elsewhere, in fluorescent-lit superstores and eat in air-conditioned restaurants. But, do you feel the love at those places? Can you sense the same passion that is displayed from each vendor, the heart that goes into each meal served, the uniqueness that comes with each piece of clothing purchased? I think not.
Take Paris, of regeneration-art.com, who creates art out of recycled materials for San Diego markets. He said, “My goal is to use stuff as local as possible, found in San Diego. A good way to involve the community in my artwork.” I love that!
I don’t know about you, but I feel the love all over at the Hillcrest farmers market. All these things in one location, in the open air… the music, the chatter, the tents… I mean, we’re trained to love these things from when we’re young! They essentially symbolize happiness. And how great we can come to a place like this weekly?
I thought I’d just walk around on a typical Sunday at the market and ask some of the shoppers why they love farmers markets.
Here’s what I got:
“The vibrant community- talking to people, inspiration of recipes and remedies from others. I love seeing the regulars return week after week!”- Jenna
“Because I’m around a bunch of people who love food and care about where it comes from.” – Melissa
“Shopping outdoors. It’s better than a mall- it features local-(ish) vendors. I like that every dollar you spend goes into the San Diego economy, not corporate headquarters in random states. Produce also lasts longer when it’s so fresh- instead of at grocery stores where it’s been sitting in storage waiting to ripen.” – Matt
The kids at the crafts tent said they ask their moms to come to the market every week! Why do they love the market? “’Cause it’s fun! We like the arts and crafts. And everything! The cinnamon rolls from Bread and Cie- they taste better at the market than from the store!” – goes to show…
One mom and daughter pair, Ann and Rose, said they enjoy the variety.
“We like to personally meet the growers/ makers of the item- we get our milk and beef here- it’s fresh, organic produce. We know where it’s been. Plus, it’s so lively and fun!” – Katie and Jonah
Avrami, Greg, Julian, Noah, and Bentzion said, “We like the diversity- so much to do- good environment. We like to help local farmers…and the free samples!”
Blessing, who was checking out some clothing, said, “When the weather’s nice, it’s good to be outside doing some shopping! The merchandise is more personal, handmade… local, organic produce. It’s good to get out with friends and family. I wish all shopping was like this!”
Sarah, who just purchased some beautiful earrings, said she prefers to shop for her jewelry at the market because she can find more unique things and support local artists.
I couldn’t agree more. I am glad we’re all feeling the love together!
Here’s a recipe for you. Made with love!
Soba Noodles with Market Vegetables and Peanut Sauce
See this recipe in more detail @ balancedpalate.com.
This is a good basic recipe. Make a bunch of the peanut sauce and use it to dip your veggies all week long. This soba noodle dish will keep for a few days in the fridge, and please feel free to sub any vegetables you have on hand, or whatever looks good to you at the market!
Peanut sauce (see below)
1 bunch kale
1 stalk of broccoli
2 green onions
handful fresh cilantro
sprouts (I used broccoli sprouts)
peanuts- for garnish
¾ cup peanut butter
1 tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs sirracha (rooster hot sauce)
1 clove garlic
1 tsp ginger
¼ cup warm water
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbs soy sauce
Method: Bring water to a boil and cook your soba noodles- about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Use a blender (I used a magic bullet) to make the peanut sauce. Add all the ingredients and blend until smooth. Chop your veggies into bite size pieces and mix with your soba noodles and the peanut sauce. Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro. Share with those you love!
Photos and post by Jamie Weisman