This morning could not get any better. First I wake up to the news that a mass murderer has finally been brought to justice, and now HowChow informs us that the Howard County Farmers Markets are opening this week. Does it get any better than this?
(I know, total juxtaposition of the monumental and the prosaic. But that’s life.)
Yay, the farmers markets are back! I’m so thrilled. One of the things I love about the CSA is the sense of community. Members chat with the other members, or the farmers, and trade recipes and suggestions. That’s also the attitude in the farmer’s markets, where people will just turn around and chat with you about how good the strawberries are, or what to do with spinach, and the farmer might even throw in an extra tomato or two if you buy enough produce. It’s a type of community interaction that’s pretty much missing from the big box grocery stores, where you just get stuff off the impersonal shelves and your interaction with the cashier is limited to “How are you?” “Fine, thanks.”
Farmers markets! Words cannot contain my excitement. I’ve had such great experiences at the farmers markets. At the Cedar Lane one, I walked up near closing once and the guy just gave me all his remaining spinach for the price of a pound (“I’m leaving anyway,” he said, “it’ll go to waste otherwise.”). There’s a guy at the East Columbia one who will happily talk your ear off if you just ask him a simple question (“Do you have lemon basil plants this year?” spawned an entire dissertation on the care and feeding of herbs).
Berries in the spring, tomatoes in the summer, apples and cider in the fall… it’s the beginning of a wonderful, bounteous time of year.