On Saturday I made a trip to the Brookside Farmers’ Market. At the opening time of 8am, it was hot, sticky….and busy!
Most of the booths offered fresh vegetables: lettuces, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, squash blossoms, cucumbers, kale, herbs, flowers, etc. It all looked delicious and so fresh! The only fruit I saw was peaches and berries. There was one booth selling bison, beef, pork and duck eggs. There was a non-stop line in the Ibis Bakery booth.
The Brookside Farmers’ Market features vendors that travel less than 100 miles and offer “organic and non-GMO food” (a description of those terms are explained on the website). Buying organic pushes prices up (a pint of blackberries was $6; a small bunch of carrots priced at $3). When you purchase at the market, you are speaking with and buying from directly from the folks who grow and raise what they sell. Despite the higher pricing, these folks aren’t making the big bucks–it takes so much time, dedication and grit to grow sustainably, and then figuring in the travel costs, plus the whims of Mother Nature’s weather patterns. But these people love what they do; they are driven by passion and commitment. Often your sale will be made by a youngster helping out her folks or a multi-tasking parent with an infant slung around his chest.
This Saturday, July 16, 2016, the market will feature live music from 9am-1pm; vendors start selling at 8am. This is peak time for fresh, locally grown produce so plan a stop to the Brookside Farmers’ Market soon!