Posts tagged Haiti

A Farmers/Local Market Near You

Years ago when I still lived in my hometown of New York City, I used to go to the Union Square Farmers Market. It was a real joy to mingle with other locals in a setting that reminded me of the connection to Nature and to the farmers who work with her to produce our food. Even in the midst of the city’s hustle and bustle I was reminded of a simpler way of life as I looked at the hand-written signs offering deliciously imperfect seasonal fruits/vegetables/honey/fresh apple cider and home-baked goodies, just to name a few of my favorite things.

After all of the time that’s gone by, I’m happy to see they have become a local fixture and continue to thrive.

http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket-site/manhattan/union-square-greenmarket

When I lived in the Netherlands, I made some very nice culinary discoveries at the local farmers market in the picturesque Jordaan quarter, including buying, steaming and eating this sculptural vegetable which I’d never encountered before in a supermarket.

Romanesco: where broccoli meets cauliflower

I am once again amidst the hustle and bustle of a big city, across the Atlantic, in London. In the name of the expression, “Walk the Talk” and from a nutrition counselor point of view, I am visiting a farmers market nearby called Queens Park. I’m going with the intent to buy seasonal fruit and vegetables and organic meat and poultry, and to make it a permanent love affair. A handcrafted artisan cheese plus a surprise or two are probably also going to come home with me.

http://www.lfm.org.uk/markets/queens-park/

Supermarkets have their place for a wide variety of consumer items, but I want to get closer to fresh, high quality locally-produced items, meet and chat with the farmers, pick up a few tips, wander around, and mingle with the neighbors. I also want to think about the impression a lot of people have about farmers markets being expensive when compared to supermarkets. Perhaps with some items this is true, but with the current state of affairs where food nutrition, soil quality, local livelihoods, obesity, strained medical budgets, and community cohesion are concerned, the higher price when benchmarked against these factors may be, in fact, positively justified from a cost-benefit ratio analysis. In other words, purchasing some items directly from your local farmers market is good value and an investment in your health, wealth, and community.

An Internet search turned up a Wikipedia article on farmers markets, wherein the stated benefits to farmers are less handling, refrigeration, storage, and transport. Benefits to communities include less transport pollution, increased foot traffic for local businesses, increased social ties, and enhanced health & wellness. Benefits to consumers are fresher, seasonal, healthier, and a better variety of foods.

I’ve decided, then, to work on providing at least one farmers/local market source in every country on Planet Earth. My beginning directory is scant due to the number of countries, but crawling before walking is human nature. This could be impractical, unrealistic, and daunting, but one never knows until one tries. Thanks to previously published articles discovered at nationalgeographic.com and foodandwine.com, I’m excited to have some to begin with, and worldwide farmers markets deserve a page of their own, too, so you’ll find a new page on this blog, A Farmers/Local Market Near You. Perhaps most people already shop for some items this way on the majority of the globe, so the discoveries alone are a worthwhile endeavor. I’m thinking of a fragrant market I passed daily while in Granada, Spain…

Won’t you join me in shopping your local farmers/community market, and get in touch with me, wherever you may be, to help complete this directory?

Think Global, Buy Local 😉

Peace, Love, and FOOD! 

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