How I love my farmers' market. Any of my friends on Facebook will tell you where to find me on Saturday mornings from May through November. Unless we're out of town (which only happened 3 x all summer!) or if I have an event at the zoo that prevents me from coming, the kids and I are there.
Most of the time now we ride bikes (graduated from the wagon, and the stroller before that), but if it's raining, I'd rather drive than not go at all. Even in pouring down rain, I'm not going to miss it.
It's so important to me for a lot of reasons.
First, I am absolutely ADDICTED to the lamb chorizo breakfast burritos. Ask any of those Facebook friends! Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if the nice gals at the breakfast burrito stand were putting some sort of addictive narcotic in the chorizo. My response would be, "Oh, that explains it!" It's usually our first stop at the market.
Another reason is all the wonderful, organic and locally grown products -- of course! I have so much fun each summer, experimenting with new veggies and finding creative ways to use it all so the kids will eat it. My favorite farmers at Big B Farms like to talk me in to new things (not that I need much convincing!). Because of them, I now love kohlrabi and romano beans. Who'daknew? In fact, now that they're no longer at the market, I'm a little stressed to figure out where I can get my kohlrabi fix... there is nothing like it, sliced thin with cucumber, dressed with some good olive oil, salt&pepper, a little fresh Italian parsley, and an acid of choice (first choice = lemon juice, second choice red wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar).
But there's so much more... the beauty of eating Caprese salads all summer, grilling corn in the back yard, freshly brewed beer to go in my growler each week. The kids each choosing their own pint of berries, which are gone before we get home. I have to hide a couple pints to put in the freezer each week for our smoothies! Oh, and peach season! We love peaches, and sometime I'll share my recipe for peach cardamom pie. As Boychild says, "dewishus!"
But you know, the best part about the farmers market is the sense of community. We run in to our neighbors and friends, enjoy the music, compare notes on what's wonderful that week. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be an Oregonian. And a Portlander. And a resident of the Grant Park neighborhood. And to be surrounded by the fantastic neighbors that we have. And our weekly trek to the farmers market is a piece of that beautiful mosaic.
And it's only open for two more weeks before closing until May.
I guess it's back to shopping for produce in grocery stores (fortunately, there are still plenty of locally-grown and organic options). But I dread the holing up that happens in winter, where you don't see your neighbors for weeks at a time. I committing now to find ways to stay connected. It's too important, and a big part of what makes life so sweet.
Now we're off... it's time to pack up and go hit one of the last farmers markets of the season.
See you there?