I’m a child of grocery stores. Aisles of carefully displayed high fructose corn syrupy cereals, boxes of mac and cheese, rows of produce with “ripe” stickers in technicolor neons.
I’m also a child of a very “green” area, (my home town is Seattle) with tons of wonderful farmer’s market. I’ve seen rows of shellfish recently plucked from the brine, stacks of weird looking star fuits and piles of GREEN vegetables.
I love the idea of grabbing my fabric shopping bag, locally sourced from hemp, or something. Putting on my chaco sandals or my vibrams, giving my children kombucha in sippy cups and heading to the farmers market on a brisk Saturday morning. Scratch that, I live in Missouri. A sweaty and not quite yet really hot Saturday morning. Still.
Here’s my problem. I don’t understand farmers markets.
In Seattle, all the stalls took credit/debit cards, because it’s Seattle, home of going green AND technology. I think if your credit card machine went down in Seattle, the patrons would probably just be able to re-code it for you, and get it running again so they could get home with their apricots and make jam.
I adore the idea of buying fresh fruit and produce, but I’m stumped by several farmer’s market related issues.
My first problem: Where do I find the farmers markets? I always see signs for them, with cryptic hours and addresses, but when I drive there, I can never find them. “Oh yeah, the Overland Park farmers market, across the street from Dean and Deluca!” Sure. Is that the McDonalds parking lot then? Or perhaps the Basement of Crate and Barrel?!
They seem to spring up, fully formed, from the ground like a sprout, and then dissapear before I can find them and garner nutrients from their lovely stalls.
Then, when I do find one, what do I buy? What IS dinosaur kale? And does anyone on earth know how to cook a rutabaga?
Once I’ve found something I recognize and therefore know how to cook, how do I pay for it? Does anyone on earth write checks anymore? Does anyone even know how to cash them? Do I take cash? Do they? Where at the Amish pasture fed butter table do I swipe my visa?!
I really do love the idea of farmers markets, and all that they stand for. Buying locally grown, organic food is such a wonderful idea. I want to meet people who grow food. I want to shake the hand of the man that personally slaughtered the cow I’m going to eat.
But I seriously don’t understand farmers markets.