An Ode to the Farmers Market
Farmers Markets are an often occurring luxury in the Bay Area. There is one nearly every day of the week somewhere within Oakland, Berkeley, or San Francisco. Sure, it might be difficult to reach them all with the traffic we suffer, but once there, the Bay Area markets are a truly unbelievable place. California is great for a multitude of reasons; we have great weather, great cities, and great mountains and beaches. What we also have is wonderful climate for growing a vast variety of foods. From Romanesco broccoli and its alien, intricate beauty, to Green Zebra tomatoes, the fruit that makes us never want to touch another watery Roma tomato again. A farmers market isn’t just a place for buying the freshest, most locally sourced produce; it is also a community building space. A space to meet those who labored over the food that we consume. A space to grow an enhanced appreciation for the things that we eat, and to see the hands that labored over their growth.
The modern food industry ignores the human ties to nature that are needed for growing the food that we need to live. We are moving further away from nature, putting screens in front of our eyes and hundreds or thousands of miles between where a food is grown and where it is consumed. Today, we can push a button and someone will drop groceries on our porches. We can push another, and a piping hot meal will arrive ready to eat at our office door. Sure, this is a wildly convenient way of life. But we are widening the disconnect that exists between our conceptions of what we put in to our bodies and what it is that we are actually consuming.
Farmers Markets give us a place to combat our increasingly removed sense of connection to the foods that we consume. To live a healthy lifestyle, we must care about what goes in to our bodies. And farmers markets allow for a space for us to get to know our food. To speak with those who grew it. To ask about what is tasting best this season, and what is having a harder time growing. It is a place where we can learn how to question again; what we are eating, why we are eating it, and what it is doing to or for our bodies.
Try some stone fruits, fresh from the farm. Sample some local cheeses and hummus, and brighten your house with fresh cut flowers. Speak with the farmers. Ask them about what is best in season. Learn about your food. Lucky for us, August is the month that farmers markets are the most alive. There are hundreds of options of the freshest foods. Try going without any recipes in mind, and simply pick the items that look best to you. Buy something that you have never tried before, and figure out how to cook with it when you get home. Or go with a recipe in hand, and ask someone knowledgable which stalls have the best of each ingredient. Let your imagination run, and your table will become filled with taste and color.
For the days that you don’t have time to visit a market, let us go and create the perfect meal for you. We make trips to purchase fresh produce daily. If you have questions, ask us. If you want something specific, we are here to help. If you have a recipe that you have always wanted to try, but don’t have the cooking skills, we likely do. Inquire today. Let’s rebuild the connection between food, health, and community, together.
To find a market close to you in the Bay Area, click here.