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Monday, June 14, 2010

Find Your Local Farmers' Market

When we moved from Connecticut to Virginia, we looked forward to a longer growing season and more local produce. But we were sad to leave our CSA farm and our town's farmers' market. Though small, the Saturday morning market always offered choice organic produce as well as bread and pastries, cut flowers, potted plants, soap, and sometimes a pen of friendly goats for the kids to pet. From Memorial Day through the fall, we shopped there regularly.

We feared that the hardcore suburban culture we were moving to wouldn't be able to match our old farmers' market for charm or quality. But we were very wrong. In Fairfax County, where we live, there are farmers' markets nearly all week long, in one city or another. As we discovered on Saturday when we visited the market in Reston, this overdeveloped metropolitan area is surrounded by communities where people not only grow beautiful produce but make wonderful cheeses, honey, and baked goods. The Reston market features locally raised meat as well as crafts, clothing, and jewelry. On Saturday there was a bluegrass band and a magic show for the children.

Naturally, we emptied our wallets, coming home with bags of produce, bread, and, as an experiment, bee pollen (we'll let you know if it changes our life as advertised). It felt good knowing that our money was supporting local growers, and we had fun just walking around in the Saturday morning crowd, scarfing free samples and taking in the scene.

Chances are, there's a farmers' market near you: just plug your zip code into the search function on  the Local Harvest Web site. Even if you don't have a market close by, it's worth making a special trip to find one.

1 comment:

  1. We love the social aspect of our local farmers market. But we have 'home-grown' beets, peas and green beans galore so hope you have some recipe suggestions! Will check our your archives.