Seasonal Rituals – The Farmers Market

Seasons bring rituals, whether it’s Football Sundays at a local sports bar, or simply pulling out all the fishing, skiing, or hunting equipment for the first trip of the season.

This looks different for everyone, depending on who you are, what you like, and where you live.

For some, the tradition might be making soup every Sunday. Others might sit on the front porch after dinner in the summertime…

Or favor a particular holiday.

Me?

I’ve always loved Autumn, and that hasn’t changed as I’ve moved into adulthood.

I’ve always loved watching the leaves change as everything moves towards the desolation of winter, with hands stuffed in pockets and smelling the crispness in the cold air.

Even though the leaves don’t much change, Autumn is still our favorite time of year here in Florida.

Watching College Football on Saturdays is still part of that. I was never much of a pro football guy, so Saturdays in the fall always meant watching college football as a kid, and we still do that today…

But we’ve embraced some new traditions to go along with our lifestyle and where we live.

One of those new traditions is camping.

There really are only about the only 4 months (November – February) of the year that are bearable for camping in Florida.

The rest of the year it’s either way too wet and buggy, or way too hot.

The other tradition we’ve picked up in recent years is the Saturday Morning Farmers Market.

I LOVE the Farmers Market. If there’s one in your immediate area, I highly suggest you check it out… If you’re lucky, it will be filled with all kinds of cool food trucks, as well as a huge variety of fresh organic produce vendors, hormone-free meats and friendly-farmed fish, flowers and bread and preserves and pickles.

Many of the vendors are local – They grow or make what they sell in cottage industries running from kitchens and back porches.

It’s awesome!

Here’s some photos from last weekend:

MarketOverview
(Aerial view of the entire market)

Market1

(Fresh bread from the Naples Bread company!)

Market2

(Aaahhhhh Kale, sweet delicious Kale!)

Market3

(Radishes from Venus Veggies)

Market

(Here’s our entire haul of organic freshness… Under $100 bucks for all this,
plus fresh crab dip and a big bag of fresh scallops!)

Part of it, I think, also harks back to my fond memories of going to the Cleveland West Side Market with my grandfather Morris.

He went every week, and every vendor knew him by name.

“Morris! I got the best lake perch you ever ate this week!”

“Hey Morris! Fresh oranges!”

My grandfather would always walk the entire market, saying hello to everyone, and tasting everything…

Then do a second walk through to buy from whoever had the best food and the best prices.

It felt good to have regular vendors, and be a regular customer, and get good deals in appreciation for being a regular.

And there’s some of that still, now that we’ve been going regularly for a couple years.

The organic meat lady always throws us an extra package of sausage. The greens people, Venus Veggies, always give us some extra Kale.

Last week, Michael (one of the sprouts and greens vendors) called me “The Mayor of The Market” and I couldn’t help but smile and think of my grandfather.

About Erik

I eat greens. And bask in the sun.

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