I’ve had two glorious weekends back at the farmers’ market and I feel so much joy. This worst of all winters has made these past two weeks, when my closest, outdoor, weekend farmers’ market has been open, extra glorious. Yes, I realize that’s a large number of qualifiers to describe what is essentially grocery shopping, but I really do love my market.
I always feel lucky to be in a city where I have year-round access to local goods. And I fully take advantage of that. Fair Food keeps me local all year round, seven days a week. I recognize the weird twist of our time that means many people in the areas where most of our food is raised and grown have limited access to a diversity of fresh products, while those of us dwelling in the urban centers, where the only thing within city limits that grows on more than an acre of land is a football stadium, can get quality, local goods with relative ease. Even with that wonderful year round access, though, there’s something wonderful about the abundance and the energy that comes from rubbing shoulders in the square with familiar and unfamiliar faces while greeting the people who’ve raised our food. There’s a magic in it that must be bred into us from the Old World.
My approach to my farmer’s markets is to visit as many of them as I can, as regularly as I can. I tend to focus on IPM and Certified Organic products. I pretty much always buy a bit of any vegetable or herb I’m unfamiliar with. I do a lot of lacto- (and miso) pickling based on whatever looks good (or different) at the market. Any vegetable can be fermented although admittedly, some are extraordinarily easy to ferment, while others require a bit of fermentation finesse.
I wish you many happy strolls through the stands and lots and lots of fermentation experimentation!