I really like our Farmer's Market. I like that there are the same vendors who come back year after year. I like that the Market is it's own little community. I like the diversity of products offered- from the many produce options to homemade pastries, from crafty soaps to homemade hot sauces.
I love the locally grown flowers. If I ever get serious this year about our landscaping, I might turn to my Farmer's Market to find flowers to fill those spaces. Look at how beautiful these are!
I was very excited that the baker of yummy treats was back this year. Last year, Christy disocvered them for me when she bought me a jalapeno brownie. It was divine. This year, I met the husband and wife owners when I stopped and raved about that brownie. I had shopped there a few times last year- my kids adore the gingerbread men and sugar cookies and I have a hard time resisting the biscotti. I look forward to having a treat from Sugar 4 each week that we are able to attend the market this summer!
And of course, a Farmer's Market has to have produce. It's why we go to the Market! Locally grown food is a huge and important part of a healthy diet, in my opinion. Eating food grown on a nearby farm or a local garden means less transporation, less processing and handling. You can buy food at the Farmer's Market that was just picked that morning! I love the option of buying food that was picked and driven 30 minutes to my town versus picked and then driven 3 days from California, held in a warehouse for a day to be moved to another truck, and then transported to my grocery store so I get the produce 5 days or more after it was harvested.
The most popular Indiana grown offering at the start of the season is always asparagus!
I'm also a fan of Pete's Pastries. I tried them for the first time last year and these are seriously some of the best danishes I've ever had.
Royer Meats is a local farmer and I actually bought 1/4 cow them back when Teagan was first born. It was a great time saver to always have that beef in the chest freezer and it's something I keep meaning to do again but just haven't sunk the money into that cost. I do continue to buy from Royer. They offer a variety of meat and also bring farm fresh eggs.
What was it we came for? HONEY! I'm a huge fan of consuming locally grown honey. And it was at the honey booth that I realized how much the Market is about the people. These vendors come back year after year and they've gotten to know their customers and she spoke of the vendors being a family. And she's right. I think about my friend Flartus and her and Miss Chef's market adventures where they live. So much of their time at their Market is all about the vendors, the people, the connections. That's the really cool thing about shopping at your local Farmer's Market regularly instead of always going to the big chain grocery store.
I also learned that my honey is sold at a little health / vitamin shop year round right in my little town so I know we won't have to go without at all next year!
Another vendor we buy from repeatedly is Sandy's Homemade. Delicious jams, butters, pickles, beets, and a fantastic variety of salsas. From black bean and corn to finely chopped to pineapple to raspberry to peach to a new and super hot habanero salsa. I love the jalapeno mustard and the raspberry jalapeno jam. Teagan tried that raspberry jalapeno jam and really liked it!
I always start my visit to the Market with a stop for a cup of coffee. If it's a chilly morning, I take a cup of hot java with some Sugar In The Raw in it. If it's a warm summer morning, I adore the iced mocha. I found out that Harvest Cafe Coffee Roasters offers some fundraising opportunities and I'm going to have a conversation with the guy about Christy and I doing a fundraising for Team In Training!
I didn't have a chance to try these hot sauce but they are on my list for must buy on our next trip. This is a new vendor at our market and I'm very excited about them.
And part of why I'm excited is because this is Captain Jim and his wife. They make the hot sauces. And don't the just look like they should be at the Market selling homemade hot sauce? Captain Jim was even wearing a chili pepper earring and they arrived at the Market in a VW Bus. These are so my people!!!
Also next on my shopping list is some maple syrup. I love real maple syrup and am eager to have some at home again. Might even inspire me to make pancakes or waffles sometime. I didn't take a lot of pictures at this booth. The farmer who was selling is Amish or Mennonite and gave me permission to take pictures of the products as long as I didn't take a picture of him. I snapped a shot of the syrup- mostly to remind myself to buy some next time- but felt like continuing to snap photos would have been rude. However, I have purchased produce from him before and definitely will be again!
It was a quick trip yesterday morning because we had somewhere we had to be at a certain time that morning. I look forward to going in a couple of weeks when I will have more time and money to spend.
My tips for going to the Farmer's Market:
Bring cash. You don't know who takes credit cards and you don't want to miss out on anything by not having the easiest form of payment!
Talk to people. The vendors at a Farmer's Market at part of your community! They are friendly and eager to sell to you. Chat and ask questions. If you don't know what a vegetable is, ask! Ask how to prepare it. You can learn a lot from the people who grew it or made it.
Bring shopping bags. I suggest bringing a few if you can. Bring an insulated bag for cold items. Bring a bag just for produce and a bag for other items that might be heavier.
Just go! It doesn't matter if you've never been to a Farmer's Market before. It doesn't matter if you don't go to the one down the street. Just go and check it out!
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