During most of 2013, Whipup.net will hosting a monthly mini-series, each month edited by different crafters and designers. Enjoy!
The theme for this month isÂ Make It LocalÂ ::Â withÂ Alexandra Smith ofÂ Lola Nova
Now that the local farmers Markets are in full swing, our family sets off, pretty handmade market bags in hand, giddy with anticipatory delight and readying ourselves to make hard choices over fresh produce.Â We growÂ aÂ garden every year, but to really enjoy the local bounty to its fullest, we makeÂ aÂ special family adventure out of going to market.
There is definitely something magical in the air, the smiling faces of the locals made it apparent.
WhatÂ aÂ feast for the senses! So vibrant are the colors, the textures so intricate; the smells so scrumptious! The order of business is to makeÂ a meandering loop past all of the vendors; to ooh and ah over displays of freshly baked bread, rows of daringly colorful flowers, sample locally made preserves or blackberry honey.
For us, the temptations are great and the selection vast, so we bring with usÂ aÂ budgeted amount of monies; once that supply is deleted and our bags full, we head home. This helps to keep us in check and to purchase wisely so that there is no waste.
After our first go ’round, we discuss what we saw, what we thought looked especially appetizing, and how we could incorporate those items into our meals for the week. Then if the balloon man is spotted, Pony Girl getsÂ aÂ balloon animal/flower/hat and we wander over to the music stage and listen whilst the kiddies dance about adorably.
Then it is on to our points of purchase. We stuff our bags with the fruits of local labor, excited in the possibilities and looking forward to the taste.
Now, for me, buying produce and artisan food stuffs from the market is not onlyÂ aÂ joy but, it is also part of my belief in supporting small local organic farms. I also firmly believe that these foods are healthier, taste better and nurtureÂ aÂ sense of community. I can meet the farmers, makers, bakers, growers and haveÂ aÂ conversation with them. I can ask questions about how they grow the food I will later put on my table. I know the name of the man who grows the greens for my salad, theÂ womanÂ who makes the delicious Sunchoke Relish we put on everything, isÂ adear friend; all of these people are part of my community.
It seems likeÂ aÂ natural extension ofÂ Make it Local, it is just as muchÂ aÂ lifestyle choice and the challenge is to take that next step, to include more of these kinds of choices into our life; to live with intent and mindfulness every day. It can be difficult inÂ aÂ mass produced world, we can take it one step atÂ aÂ time, change as we go and do our best.
I have to admit it’s easier when you live inÂ aÂ place that has suchÂ aÂ banquet of local splendor. We are truly blessed to haveÂ aÂ community that celebrates this kind of life. I feel very fortunate indeed.Â Still, I have really noticed lately that more and more communities around the globe are reviving local Farmerâ€™s Markets and whatÂ aÂ good thing this is!
In case you’re curious, we dined on the most beautiful gratin of potato, leek, parsnip and local artisan cheese. Accompanied byÂ aÂ lovely salad of fresh baby greens and multi-colored carrots. Everything on our plates had been grown or made within 50 miles or less of where I live, by people who actually care about what I eat for dinner. Divine!