Thursday, October 9, 2008


You know what I love?

My wife.

But besides my wife, I love fresh local produce. Yesterday, Hilary and I went to a Wednesday mini farmers' market in downtown Logan. Every time I go to a farmers' market, my burning love for buying local is always rekindled. Let me present my top 5 reasons to buy local produce instead of going to the boring ol' grocery store:

#1 - Low Prices
Hilary and I probably bought about 30 or 40 pounds of produce yesterday for $20. We bought 40 bell peppers (we're stocking up for winter) for $2. Yes, 5 cents a pepper. I personally have never seen a bell pepper cheaper than a dollar in the grocery store.

#2 - Cool Atmosphere
Where else can you browse for monster zucchinis next to a balding hippy wearing a scarf while a farmer gives you advice on how to properly freeze squash all while a pack of kids are chasing the farmer's border collie? I love it!

#3 - No Fixed Prices
Yesterday, Hilary and I asked how much half a box of peaches and half a box of nectarines would cost. The farmer told us how much he charged per fruit and started counting but lost steam after getting to about 6. He then said, "Tell ya what, I'll give it to you for $10 and I'll throw in a bag of plums." It's so old fashioned! It almost makes me wish that Hilary and I churned our own butter or something so we could barter straight across the table.

#4 - Produce with Character
You can't go to a farmers' market and expect to get perfect homogeneous fruit. You usually end up with funky bulbous tomatoes and delicious apples with a smattering of worm holes.

#5 - Supporting the Little Guy
I think I would be more excited about buying produce from Albertsons or Smith's or Wal-Mart if Old Man Albertson/Smith/Wal-Mart greeted me at the front door of the store with a handshake and told me how delicious the new batch of string beans that he picked up from his neighbor are. Once the cash leaves your hand in a big store, you don't know how much of it stays in the community. It is a good feeling to see the path your money takes from your hand to the weathered cash-box of the farmer. You actually see and appreciate who is benefiting from your money. It makes me feel good that I probably helped the farmer buy dog food or something.

Anyway, if you haven't been to a farmers market in a while (or never been at all), I highly recommend it. It is good for the soul as well as the body. The produce is fresh, the atmosphere is great, and you can usually get some awesome cooking/canning/storing/life advice from Old Man Farmer. Time to go to class!


Derek said...

Dennen, I didn't know you were so passionate about farmer's markets. Nonetheless, you've inspired us to the Provo farmer's market this Saturday.

Katie said...

My favorite reason for buying local: national security/environmental protection.

Shipping food around the country and world is just horrible. The amount of gas required is insane. If everyone in the country just planted enough of 1 vegetable to last them through the summer instead of depending on someone else to drive it to their door we could dramatically reduce our dependance on foreign oil.

My second favorite reason: I can bring my dog to the farmers market and I can't bring him to the grocery store.

Tyler said...

The markets here in Sao Paulo are awesome. Unfortunately, I don't have a kitchen so I can't really capitalize on it. There was this freaking giant fish for like R$18/kilo, just sitting on the table.

If hippies didn't freak me out I'd probably enjoy framers markets a little more. I do, however, enjoy the entrepreneurial spirit of the markets.