Monday, August 14, 2006

Have You Been To A Farmer's Market?

I am developing some happy habits like this.
Each Saturday and Sunday beside a central downtown park occurs an interesting event called Farmer's Market. Many communities host them, but the "New and Improved" local version has a different flavor now that it has been recast as a high tone and somewhat artsy community activity. I kind of like the upgrade, and now that it is in it's second or third revival year and also in a newly renovated park and street area, it is worth an occasional visit. This week Daughter and the littlest Granddaughter and I spent a while crusin' around and shoppin' for fresh farm products.

I ended up with a load of vegetables to support my "Daniel's Diet" this week. (See Chapter One of Daniel in the Old Testament.) At Betty's request I also sought out the goat cheese booth and bought her some feta and for me a spicy spread. Wonderful stuff. A Hermiston watermelon rounded out my purchases. The rest of the time we just wandered and looked and finally selected lunch from among many booths in the food area. We decided on home-made tamales, and salsa, and it was very tasty.

Originally the market idea was to give folk a chance to buy freshly picked foods right from the fields, and indeed many of the vendors are offering a wide and colorful variety of veggies and fruits and products like honey and smoked meats and nuts and such. But there are also flowers, cosmetics, decorative plants, a wide variety of foods and confections - many with ethnic origins - and crafts. There are also table areas of demonstrations in progress, and information kiosks for religious groups and political committees and social issues. Street entertainers abound: balloon clowns, musicians, magicians and illusionists, and face paintings for the kids. There is a lot to see and do.

The wide range of arts and crafts intrigues me. Graphic arts in clude watercolors, oils, pastels in originals or nice prints, and you can see jewelry, garden decor, steel bells, wrought iron, furniture, birdhouses, birdfeeders, and trellises, leatherwork, pottery, art glass and other glassware, mounted butterflies, knitted items,
cloth and textile items, gadgets and clever items, all of which share one common characteristic: They were all made by the vendor. Many are quite attractive. It is hard to capture such variety in a few photographs, so you should visit your market some weekend. There is probably one or more in the villages and towns near you. Go early, and plan to stay for lunch. Enjoy.


At 7:33 AM, Blogger Patty said...

We'll have to do it again some weekend. We had a lot of fun and those white peaches are about the best thing I've tasted all summer.

At 10:56 PM, Blogger SPARKLE said...

Since Cuz Betty told me about your writings and gave me the link, I have been enjoying reading your posts! I wish I could have gone to the county fair and the farmer's market!! That is my kind of fun too!


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