How could you resist the beautiful colors, aromatic smells and companionable people excited to make conversation over their pride and joy? A farmers’ market is a place where you not only shop for food, but also have in-depth and genuine conversations about the story behind the food. Entering a farmers’ market is like entering a new world. A world where the food producers (farmers) care more about than just profit. The farmers thrive on the conversation they engage in with their customers; they want to tell you where the food is coming from. The farmers want the customers to know that this food that they are so proud of comes from a place of dedication and hard work. They dedicate their lives to harvesting local fresh produce for people who care about what they feed their bodies. Farmers are proud of their products, and want to express to their customers the excitement they have for the beautiful red plump tomatoes they grew or the huge spaghetti squash they harvested. One of my favorite things to see is the farmers face light up when I compliment them on their produce or ask to take a picture of their stand because the fruits and vegetables are so beautiful.
Every Thursday that I am at the Exeter Market, I make my rounds up and down the market and try to stop by at least one or two stands. While I am admiring the gorgeous fruits and veggies they have so diligently arranged on their stand, I always like to make conversation. It truly is interesting to engross yourself in the life of a farmer and the careful process they practice to handle the food you eat. Every farmer has a story to tell, and wants to tell. In the short time that I have been an intern at SEL, I have heard some really interesting stories. Some including how the farmers became interested in farming, where they were raised, how they stumbled upon the farm they’re at now and even their family history of farming. It may take you by surprise just how much more you appreciate your food when you know where it is coming from and to who grew it.
Next time you stop by a farmers market, make sure to engage in conversation with the farmers and show them your gratitude by expressing interest in their produce. It’s exciting to buy food that you know was grown right down the street, or in the next town over, instead of buying it from a super market and having no idea where it came from. Maybe along with your conversations with the farmers, throw in a little thank you. Thank them for caring and dedicating their life to an occupation that revolves around providing the healthiest fuel for the human body.