On a marvelous gardening blog, I recently won a cookbook by lottery and answering a question on how my cooking has changed since I first used Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. I wrote I shopped for organic produce, which is true, but I also shop at Farmers’ Markets. In my town, the Farmers’ Market is under fire because they occupy a parking lot adjacent to a candy shop for five hours once a week, for about five months. The candy shop, open year-round, in regular candy shop hours, is across the street from another candy shop. There are at least two more such fudge shops in town. We only have one farmers’ market, a Saturday bounty of two or three vegetable stands; one bakery stand; an essential oils lotions and potions stand; a meat and egg stand; a fish place; an olive oil and goat cheese place; a fresh mozzarella and burrata place; and a local sea salt stand. As the season winds down, it just a few vegetable farmers, the baker, and salt and oils. We have one large chain grocery store in town, and three year-round small markets. There is talk that a Whole Foods might open in a year or so, in Hyannis, which is an hour away. Right now, we have a seasonal farmer’s market in a great location in the heart of town, where you can stroll into by foot, or bike or walk to gather provisions, chat with regulars, and leave with a full and contented heart.
When I first lived on the Cape, there was only a supermarket, a natural foods store, and a little store where I could walk to buy broccoli, carrots, and onion and potatoes. I ate pasta nearly every night, or made grilled cheese. With supplies imported from New Jersey, I could make a rare Indian curried dish. I used moosewood extensively with the ingredients at hand. I was lucky to be able to buy tofu.
A farmers’ market is such a joy,and necessity. Taste test a farm apple and a store-bought. Try an organic golden delicious. Never pass up an opportunity to try watermelon radish. Here are farmers making a livelihood of sorts, carting their goods from an hour and more away to sell fresh tomatoes, eggplant, okra, basil. They share recipes and stories. I would not live in this town if there was not a market. I still make pasta and grilled cheese, only with better ingredients, making them so much better.
Actually, we have lots of markets here, the town of Glastonbury where I live has some of the best farms around where you can buy heirloom everything, great area for supporting local. That wasn’t my point really, it was just the sense of there not being a plethora of “everything” on the Cape, as I was used to in large metro areas, and still want! For me, the orchards, farms here are the main attraction:
Ah, i got it! It is true, there is not a whole lot of anything here, plus a sense of hardscrabble, which is why people live here. An outpost, the end, that kind of thing.
I am finally a city person at heart.
One goes online to research Farmers Markets in Central CT! http://www.centerofct.com/attractions/gardens-farmers-markets
Well, you may have answered my pondering about moving to the Cape, or some other oceanside community. Maybe not. Even here in central CT I feel deprived after Boston/Cambridge, NYC and Montreal! What’s a girl to do?