I am a farmer's market junkie. I know where all of the small markets are during the week and live for waking up at 6am on Saturday morning to battle over fresh produce. I am friendly with the pasta man, dessert lady, fish monger, granola bakers, yogurt cultivators, produce farmers and wine sellers (I should probably learn their REAL names some day). I love having conversations with all of them and learning the stories behind their food. The granola bakers only use locally produced ingredients, the dessert lady comes from Buffalo and hardly sleeps before coming to the market and the yogurt cultivators make small batches of yogurt so each tastes slightly different. I like the idea of supporting local growers, but to me there is NOTHING better than products tended to with love and devotion. I know my granola bakers spent hours in their small production center creating the perfect concoction and that my produce farmers tend to their crops religiously to ensure they are superb and flavorful. Farm-fresh yogurt has a unique flavor that will never be duplicated by mass produced products and my dessert lady makes things that could never be trumped by generic desserts found in grocery stores.
During the summer months, the produce at farmer's markets is unbelievable. I recently have been enjoying blueberries the size of my head (I'm not joking), beautiful and succulent heirloom tomatoes, fresh sweet corn and zucchini that are large enough to feed a small village. Not only are these products superior to those sold in grocery stores, but they are also wallet friendly. Do yourself and community a favor: buy local.