Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thankful: Farmers' Markets

Today I am thankful for Famers' Markets and other small businesses. "Small is beautiful," said my favorite economist, and I attempt to live out this principle by searching for small markets and community businesses.  The closer I can be to the farmer, builder, or otherwise creator of the goods I need, the happier I am. I want the learn about heritage breeds of pigs from the farmer who sells me sausage. I want to the lady selling fruit trees to invite us out to her home to see the other trees. I want to reward people who work with dirt and bees and boats and animals all week, then rise early on a Saturday so that I can set a splendid table.

In Texas, the Waco Downtown Farmers Market not only provided me with in-season produce, fresh eggs, local cheese, and humanely-raised meats, but also served as a small festival at the end of many brutal academic weeks. I would see friends from church, or from Foxfire Fridays, or from school. I was so thankful for the clean, wholesome vigor of those markets. They reminded me to pray that my own life would be abundant and rich.

Today was only my second visit to the Mobile downtown market, but it has already rekindled my flagging interest in cooking well and wisely. Even better, it is becoming a place to talk, rest, watch, and listen with friends. Sadly, the market here doesn't run all year, as it does in Waco (come on, Mobile!), but I will gladly attend every Saturday I can. Today I gave thanks for the humor and generosity of the man pictured above, who sold me a bag of "apple persimmons," then spent five minutes explaining how and when to enjoy them. Farmers' Markets remind me that the world is full of honest people like him, and that is reason for thanks indeed.

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