Saturday, June 7, 2008

good food, or why i love farmers markets

argh. it feels like january, not june. i don't think it got out of the 50s all week! annoying.

3 weeks from tonight, i will be in boston seeing pearl jam. yay! i hope it's warmer there. i am excited to eat a lobster roll for the first time in 6 years, drink coffee from dunkin donuts and, of course, see my favorite band!

this afternoon, i went to see good food, a documentary about washington state organic, family-run farms. it was really interesting, not the least because i got a kick out of seeing some of the farmers i buy food from every saturday at the farmer's market on the big screen. going to the farmer's market is actually one of my favorite parts of the week - i only miss a saturday if i am out of town - there is nothing like a carrot that has just been picked and bought with its tops still on it. in fact, i don't buy fruits and veggies, with the exception of oranges and maybe one or two other things once in awhile, at the grocery store anymore. thanks to the farmer's markets, i've also started eating things i never would have tried otherwise. all winter long (the university district market runs all year round! yay!), i had a few steamed brussels sprouts almost every night. for the past two weeks, i've been eating spinach, something that i haven't bought at the store since the outbreak of e-coli a few years ago. my new favorite vegetable, asparagus, i never ate until i started getting it during the few weeks it is fresh in the spring (there is nothing better than steamed, in-season asparagus).

after the film, the filmmakers and a few of the featured farmer's did a little q&a session, and the one thing that stood out to me is when one of the farmer's said that, once you take into account the sustainability of the soil, small-scale, organic farming actually allows them to grow more than conventional farming would.

if you're interested in this, i also recommend the book animal, vegetable, mineral by barbara kingsolver. a couple of years ago, she and her family decided to move to a her husband's family farm in virginia and spend a year (i'm not sure if they are still living this way; i suspect they may be) growing all their own food. it's a really, really fascinating book, and what got me interested in buying food at farmer's markets in the first place.

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