One of my favorite things about summer, aside from the gorgeous weather, cold beer, and al fresco dining, is the return of the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market. Ahhhh, it relaxes me even to type it. Even though I’ve been slow to dive into buying my food locally (I’m buying lots more than ever before), it has always made me giddy to visit the market. I think it’s the social aspect – it’s like going to a big picnic where everyone is meandering around, chatting with the vendors, and making their purchases. And let’s not forget the sampling. Sampling!
From April through October, the tents go up every Wednesday from 10 to 2. Not only can you buy your veggies from local farms, you can find things like seafood, cheese, pasta, cookies, cupcakes, and boxed lunches, oh my! I even found a vendor who sells roses from their garden. It took me a hot minute to sign them up for the wedding. I’m so excited to have these natural, fragrant, fully bloomed roses (thorns and all) on my wedding day. They remind me of the rose bushes that were at my Grandma’s farm in Wisconsin years ago when we would visit in the summers. I think hers were all pink. The folks at Stager’s Fresh Cut Garden Roses have just about any color you can want in a rose and I’ve decided to take a mix of whatever they want to cut for me that day. I’m thinking it’s gonna be a little bit beautiful.
Aside from the convenience and excitement of the farmers market, it’s wonderful to see so many folks supporting our local farmers and merchants. It’s wonderful any time, and especially in our current economy. The other thing is, it’s not hard to figure out that a tomato from 10 miles away vs. a tomato from five states away is going to be much fresher and, thus, tastier. The difference is incredible. Grocery store tomatoes now taste a lot like cardboard to me.
And lastly, I tend to purchase more vegetables from the farmers market than I would typically purchase in the grocery store. I think it’s because at the farmers market, that’s about all there is to purchase (with a few exceptions). At the grocery store there are distractions…a catalog of other items to purchase, my A.D.D., and somehow, usually, the healthy stuff is the first to fall off the list. So the fm gives me focus – yet another benefit!
I took a few pics this week while perusing on my lunch break. Prepare to salivate 🙂
|Fresh cut roses from Stager’s|
|These guys (The Bloomsbury Boys) were just too cute!|