Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Farmers Market in December

Long after most other farmers markets have folded up their tents, stowed away supplies for the winter and look ahead for next year's first fruits, the site of the Montavilla Farmers Market still bustles with farmers and customers, anxious for what is fresh and local. may say? This is December, and we should be packing the malls with Christmas shopping, our eyes filled with visions of sugar plums and such things! Well, it appears there is still a hardy cadre of consumers who love to interact with those who supply our sustenance, namely the farmers and dairy folk and bakers and those who produce the most delicious sausage. Once again the empty lot at the corner of SE 76th and Stark was abuzz with tents, trucks and tables filled with fruit, vegetables and all manner of produce.

I love this farmers market! It is apparent we will not be deterred by seasons or weather in our pursuit of all things fresh. Despite the rain and wind (albeit temperatures were in the high 50' your heart out, Minnesota), more than 130 people came.

Just to prove how hardy we are, we will even eat ice December...outdoors! And we will enjoy it as well.

Most vendors set up a tent but a few offered their stuff out of the back of their truck.

Yes, it is an abbreviated market, on select Sundays through the winter months and only between 11 AM and 1 PM. There are only a few vendors still selling this late...just a fraction of what is offered in the summer. Despite that, it's fun to see the trucks and vans parked and tents covering the tables.

Luckily the mild temperatures allowed fingers to work those tiny keyboards as Market volunteers helped with questions, trading tokens or even offering a free loaner bag in which to carry stuff home.

What makes a market complete but pooches accompanying their charges as most walk to the market. Isn't that what makes this a true part of the community?

I am still pleasantly surprised at the bounty offered, even this late in the year. So many varieties of apples and pears... to stands with onions and potatoes, complete with a coating of dirt from the ground in which they grew. How much closer can one get to the source of our food, without actually driving to the farm?

One really knows one has arrived when one is offered not just a simple button but a choice we can proudly wear on our lapel...or coat...or hat. Yes we indeed support our local farmers.


Anonymous said...

Such a lovely recap of our little market day Paul. Thank you for writing, photographing and above all participating in local food!


Kristin W. said...

Thanks again for your write-ups about the market. I always especially love your photos!