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Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Farmers Market Challenge

You may spend too much time at Target if while at home your children pretend to play house by pretending to live at Target.
Target is now officially our home away from home. Not that this is all bad. I would be lying if I said I wasn't enamored by its indoor Starbucks, affordably chic swimwear and aisle after everything we never  knew we absolutely can not live without all in one sparkly shiny place. I can bribe my kids with soft pretzels, the dollar section and hot wheels cars. We can spend a good four hours and entirely too much money on too much... well... stuff. We could be on Hoarders: the Target Addicts edition. Do I really need a kitchen condiment caddy, a new hair glaze (what does that even mean?) and three different types of Oreos to celebrate the end of the school year? No, maybe (hair glaze is kind of amazing) and a definite no.

I want to take a vacation from my mushy Target mind who puts 112 items in her cart without really thinking about any of them and forgets the three items that her family actually needs, leading to another mindless Target trip. I'm trading that mind in for the farmers market momma. This girl is bright, together and remembers to bring her own reusable shopping bags for goodness sake! She cares about the farmers, shopping locally and thinking globally. I love her and you know what I realized is that I can be her too.

I'm challenging myself to shop for all that goes inside our bodies all summer long to be purchased from farmers markets. I'm a pescatarian (or as I like to call it: vegetarian with a side of crab) living with a couple of carnivores and one child so picky he had me pack the same exact lunch every day for the entire school year. If we can do it, anyone can. With the exception of a few items,  primarily olive oil and alcohol (come on farmers markets, surely you can open a moonshine stand), I think it can be done.  How is this for a startling statistic: The Agriculture Department indicates that by the end of last year, the United States had imported 4.1 billion pounds of food products from China. Say what? Billions of pounds of food from a country thousands of miles away, read the article here from MSN- it is absolutely shocking.

At our Annapolis farmers market, there are so many stands selling gorgeous seasonal produce and even a few selling locally raised chicken, beef, honey, bread, eggs and cheeses. These markets are a feast for the eyes and the wallet. Shopping there I feel both a sense of giving back and what it feels like to shop with joy and intention. When you are thanked at a market stand with such genuine gratitude, often from the farmers themselves, you just can't help to feel that you are contributing to something worthwhile. Big chain stores may have the shiny lights and the soy lattes but they will never have the depth of character of those hard-working hands.

Let's do this. Join me in being part of the change, the fresh farmed revolution. Learn where your food is from and teach your kids the same. Let me know if you are on board for trying it for the summer. Let me know how it feels to shop in season and support your corner of the world. Trust me, you will be thanked.


  1. I'm very blessed to live walking distance from the Bowie farmers' market. We go every Sunday morning. I do wish there was more variety there, it's rare to find meat, cheese, and eggs. You can get crabs though!

    1. CRABS! At the farmers market?! Oh how I love Maryland. Thank you so much for filling me in on this. I am throwing Bowie into my market rotation.
      Happy happy summer to you Misty and I LOVE your hair :)