Find your melons here
On a sunny Saturday morning, most people would like to sleep in – well a little later than usual that is – and maybe pass the rest of the day calmly, relax and have fun. I would know. I like to sleep in on weekends. But recently I have discovered something different for a Saturday morning. A place where you get fun, excitement, humor, puns, fresh food, smells of all sorts, and a lot of pushing and shoving. Something like a merry-go round only cheaper. And you get food out of it.
Farmers’ markets have been around for centuries. Producers get up even before the break of dawn to set up stalls with their fresh produce, ready to advertise that “they have the best [enter product here], yes it is true!”. They are markets that exist worldwide and reflect their local culture and economy. And (I never thought I would say this) but you can actually learn and observe a lot by visiting one.
For starters, even if you made an effort to get out of bed at 10am on a Saturday in order to go and purchase (cheap) fresh fruit at the market, the farmer who encourages you to taste before you buy, has been there since at least 5am and for him 10am is as good as noon.
You have so many stalls and products to choose from. The prices are evidently much much lower than at a commercial market, and the products are markedly better. Producers even cut open fruit and vegetables to demonstrate their freshness and ripeness. And you can actually smell that natural scent that unprocessed food is supposed to have.
Then if you visit such a market a couple of times, you realize that each producer has their own post. And they remember you. They might (eventually) even give you lower prices, since you’ve become a “frequent flyer”.
But the best part of the market, is observing the people there. The originality in the yelling that goes on to advertise the produce – “I’ve got the best melons, yes I do. Good for me!”; “You won’t believe the cherries I’m selling today”; “I’m practically giving my pears away”; “Hey lady, where are you going? You won’t see oranges like these elsewhere!”; “Sir, how about these fresh from the ground potatoes?”.
Then you see all these (mostly older) people pulling their market cart along and selecting the best produce with which to fill it up with. And they stop in the middle of the really narrow makeshift corridors, forcing the one behind who was abstractly glancing at the prices of the stall on the left to bump into them, and causing a pile-up of shoppers and trolleys, stepping on a few feet in the meantime. And the pushing and shoving is not something fun either.
But at the end of the day, you get fresh produce that ensure a healthy lifestyle plus you’ve had your dose of human socialization and reactions for the week!
It also shatters the delusions that farmers are folk of the lesser kind who simply grow crop and then try to sell them. From what it seems, they are the ones closer to nature, who still have a job, and who know how to appreciate the goods of life. So next time you see a farmers’ market, take a stroll over, you might even learn something while getting a taste of real food.