It’s no secret to my husband’s bank manager that I love the farmers’ markets. I’m in my element there ~ it’s a picture perfect ideal of country life for me and the biggest breath of fresh air that I can take when it comes to shopping. They rank right up there alongside the PYO farm five minutes from our house. A visit there sends me skipping through the fields like a six year old with a pocket full of rainbows.
The variety of unbranded, unusual, unique (I’m trying to think of more U words here) goods on display makes my little heart leap and the only thing that would make my trips more perfect would be if I had my own wicker trug, complete with red gingham cloth, to take around with me as I harvested my pretty purchases from the market.
Each first Sunday of the month the farmers are there, ready and delighted to serve us. The customer service is infinitely better than any supermarket and the purveyors actually KNOW their goods. Another welcome change from the norm.
|Even Jensen Knows How To Shop Here|
|Baby Dragon Enjoyed Buffalo Burger This Morning|
But that’s not what gave me a lightbulb moment this morning.
There are two things I’ve suddenly come to notice with our Little Adventurer’s relationship with food.
Firstly, if we grow it in our garden, he will eat it. He will forage for anything that’s growing ~ our poor blackberry bush is bare and then some.
Secondly, if we buy it at the farmers’ market, he will eat it. Particularly fish. That got me to my lightbulb moment that my boy only really enjoys foods that are in season…and fresh. He’s a locavore. A natural born one.
I’ve heard so much from the various chefs on television that my husband watches, waxing lyrical about produce being in season and I largely ignored it of course. It sounded like a great foodie thing to hammer on about but if I could still buy strawberries from the other side of the world in the supermarket in December, I didn’t really care.
So I experimented. I offered Jensen blackberries. Some from our bush, some from a well known (and expensive) supermarket. I wanted to make sure that the other berries I was offering were the best I could buy. I looked at the choice and to me it was obvious. The supermarket berries were big, plump, shiny and juicy looking. The home grown ones? Smaller, duller, with a cobweb on one of them (from those awful Garden Orbital spiders who are stalking me). I gave Jensen the bowl of them (the berries, not the spiders), mixed together. He ate all of the homegrown ones and discarded the bigger, juicier looking ones. I was shocked.
Another case in point; Jensen will avoid burgers at home ~ yet the smell of a Water Buffalo Burger lures him in (see above). He will merrily choose his fish from the market and help gut them at home before devouring them. Fishfingers? No thank you.
It’s amazing. I’m going to continue this experiment. I’m genuinely interested in whether we are born with good, homegrown, discerning taste for food that is good for us, and if that is eroded by the convenient air-mile laden products on our supermarket shelves. Perhaps fewer children would be picky about eating fruit and vegetables if they too ate in season and only local produce.
It’s got me thinking. I’ll be back….right after I’ve tracked down Juliet, the farmer who made this delicious plum and walnut streusel cake with ingredients from her own garden. Heaven.