Sunday, June 17, 2007

Seeing My Students at the Farmer's Markets

What a joy it is for me to be at the farmer's market and see my current and former students shopping there. Sometimes I might see as many as 4 of them in just a few minutes. It makes me feel as if I have done my job getting people out to buy fresh and local food.

Yesterday I saw April again who now rides to the market on her bicycle or carpools with a friend. She is taking steps to decrease her "carbon footprint" and that's impressive. Another student, Nathan, rides his bicycle to work all week, and also shops the market. If he sees me when he first gets there, he stops by for the market tip of the day.

I've thought about setting up a booth at the market, like the advice booth in the Peanuts cartoons, to tell people what is great that day. April was lamenting that the pea people weren't there yesterday. Lucky for me, Carey Nelson was at my Sunday market. And once again I am "rich in peas" (which was something was son used to say when he was little).

As for my students, if I can get at least one a semester to go the farmer's market regularly, it's worth all my cajoling. Often, I think that when they see the beautiful produce that I bring in to class, that they get to use, they know that it's in its prime and they want to get it. I mean, it's not as if you can buy zephyr squash (they are mostly yellow with a little light green), Suyo long cucumbers or truly ripe peaches at the store, all of which can be found at the market.

We are also lucky enough to have a great local farm stand. And I've seen my students there, too. I guess that my evangelical tirades about eating fresh and local are working. I am hoping that everyone can get the concept but it has to happen one person at a time. This is the time of year to check out the farmer's market.

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