Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Utopia

Every Saturday morning I visit my own Utopia.  The farmer's market at PSU in downtown Portland is my idea of perfection!  Today it was not overly crowded which was great.  The weather is near perfect!  The smells of farm fresh lavender, basil and breakfast from the several prepared or made to order food booths fill the air for blocks.  Music is everywhere.  Some of the music is sponsored by the market and the rest is people coming down with guitars, violins, banjos, etc. and just performing for us all.   Food and music are two of my favorite things so putting them together is a little piece of heaven to me.  There is an older man that recites poetry and a guy juggling bowling pins for the kids.

Today I spent $26.50 for unsprayed, local, seasonal, tomatoes (3 beefsteak),  1 bunch of  very fragrant basil,  2 ears of sweet corn,  1 small head of cauliflower, 1 pint of strawberries, 1 pint of Rainer cherries, a bunch of  beautiful purple dahlias, my breakfast and an iced tea.  I also watched a chef's demo titled "Meals that Heal" and was reminded that I make that same meal with a few variations and haven't prepared it since last year sometime.  It is now on the menu for this week.  She was making Spring Rolls with a hazelnut dipping sauce.  I have always made the sauce with almond butter but hazelnuts are local to Oregon so I will give them a go this time.
  The farmers are always friendly and eager to tell you about their practices in my experience. 
In one trip you can find farm fresh & pastured, eggs of several types, milk, cheese (cow & goat), butter, meats of all kinds, fish,  grains, veggies, herbs, fruits, mushrooms, flowers and much more.  I just want to take everyone I can there.  The appreciation for it all can't be understood any other way other than being on the farm.   Tomorrow I am visiting a lavender farm as part of Oregon's Lavender Festival this weekend.  I can't wait.
I encourage you to go visit your local farmer's markets.  It's good for you, the farmers and the environment.  Show yourself and your kids if you have them what a carrot pulled from the ground or a fresh egg really looks like.  I love seeing eggs that are green or bluish with a few pieces of hay stuck to them or a dusting of organic dirt on my greens.  These things make me smile.    Everyday we should find something that makes us smile!!!

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