On Writing A Book About Farmers Markets

May 15, 2010 · 13 comments

First of all, why?

1. We love farmers’ markets for the fresh, local, organic produce.

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Where DOES it come from?

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For instance, what’s the difference between the ways organic and mass-market cherry farmers go about their business? And why, in our opinion, do the organic ones taste so much better?

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How much work goes into raising a $2 bunch of organic swiss chard?

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Or an organic red onion?

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And who are these people who choose to make a living this way?  For instance, Farmer John here… what’s the story of chard before it gets here on a Saturday morning, and why do he and Eda do this and not something else?

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We love that farmers’ markets are populated with people on both sides of the tables who wear everything from parkas to promotional t-shirts…

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.. to perfect, powder-blue pullovers…

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.. to purple hair, if that’s the way you roll.

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Ever wanted to see a TRUE strawberry blond?

So while the primary draw is access to locally produced food and other goods, the ultimate story is, of course, about people.

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2. Farmers’ markets are about community and the interactions between the people who buy the goods…

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… and the people who produce them.

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There’s a generosity and artisan pride in the practice of offering samples…

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… and a palpable and respectful connecting of one generation to the next in the transaction that inspires incredible hope in us.

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There’s an authentic simplicity and beauty to the promotion of goods that is sane and comforting.

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And there’s enough intrigue of gustatory possibilities to satisfy any foodie’s fantasies, which leads us to the third reason why someone might write a book on farmers’ markets.

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3. Once you’ve got it home, what can you do with it?

For every food vendor we hope to highlight, we’ll not only feature the marketplace experience and what it takes back on the farm to get them there, but we’ll also share the fun of what we do with it once we get the goods into our own kitchen.

Yes, yes… there will be tears of joy over what Rick comes up with.

That’s just how I roll.

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So that’s why. Now, how?

We figure we’ll start with Erin.

Erin, a farmer of a niche variety of scallions and a lifetime local, started the Coastside Farmers’ Markets of Half Moon Bay and Pacifica nine years ago.

We figure that beyond a kickin’ story about how the market got started and why, she’ll know where to get a great cup of coffee to go with the Bee Bakery lavender shortbread cookies.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Dad May 22, 2010 at 1:03 pm

What a fantastic concept you two came up with for this book. And so many interesting questions. I wsh you every success and I”m looking forward to the finished product. (I trust I can get an autographed first-edition.)

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Louise May 21, 2010 at 6:41 am

How is it that so many of your posts make me hungry?

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Debra May 17, 2010 at 9:49 am

🙂

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Sandi Fentiman May 17, 2010 at 7:35 am

I think Farmers’ Markets are great too, and just not for the fresh produce. It’s the people, as you said, AND the sustainability (going green) thing as well, if you think about it.

I bet you loved the lavender shortbread!? I found a recipe online for lavender cookies and as Mom said (I gave her a couple), “They’re a hit.” Did the people who made the shortbread put lemon peel in as well? I think the lavender and lemon really complement each other.

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rickandkathy May 18, 2010 at 11:50 am

Yes, it’s interesting how many of the vendors at the market mentioned the sustainability aspect as being an important part of how they thing about what they’re doing.
And it’s funny that you mention the lavender and lemon: sitting at my elbow right now is a cup of tea featuring lavender, lemon and mint… lovely! Don’t know about the cookie lady. We didn’t get into it at that level… yet.

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kate May 16, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Best one I have ever been to is in Ithaca, New York… road trip?? 🙂

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rickandkathy May 18, 2010 at 11:52 am

Always up for a road trip! But we’re thinking that beyond the scope of our own local market, that will be for book #2 🙂

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Dushka May 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I’d be first in line to buy it (the book, I mean. But also the strawberries.)

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rickandkathy May 18, 2010 at 11:53 am

The strawberries are DEFINITELY worth the queue! Working hard to make sure the book is, too 🙂

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Gail May 15, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Hey – great idea to write a book about farmers’ markets! I often discover something new there (lavender shortbreads – now that’s something I never heard of before..sounds yummy). I’m always tempted to buy something new, but often don’t know what the heck to do with it or how to cook it. I await with excited anticipation for your ideas on how to conjure up a meal from farmers’ market bounty…

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rickandkathy May 18, 2010 at 11:57 am

Gail, thanks so much for your encouraging words. Will do our best to fulfill the high expectations!

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