First of all, why?
1. We love farmers’ markets for the fresh, local, organic produce.
Where DOES it come from?
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?
How much work goes into raising a $2 bunch of organic swiss chard?
Or an organic red onion?
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?
We love that farmers’ markets are populated with people on both sides of the tables who wear everything from parkas to promotional t-shirts…
.. to perfect, powder-blue pullovers…
.. to purple hair, if that’s the way you roll.
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.
2. Farmers’ markets are about community and the interactions between the people who buy the goods…
… and the people who produce them.
There’s a generosity and artisan pride in the practice of offering samples…
… and a palpable and respectful connecting of one generation to the next in the transaction that inspires incredible hope in us.
There’s an authentic simplicity and beauty to the promotion of goods that is sane and comforting.
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.
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.
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.