Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I always arrive at the week of Thanksgiving with mixed feelings. And no, it’s not because of holiday dread.
I’m sad because this is the final week for farmers’ markets in Boston. Very sad. I’d say “tragic” but fear you’ll find me a drama queen.
You see, from May through November, weekly trips to the market bring me joy as well as sustenance. I crave seeing the gorgeous produce, cheerful farmers, and friendly faces of people who love it – nay, need it – as much as I. In fact, my first blog post was about opening day of the farmers’ markets back in May. Now here we are at the last day of the season (sob), and I just returned from Copley Square. (“Honey, will you grab me a box of tissues?”)
It’s like Black Friday for foodies, with people planning Thanksgiving feasts, storing up for future weeks, and generally going crazy. It’s not just me, either. One of my favorite vendors sells 10 pound bags of carrots and parsnips; I saw someone pick up one of each.
Here’s a photo of what I bought (left). It’s a lot, I know. Truth is, I held back due to sheer lack of hands: now picture me with all that you see, stuffed into four bags and riding the T.
(I don’t usually rhyme; it’s a testament to my cheerful mood.)
Okay, fine, I’ll admit it: I did go a bit crazy. I wandered around with a big smile on my face and actually felt intoxicated. That said, I do have plans for these humble vegetables, including sending my sister a Thanksgiving butternut squash soup and pumpkin whoopie pies (recipe coming on Friday, I promise). I’ll also bring veggies to New York with me for weekend cooking with my family. The apples will go into my fridge for the coming weeks, far preferable to mealy, off-season fruit.
I can’t help getting excited! It really do feel like a kid at Christmas or a shopaholic on Black Friday, and I was not joking about feeling down right giddy. But I am also filled with deep gratitude, as I am incredibly fortunate to live in a place where there is a farm market that I can access and afford. And not just one market, but many. I do not take it for granted and look forward to a day in the not-too-distant-future when changes in our food system bring local, safe, affordable, healthy food to all communities, especially those where they are needed most. Farmers’ markets are clearly just one piece of a much larger picture. Nor are they a panacea for the many woes of our food system. Even so, they embody the inextricable links between healthy food, healthy individuals, and healthy communities – values that I cherish.
And I am a very lucky woman indeed.