It was slightly overcast and drizzling, but I had an itch to get to the farmer’s market for the fist time of the year. Actually, almost technically, the first time ever. In all my life, I don’t think I have purposely set out to go to a farmer’s market. I have happened upon them, strolled around, and picked up a couple green peppers before. But had never planned a trip solely to walk around and shop at the market. Especially not on a rainy day. But this year I am excited for the farmer’s market experience. I’m excited to eat fresh, buy local, and mingle with like minded folk.
This year we are taking part in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share for the first time. Every week, starting next week, I will head to this market to pick up my 1/2 bushel share. But even before that starts up next week, I couldn’t wait to go check out what was going on at the market, see our farm’s booth, see what’s in season…simply check out the scene.
This week, it seemed that asparagus was in great abundance. Everyone had it, and had a lot of it. One booth was even providing samples of asparagus Guacamole. It was pretty good! And just for trying it and filling out a form, I recieved a reusable shopping bag, a measuring cup, and a strainer. I’m always excited about free goodies.
The next most popular item seemed to be greens including lettuce and kale.
Also, popular was rhubarb and radishes.
I just love the efforts so many vendors put into displays, containers and signs. Some are cute, others practical, but all work to give it a personal feel. You don’t find these efforts at the supermarket.
Also available where breads, honey, jams/preserves and more.
There was also representation from a grass roots organization representing Michigan Voices for Good Food Policy, part of National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. They were collecting photo messages to tell the legislators why we care about local food. They also had an ipad online to sign up for email action alerts to stay up to date with on going progress and happenings regarding the farm bill.
Why is this bill so important to michigan? Here’s a summary of fact’s from the organization’s literature they handed out.
Michigan agriculture, the second most diverse in the nation, contributes over $90 billion to our state economy. Our food system employs over one million Michigan residents. USDA Programs funded by the farm bill have helped Michigan communities improve healthy food access while also supporting local growers and food processors.
Though, through all their literature, it was still unclear to me, where they stood on the issue of GMOs. Google to the rescue: NSAC Policy on GE Crops and Livestock. It appears that they too are skeptical about GM crops and support non GM alternatives.