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The Joys of the Farmers Market

Summer is here with all the chaos it brings. This year the first week of summer included three birthdays, a visit from Grammy, a new cat, a broken washing machine, and a day trip to Owensboro. And it doesn’t look like things will quiet down anytime soon. Luckily, I have my weekly retreat to calm my nerves. No, I don’t get a massage or manicure as some do. I head for the Franklin County Farmers Market.

Now many will tell you that you should take your children to the farmers market. This is so true. It is good for kids to meet the people who grow their dinner. Kids are more likely to try something new if they get to pick it out. All of my kids have been with me and beg to go every week. But over the years the trip to the farmers market has slowly become “me” time.

I have been going to our farmers market long enough to have become friendly with many there. I know the UK fans and the Cardinal fans, who has been sick, who has had a baby, who just got married, and who writes poetry. There is something magical about sitting down to a dinner that came from Joe, Connie, Elie, Mark and Jennifer as opposed to the grocery. I get locally made soaps to keep us all clean without worrying about weird chemicals. And if it has been a very tough week I may even treat myself to some flowers or a homemade mint brownie. In the summer and fall seasons, the majority of our grocery money is spent there.

I may spend up to an hour at the farmer’s market, filling up my bags, talking with the farmers and other friends I meet. I leave with a smile on my face and good, good things to feed my family. It is a weekly festival of beautiful sights, wonderful flavors and scents, laughter, and good conversation.

As strange as it may sound, I think the Franklin County Farmers Market makes me a better mom. The desire to buy a little something from everyone means I purchase more fruits and vegetables to eat than I would at the grocery. This translates into better meals and snacks for my family. It encourages us to try new things. This week it was bush cherries (sort of like nature’s own sweet tart- we are loving them!). I learn new things. After many disastrous attempts with asparagus, LeeAnn told me how to cook it so that it is now one of my family’s favorite spring vegetables. When I am in a bad mood I know who I can count on to tease me into a good mood or commiserate with me over the trials of raising teenagers. I can also find out a lot about what is happening in our community at the market.

No matter how wonderful our kids are, we all need a break every now and then. Personally, I recommend Saturday mornings at the farmers market.