This is a guest submission from John Addison, Publisher of the Clean Fleet Report and an environmental writer.
The warm summer breeze carried the aromas of ripe berries, almonds, fresh honey, heirloom tomatoes, and exotic mushrooms. I was like the cartoon character lifted by mouthwatering fragrances and carried to the source in a hungry trance. I was soon in the middle of a farmers market, a tradition as old as civilization. The food was local, seasonal, often organic, and at peak freshness.
Thousands sampled and bought 35,000 packages of local goodies. Neophytes learned about the collage of heirlooms displayed in front of their eyes. Regulars traded hellos and stories and recipes with the farmers who brought their food. Free water stations, generously located everywhere, reduced an estimated 100,000 water bottles from being sold and discarded.
Across America, thousands of such farmers markets allow people to learn, socialize, and buy food at the peak of its freshness and health benefits. Growers and producers benefit by having dialogs with their best customers, trading notes with other farmers, and making their precious brands visible in a market where the food processing giants spend millions on advertising. This particular farmers market on Labor Day Weekend in San Francisco was part of Slow Food Nation’s celebration of food. Over 60,000 attended the farmers market, workshops, special tastings, and/or the edible garden. Read the Complete Article