We’ve been sharing a lot of great recipes but we thought it might be nice to tell you where we get a lot of the great ingredients that go into those recipes. Yes, we go to the local grocery and we also have a fairly big garden but in Green Bay we are very fortunate to have not one but two large weekly farmer’s markets (plus quite a number of satellite markets in the surrounding ‘burbs and cities). The oldest and largest is the Saturday Farmer’s Market on, not surprisingly, Saturday morning (7 – 11am) on the East side of the city in a large downtown parking lot. The Saturday market has been in operation since 1917.
In recent years, another market has started on Wednesday afternoons, The Farmers’ Market on Broadway west of the river and takes up two blocks of Broadway St. It used to be just on the sidewalk but this year OBI got the city to close down the street. It is much nicer now that people do not have to dodge cars and the merchants of Broadway do not have their shops blocked but instead join in with their own outdoor booths or with their doors open to welcome in buyers and browsers. This market is on Wednesdays from 3 – 8pm.
So, why buy produce and meat from your local farmer’s market?
First off, because it’s an investment in your community and your neighbors. The produce you buy at your local farmer’s market won’t always be as big or as shiny as what you’ll find in the supermarket but most of it won’t have the pesticides and marketing costs either. You’ll get to meet the people who grew your food and the money you spend will go towards their livelihood rather than paying for fuel to ship cauliflower, lettuce or peppers from hundreds and even thousands of miles away. You’ll reduce your personal carbon footprint. Second, you get to meet some pretty nice people. The vendors and the other shoppers are your neighbors – your community. Meeting them face-to-face supports and strengthens that community. You aren’t quite sharing a meal with them but by buying the food they grow you are sharing a common bond. You also might learn something by talking to the growers (like that you can eat pea shoots) or how to cook a new vegetable or why artisanal cheeses are more interesting than plastic wrapped industrial cheese-like “food” and why it’s worth paying a little bit more for that.
As Wendell Berry said – “Eating is an agricultural act”. It’s also a political act.
What follows are some images and comments from the Saturday Market on July 17, 2010.
Last updated April 28, 2012