I grow vegetables and bring them to a farmer’s market to sell to the public who wants produce grown with the best principles in mind for the environment. This includes saving water, which is no easy task, for any climate except maybe Seattle. You must adjust what you grow and your vegetables have to survive without being deluged with water. I spend a lot of time researching ancient techniques that we can apply today to cut down on the excess.
People who attend the farmer’s market don’t just want fresh; they want something grown with respect to the land. They want to know that someone made the effort to cut down on water and fertilizers that reside in the land polluting it with undesired chemicals. The market I supply has a healthy group of attendees who rely on us growers to give them what they want. If it isn’t home-grown, it is shunned. They know that certain vegetables and fruits are seasonal and they wait patiently to get what they want during certain times of the year. They are rather knowledgeable about the whole process. I help spread the word with news articles and flyers on the subject. It brings business to the market and helps support local growers like me. There is an automatic audience for what I produce and it keeps me in business. It is not just a profit motive that drives me but the desire to work the land in old-fashioned ways that are not exploitative. Those of a kindred spirit band together as a community united under similar beliefs. We are trying to increase our ability to feed the city and so far a few small farms have to do all the work. If more people even grew what they needed, we would make a dent in the problems that face the environment.
I can get preachy as you can see but I am also practical. I try not to use plastic bags to haul my produce to market. I only want to carry vegetables and fruits in reusable bags. In this vein, I have a very large backpack that I found after reading Backpacks Magazine with separate zippered compartments for special items that I want to receive extra care. In addition, I have some other heavy-duty totes that I use over and over again. They get a bit dirty, so I started rinsing my vegetables before taking them to the market. It saves time as I don’t have to rinse the bags each and every time.
They are too heavy for the washing machine so this solves the problem. People want their produce clean in any case. The days of paper are long gone and even plastic. People who come to the market also bring their fabric totes which are filled in no time. The produce is so appealing in appearance and because it is home grown. It doesn’t have that fake perfect look of supermarket chemically-engineered food. You don’t want to eat something grown in a test tube.