Yesterday afternoon I dragged my 17 year old son to one of the Farmer's Markets that are available to Danbury residents throughout the summer and into the early fall. We were on a quest to find his summer reading books and a new pair of shoes and the market 'just happened' to be on our way home. I needed him to lug stuff around for me so it was a perfect arrangement! This particular market features many farms from New York and has a seafood truck there every week that brings in fresh fish from the shore - so much nicer than buying fish from halfway across the world!
The prices are high. They're supposed to be. It's expensive to operate a farm and compete with all the cheap produce sold in the big supermarkets. I would rather pay the higher price at the local market and meet the farmer who grew my vegetables than pay a low price for veggies that have traveled way too far to be eaten by my family. I was able to find green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and some incredible shellfish that came from local waters. Spending money on good, local food should be encouraged and valued - especially with our young people who have become accustomed to a fast and ready made world with little 'face to face' interaction. Meandering through a market and talking with the farm stand operators about their produce, canned and baked goods is a lesson in social media that is missing in so many of their lives.
Here's an easy way to prepare fresh green beans. My mother has cooked them this way as long as I can remember and I'm sure her mother prepared them the same way. To begin with, I purchase enough green beans to fill a large skillet (just eyeball it). After trimming the ends on all the beans and washing them, put them in a covered skillet with about 2 cups of water and 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the beans on medium heat. This takes a while. As the beans start to soften up, add one or two tomatoes that have been cut into wedges. As soon as the tomatoes have softened a bit the beans are ready to be served! A great summer side dish.
It takes effort to find a farmer's market and make that extra trip but it's not a part of my life that I'm willing to let go of easily! There are more and more markets popping up all across the country...so avoid the produce aisles at your local supermarket when you can support local farmers during the growing season! One thing is certain...you'll be healthier! Here's a short video I found on You Tube about a farmer's market in Youngstown, Ohio and how the market has become an integral part of building a new form of social community for young people.
- Danbury, CT
- I'm a full-time substitute teacher and coordinator of CMT's at a large middle school. Married with two grown sons (both redheads)! I'm not afraid of anything! One son just graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a degree in Journalism - he minored in Cinema Studies. The other just began his freshman year at The University of Hartford where he is a student of the Hartford Art School. We are owned by a smelly, old cat, a frenzied dachshund named Otis and a chinchilla!