AWAI Writing Challenge Honorable Mention:
The Best Thing About My Hometown – The Farmer’s Market

There’s something satisfying about dragging the bed off your back early on Saturday or Sunday morning and heading down to the farmer’s market. The town’s just waking up, the air seems fresher, the skies are clearer, the party-crowds are still asleep and it’s quiet enough to hear birds chirping.

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise” says Benjamin Franklin. Maybe he was talking about the Farmer’s Market?

It’s like a piece of history – like going back to a time before supermarkets when you still got your food directly from a local farmer. Fresh Goat Cheese, Cider, Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts and Candy too. It’s fresh, it’s tasty and when you really get down to it, the riper your produce is when it’s picked, the better it’s going to taste. Sure going to the local supermarket is more convenient. Run over there at 10 PM for tomorrow’s lunch fixins, but there’s not much pleasure in that waxy, tasteless, robo-tomato.

The Farmer's Market is a friendly spot. Bring your dog and bring your kids and let them run wild. There are treats galore.

I never appreciated how enjoyable something as innocent as hanging out at the farmer's market could be when I was younger, but as grow older I've learned how to savor the simple pleasures.

Now, I'm sure other towns are similar, but I like to think about what it must have been like in the frontier days. I'm sure the same thing was going on and considering the history of Kentucky, the first state west of the original 13 colonies, some mighty famous people were doing the same thing I'm doing and near this very spot.

The farmer's market is at once, fresh and new but also comforting in consistency and history. The faces ever changing and produce comes and goes, but the spirit of good old basic commerce feels good and very American.

You have a bunch of happy people looking for an experience, listening for a story, and thinking about the way granny used to cook corn and beans. It’s like you’re playing a part in the community play.

I have my own personal route through the smiling faces. I'm very efficient that way. Gotta making sure that I don't miss anything. Take some time to watch the folks and tease the kids. Chat with my new best friends.

It's a cliché but I don't think life get's any better than this and the good news is, you get to do it every week.

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Published: October 13, 2009

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