The Farmer’s Market

We decided to go the Bloomington Minnesota farmer’s market this past Saturday. This market has been in existence for about five years. We had gotten along fine without a farmer’s market for the previous fifty some years we have lived in Bloomington, but now we go to the farmer’s market. Why?
The early spring vegetables are in, onions, radishes, leaf lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, kale. There are piles of rhubarb; plants, annuals and perennials for transplanting. There are items that have no season, honey, meat, jams and jellies, baked goods.
The market is set up in a civic center parking lot and is filled with vendors and customers on the one day a week it is open during the summer and fall. One side of the parking lot is shaded by young trees where families and neighbors gather at picnic tables visiting and enjoying newly acquired baked goods and coffee. On the far side of the young trees is a pond with a fountain disturbing an otherwise flat surface. A lawn populated with lawn sculptures sweeps up from the pond edge to the recently new civic center. On the lawn a large tent shades the local Medalist band playing stirring Sousa marches. A toddler try’s out his newly found legs to keep step with the bands sounds. The grandmother laughs at the toddlers efforts.
I buy a pound of asparagus. I paid more for a pound of asparagus at the market than it would have cost at Walmart for asparagus shipped from Mexico. The smiling young woman that planted the asparagus and picked it that morning and sold it to me made whatever it cost worthwhile. A bakery beckons. My wife and I share a sticky bun. We stock up on rhubarb knowing full well we are buying more than we can consume. The grandkids will have to help.
If price and convenience were the only measures, farmer’s markets would not exist. The experience, the atmosphere, the camaraderie can’t be bought or sold. That is why there are farmers markets.

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