936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
A celebratory event happened across our nation this past weekend.
In most cities, this past Saturday was opening day for the Farmer’s Market season!
The Farmer’s Market taught me to taste food, and I’m not the only one. Nina Planck was the founder of the first farmer’s markets in London, England. Upon quitting her job as a speechwriter for the US ambassador to Britain in order to start farmers’ markets, she wrote in her book Real Food that, “My own farmer’s markets rescued me….Without really trying, I stopped thinking about food and started tasting it.”
We stopped at one of our local Wednesday Farmer’s Markets this week and happened upon fresh strawberries. They were too beautiful to pass up, although we already had a pound of Driscoll strawberries sitting in the fridge at home. As I buckled into the car and began to leave the market, I popped one of the tender, glistening berries into my mouth. I immediately turned the car around and bought two more boxes of the delectable berries.
Winter had left me forgetting what a real strawberry tastes like, and this single bite reminded me in full splendor how incredible a fresh strawberry actually is; how it is a completely different thing from the Driscoll berries back in our fridge. Oh, we’ll eat those too, but it will be a wholly different experience. And that’s just what shopping and eating locally from a Farmer’s Market is–a wholly different experience.
It is time for us to stop thinking about food as science.
We need to turn our thoughts about food away from calories, cholesterol, omega-3s, vitamins, minerals, and fat content. Fresh, local food has the power to do this; to rebirth our understanding of what food is. It begins with one bite, turning our thoughts away from chemistry, and instead toward unbelievable flavors, aromas, textures and colors. With that first bite, we begin to view food again as art.
It’s not that thoughts of nutritional composition are bad, they’re not; they have their place and they help us understand how foods make or break our bodies. But when food returns to its rightful place in our minds as the simple, beautiful, delicious components of a meal enjoyed, an incredible transformation happens. Food becomes less scary. Less daunting. Less guilt-ridden. Less confusing. It becomes beautiful again.
The Farmer’s Market plays a key role in this metamorphosis of our thoughts about food.
At Farmer’s Markets, we are given the opportunity to connect our food to the person who grows it with pride and precision.
The Farmer’s Market teaches us that food should not be cheap, should not be fast, should not be an afterthought.
The Farmer’s Market also teaches us that food is something to be proud of, prized, admired, and savored.
Ultimately, the Farmer’s Market makes food beautiful again, because it brings it back to the source; it brings it back to simplicity.
Food grown locally is indeed better for your health, and shopping at the Farmer’s Market will guarantee that you are receiving more nutrition from your food. But beyond this– more importantly, really– shopping at the Farmer’s Market will guarantee that you are getting the tastiest food available, picked from soil the very morning you bring it home to your kitchen.
And it will connect you to your community. Every penny of your money spent at the market goes directly to the farmer– your neighbor–and the sustainable practices they use to grow wholesome, real food. Spending your dollars at the Farmer’s Market says something.
It gives you a voice as you join a chorus of others who have chosen to do food differently; to do life differently; to shop and eat with intention.
The Farmer’s Market has become an indispensable part of my family’s life. It is not only where we go to find fresh, local ingredients; no, it has become so much more to us.
Nearly every week we venture out to the market together to see what beautiful colors, aromas, and flavors we can find. It gives us the opportunity to teach our children where food comes from. It also let’s us introduce them to the friendly folks growing that food so carefully for us. It lets us show our children how important it is to make these connections, meet new friends, and support our community.
I love (love!) to see other people and families discover the magic of the Farmer’s Market. This is why in the coming weeks I will be featuring posts on how to make the most of your Farmer’s Market. I’ll be sharing some of our own experiences from the past couple of years as we’ve become familiar and comfortable with shopping at different Farmer’s Markets. And I’ll be sharing the lesson’s we learned along the way, such as:
Whether you’ve never shopped at the Farmer’s Market before, or you’ve been an occasional shopper, visiting a few times and picking up a few familiar ingredients, now is the time to equip yourself with a little bit of knowledge and dive in whole heartily!
Trust me, it is a tasty, wholesome, and fun experience that you will not regret pursuing!
This salad was inspired by a new-to-me ingredient I was drawn to at our market this week. Radish sprouts! I bought them because they were beautiful. And because my husband always challenges me to bring home one unfamiliar ingredient and become familiar with it. And because the farmer handed me one to try, and with just one little sprout–I was hooked!
Besides the fantastic flavor and crunch that radish, broccoli, alfalfa, and other plant sprouts add to salads, sandwiches, and wraps– they also offer a very concentrated source of nutrients.
They can be a bit of a rare find at Farmer’s Markets, but if you’re diligent in your search, you should be able to locate some. It may take some asking around; your friends or local farmers might know someone growing them.
If you’re in the Kansas City area, I’d recommend buying them from Joe at Morning Dew Acres farm. They can be found at the Gladstone, MO Farmer’s Market. If you really can’t find any, consider growing some yourself!
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!