It was another hot day today. Everyone kept talking about it and yet the heat did not bother me. My training must be making me immune to hot temperatures. I have enjoyed a relaxing weekend with family, filled with great meals and conversation. I wondered how I could top it all off.
My friend Jenn started the Acton-Boxborough Farmers Market in Acton Ma. A few months ago I had helped her work on the farmers market web site and being Sunday and in the area, I had the perfect opportunity to check it out while also picking up some nice seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Farmers markets are great for what they allow you to do. They give you the opportunity to pick up fresh local food at a fair price while helping support the local economy. One thing that struck me about this particular market was the willingness of people to provide free samples of food.
The vegetables in particular were diverse and some unknown to me. I often try new foods on recommendation, but allowing me to taste the food allowed me to evaluate it’s freshness as well as gain a better appreciation for what it was, how it tastes and how I might cook it. Everyone was more than willing to provide simple cooking suggestions as well as full fledged recipes. The community feel and friendly atmosphere are hard to come by at the mega-grocery store and a welcomed change.
Live music, artisans and friendly volunteers all contributed to a fun environment.
Not wanting to end my culinary tour and trip down memory lane, I also stopped off at Westward Orchards in my hometown of Harvard, Ma. on my way back to the city.
The farm is owned and run by the Green family, the family of one of my High School classmates Stephanie. As I pulled in, the sign for fresh peaches called my name; I parked my car and headed to the farm stand building. I grabbed a bag of peaches and walked around the store. I was greeted by her parents, then almost not recognizing her, was greeted with a cheerful hello. It’s amazing how after years (11 in this case) you can pick up some things in life with ease almost as if no time had passed at all. I learned of her recent engagement, talked about business, my new found love for food and cooking, old friends and generally just caught up. Noticing the bag of peaches in hand, she assured me that they were delicious and that I would be hooked. I would definitely be back, and back in less than 11 years for sure. I had no doubt she was right.
Though I longed for life in the city when I grew up, this weekend served as a reminder of how lucky I was to grow up where I did. Access to local fruits and vegetables and those who produce it is to some extent a luxury few have. The “apple town” I once scoffed at isn’t so bad after all. Don’t get me wrong though as I do enjoy living in the city and what it has to offer, but the quaint contrast of small-town life is fun to partake in when given the opportunity.