I have always loved farmers markets and artisan markets. You get to meet people who are growing food, or creating things. It cuts out the middle man and gives the things that you purchase more meaning. You inevitably feel more a part of something.
I have two bowls that I bought years ago on tour, when I was in Portland. Saturday morning, on our weekend in Portland, we got up and headed to the Saturday Market. One of the stalls had a couple of students who had bowls they had made in their pottery class for sale. I fell in love with two bowls and purchased them. I use them still today, they are a couple of my prize possessions. They have an authenticity that I find undeniable.
I live in a community that many would think bereft of such wonders. Vegas is pictured as the strip. A place where people go to vacation and get a little crazy. The rest of us, I guess the remainder of the world suspects, are simply here to provide services for them. While not entirely untrue, we do have a community, one that comes from all over the globe, and that community searches for authenticity and connection.
We go to the farmers market to meet the people behind the table, to take home something that makes us feel more deeply connected. I pick up produce from Meadow Valley Farm or the Intuitive Forager and then I grab spice blends, chutneys, compotes or pickles from Dan & Sharon at Spicy Camel Trading Company. They get the produce for their creations from these same farmers. Chris Gervais is there with all sorts of healthy sprouts, he is doing the urban farm thing and making it better every day. The Aromatherapy Garden has wonderful soaps and there is local honey, a local coffee roaster and so much more.
It’s a little selfish, buying this way. It makes me feel good about myself. I feel like I am part of a community. It’s a movement to make the world a smaller place and to tie us all together a little more.
This is the heritage we are creating. Many of us now live far from relatives and the place that we traditionally called “home”. I was a Navy brat, so “home” isn’t a piece of land, it’s about people. Family isn’t about blood relatives, it’s about the people you share with and care the deepest about.
So as we move forward, trying to make the world a better place, maybe a smaller and more connected place also, we create more meaning by knowing where our food and belongings come from. How they were created and who created them is important and fulfilling.
Am I perfect with this? No. But I get better and better at avoiding the bigger stores and finding ways to purchase from people I know. Join me, inspire me…it takes a village, let’s make one together.