Summer on the east coast is in full swing and I’m loving every minute of it. Fresh fruits and veggies abound and no where moreso than at the local farmers’ markets that are popping up like daisies in urban and rural destinations alike.
And while it may appear that we are indeed finally catching up to our hip West coast cousins on the farmers’ market trend, to be fair, there have been quite a few farmers markets around town for a good long time before they became in vogue. Go up into northeast Pennsylvania and you’ll meet and hear authentic maple sugar producers and fish farmers that have been there, well, for centuries.
While the idea of fresh and local produce is not inherently new to a country known for its wild and rugged wilderness, mid-20th century technology and convenience put a damper on our vast culinary heritage. Gladly, the tides are turning and food is finally slowing down again, finding a happy meeting point with our increasing rapid lifestyles.
Cue either European influence or folks just getting plain old tired of stressed out lifestyles, whatever it is, I’m happy that it’s here.
Artist Nikki McClure is not only a children’s book author, but illustrates an annual calendar as well and is an activist for the slow food movement. Her papercut prints and singular colored illustrations perfectly capture the rugged beauty and excitement of the farmers’ market: A place where people meet, interact, and find joy in the simpleness (and goodness) of gosh darn well-grown food.
I love her book To Market, To Market published by Abrams Books (2011) and find myself buying it for friends both small and big alike!