Every third or fourth Saturday, our family heads out on a short 20 minute drive to the whole and bulk foods market run by a local Mennonite order. We love this little trip as much for the scenery as for the food. We pass by our "dream" house- a hundred and fifty year old farmstead. We cross over the river, clear and cool…not too soon after that, we arrive at our destination. The secret is the wonderful family style restaurant right next door called (what else?)-  The Farmer's Daughter. Oh my word, the food is local, seasonal, and beyond fantastic. Our kids happen to be partial to the carrot souffle. It's a wonderful, frugal (particularly with four kids) throw back to slower times.

Our trip to market is a favorite tradition for this city-turned-country girl. We've probably been making this trip for almost a year now, and I have been struck by the seasonality of it. I never realized the actual growing times for things like strawberries or tomatoes, which appear on our grocery store shelves year round. (And are probably from as far away as New Zealand, Peru, or Columbia.) I realize this now, because each trip we take down to the market I see those things growing and being harvested in their seasons. And trust me, once you've had a fresh tomato from right off the vine, there just isn't any going back to those pasty, watery supermarket ones.

I love going to this market as much for the Mennonite ladies (and sometimes, men) and their peaceful way of life as I do for the quality and cost of their food. It's the only place in the area that I can get naturally sourced grains, beef, and other needs (for Isaiah and his no-synthetic-preservative diet) without paying an arm and a leg like I would have to if I went to our natural foods store.  We aren't weird here- us and our four kids walking the tiny aisles are as familiar to them as their own little girls running around barefoot in their jewel toned dresses and dangling Kapps and their boys with their suspenders and straw hats. Soft hymns play in the background, and the smell of freshly baked bread tickles the senses. Things are still counted out by hand. It's such a beautiful, poignant reminder to slow down. Barns_2

River Dream
Mountain_view
Farmer
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To Market…

One thought on “To Market…

  • May 26, 2008 at 11:32 am
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    Oh, how fun! Where is this? I’ve never heard of it. I would love to check it out. I enjoyed the pictures. I am such a country girl at heart….always have been. My papaw and mamaw had a farm, and I always wanted to live out there in the country with them. Eating veggies out of the garden, canning, riding horses, growing flowers (like my mamaw), and playing in the hayloft of the barn….my dream…..I love barns and rolling hills and fields. When I was a kid I actually twirled through the fields singing like Maria on The Sound of Music. 🙂

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