The farmer manning the Keswick Creamery booth at the Farmers on the Square Market made eye contact with me as I paid for my Vermeer Dutch style cheese.
” I hope you enjoy it,” he said with gentleness. I could tell he really meant it.
His sincerity was as clear and pride, evident. Farming is tough. And the farmers greeting shoppers under white canopies in front of the Presbyterian church, should be proud of the beautiful, food they provide.
Farmers on the Square opened June 3rd in Carlisle, PA and features local vegetables, cheese, meat plus a variety of foods from baked goods to eggs, all produced within a 100 mile radius of Carlisle. They will be open each Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm through the growing season, possibly until late October.
Stands offered salad mixes that were harvested that morning. Beets, bok choy, radishes and onions lined tables. There were herbs, cut flowers and tales of Moses the Rooster.
Laughter bubbled as vendors greeted each other and conversed with regular customers.
Let’s compare a stop at this market to a trip to the grocery.
I’m a mom. Thus providing food for my children is well, kinda, crucial, to that, you might say. So, it was with some sheepishness that I admitted really hating grocery stores during a talk with a good friend months back. I expected a furrowed brow or a quizzical tilt of the head from her, at least.
But this friend is always particularly insightful and she replied, ” I know! Grocery stores are gross.”
Grocery stores marketing experts paid big bucks would cringe at that statement. But I knew what she was saying. Stores are gross on many levels. There’s all the gross printed packaging competing for your attention. All the gross fake food lining row after sterile row. Gross is the robotic style of interaction dictated to the store employees. “Did you find everything, today?” repeated to customer after customer.
Contrast this with the sincerity of the people at the tables I saw yesterday. Add to that, fresh air and locally produced healthy food. At Farmers on The Square, you not only have a broad pallet of food choices but you meet the cool farmers who have poured their hearts into producing your food. Shopping in this way is a fun experience, not a gross bombardment of stuff that’s bad for you and the planet.
And if you’re lucky, you might get to hear about Moses the Rooster. By the way, folks at Pleasant Valley Preferred, I really wanted to try your eggs but I already had some at home. See you next week.
Other vendors include: