Monday, December 5, 2011

the farmers market: a love story

Its hard to believe that prior to late this summer, I'd only visited the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market one time since I moved into San Francisco proper in January 2004. Since I decided to start frequenting the farmers market on Saturday mornings, aiming not only to buy local veggies but also to take a year's worth of photos showing the changing seasons via food offerings, it has become an incredibly important part of my life. Something I look forward to doing early every Saturday, and something that makes me truly sad to miss.

Lately, though, I've noticed something else creeping in. During the week, I tend to get downtrodden by the state of the world and the people in it; I doubt I am the only person who experiences this, but I don't like the person I become when I do. I start to think nasty things about people I don't even know (for example, on the bus) and find myself judging others harshly in my head. I don't like to be negative and I think its very ugly, whether it be on the outside or the inside, so I end up feeling like people are awful, and the world disgusts me, and that thinking those things makes me feel awful & disgusting.

What I realized this past Saturday is that the farmers market has the opposite effect on me. As I walk through the market, browsing stall after stall of locally made/handmade goods, watching families of all types eating breakfast on the pier with their kids & dogs, and listening to the sounds of local music from every corner, I realize that the farmers market encapsulates pretty much all that I love about humanity & human society.  People are happy, productive, personally fulfilled and nice to each other. It's relaxing. People smile and say hello. People desire to better their lives through local, healthy eating/living.

It's just beautiful humanity, at its best, without any outside complications. That the Occupy SF homeless camp is literally right next door to the farmers market is not lost on me; also, you may be interested to hear that there appears to be zero overlap between the two. But anyway, that's probably too political...it wasn't my intention to go there, especially not in this post about how life-affirming the farmers market is.

It's just a wonderful place. I love going there alone. Sometimes I forget that I am by nature a solitary person, but the joy I find when doing something by myself has been lifelong and is deeply ingrained. I guess being an only child did teach me to only rely on myself for entertainment, and I'm grateful for it.

Without further ado, here are some photos from my trip to the farmers market last Saturday. Enjoy








Heirloom butternut squash! How cool, right?












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