Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I have a deep love of Farmers Markets. I love the feeling of dealing directly with the people who put time, effort and heart into the growing and harvesting of my food. One of the pleasures of living in a rural, agrarian community is the ability to connect in this way. My grandparents continued to grow food in their yards even after their families moved into the city for job and educational opportunities. I come from country folks who worked the land and I am proud of my heritage.
Today marked not only the opening day of the Historic Downtown Hot Springs Farmers Market, but also my first visit to this market being a new arrival to this community. So, I grabbed my bag and my cash and struck out to see what I could find on this beautiful day.
The weather could not have been more perfect today with gorgeous clouds and a gentle breeze. I am completely in love with waking up to the scene of these rolling hills and shimmering waters.
Parking was a snap to find for this market which is not always the case. I loved that they had specially designated parking for the elderly and handicapped that was quite close to the market. That accommodation is something that should be considered for all Farmers Markets. The approach to the pavilion was beautiful. I also noticed that there is a walking trail that passes thru the market area and I definitely look forward to exploring that one day.
Then I caught sight of something I’ve been missing for years! Y’all, I got spoiled on duck eggs years ago living in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Unfortunately, they were impossible to get in West Texas. I literally jumped up and down when I saw them at the stand and I’m sure the vendor thought I was crazy but I don’t care. She will have a regular customer in me from now on.
There was also a great mix of local art at the market. These chairs are just gorgeous and I was tempted to by all sorts of jewelry, soaps and lotions, but today’s trip was all about food.
By the end of my visit I stayed within my budget, met some lovely people and came away with this bounty. I even splurged on a few treats. By the way, that’s enough meat to last me the rest of the month.
Eating well and supporting the community is a total win-win. A lot of people probably still operate under the misconception that you can’t afford to buy healthy food and patronize farmers market for the majority of your fresh fruits and vegetables and meats. You can, you really can. I am looking forward to being a regular at this market!
Marta C. Youngblood is a writer, education and social entrepreneur based in Hot Springs, Arkansas. For more information on her current projects visit https://about.me/MCyoungblood.