Let us be Inspired by Vegetables
This past spring, the farmer market venders gathered in the paneled meeting room of the library. Among others were apostolic women in graceful skirts, fathers with children in tow and a pierced man with the word peanut tattooed upon his neck gathered together to discuss market business for the upcoming season. I was at the meeting for my own work with an organization called Morris Healthy Eating, a group that is trying to change the food environment of our town to make healthy eating an easy option. This makes fresh and local produce a top priority. Ergo, we work closely with the twenty-two venders of our proud farmers market.
After the meeting, we had lunch together. I pulled out my own plate and silverware, as the paper plates that were being passed around would be in violation of my endeavor. Some strange looks followed my actions and my closest neighbor, Audrey, a woman who just started up a small farm north of town, inquired about my plate.
“Well, I’m trying to eliminate my waste.” I said, somewhat sheepishly. Was is pretentious to be bringing my own plate everywhere? It was certainly was bulky.
To my surprise, Audrey was incredibly supportive about the no waste thing, even going on to wonder how she could implement similar ideas into her business. She also offered to package food from her farm for me in reusable bags.
Thus began my love affair with the farmer’s market.
During the summer, I got the majority of my food from venders who would fill up my miscellaneous jars and bags with tomatoes, chard, spinach, bread, eggs and even pasta. I was also busy with the student organic garden club, where I was able to grow more of my own food.
It was surprising to me how much living with minimal waste has become a community event. I have met more people, have formed relationships and had conversations with this adventure than I ever imagined. Cheesy though that may sound. It still is shocking to me how interested people are in following my progress and wanting to help, or even change a few of their own habits.
Plus, the food is delicious. To quote a friend, “Let us be inspired by vegetables.”