Saturdays in Spring get exciting. There are so many local farmers markets to visit on Saturday morning, we can never make it to all of them. We used to just hit the Green Market at Piedmont Park, my love for which I've mentioned before. A mere stone's throw from that market is the Morningside Farmers Market, which opens at 7:30AM. Now we also have the East Lake Farmers Market (or ELF Market, if you're a hip East Lake resident like me) and the Decatur Farmers Market.
The ELF Market is in its second year and needs all the support it can get. It has taken up residence in what us locals fondly call Cracktown, at Second Avenue and Hosea Williams. A guy was gunned down there about a year or so ago. Drugs. The corners have been purchased and some of the stuff razed. The plans for mixed use, cool-looking buildings have been completed and the community managed to get the zoning on a couple neighboring lots changed. The recession has brought that progress to a screeching halt, though, and this farmer's market is one way we've managed to take that corner back. It needs love. Go love it if you're local.
Today we visited the Morningside market and then headed over to Decatur. This activity for us could be described a
s our church. We all go, even Monkey. We smell and taste all manner of wonderful things from sweet berries and cheeses, to flavored iced teas and coffees, to muffins and other baked delights and even puppy treats for the pooch. We visit with our neighbors. Everyone chats over pets and children while we wait in line to pick our goodies. Best of all, I think, is the chance to meet and talk to the farmers. They love to talk about what they grow, how to grow it, how to harvest it or split it, and how to prepare it. I've talked to soap makers and wood carvers and jewelery makers as well. We always see people we know.
At Morningside today the girls met a woman who sells her painted cards and has a table set up for the kids to create works of art. For a dollar per kid she'll watch over them and guide them. Sarah drew a flower, and then this woman, whose name is Charlotte and who I think is from Puerto Rico, taught Sarah how to control her brush strokes. After a 1 minute lesson, Sarah produced a completely different flower (it's the one to the right, just in case you weren't sure. Yes, Sarah painted that!) I bought one of Charlotte's cards, but I plan to selfishly frame it and place on a wall here rather than mail it to someone.
Tonight we'll be enjoying strip steak from the same farm whose meat and produce CSAs we've joined, along with some fresh fingerling potatoes and an arugula salad. I love farmers market day!