the last of the summer markets

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It’s fall. Fall in New England really means something. Apple cider, golden trees, crisp air, and lots of pumpkins. I like fall, despite being cold most of the time. I guess you have to give a little to get a little.

This last weekend I attended a garlic party. If you haven’t been to one, it’s worth it. A big group of friends and acquaintances of a farm – in this case The Blue Moon Evolution’s restaurant garden – get together and plant the next seasons garlic. For those who don’t know, the garlic you eat is the same garlic you plant. Apparently it’s very hard to plant garlic the wrong way.

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We gathered and planted, and then reconvened inside to eat – our payment for an afternoons work. It felt like community at it’s best. It made me think of reading about Barn Raisings over a hundred years ago. People really helped their neighbors, because ultimately they were helping themselves.

Today was the last Exeter Farmers Market, which I think I’ve previously named as my favorite local market. I feel like I know the vendors at the Exeter Market, and they’re all good friends now. I love other Seacoast Markets as well, but Exeter just happens to hold a special place for me.

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I didn’t get to go today, but back during the furlough I went and took pictures. Most of the farmers had opted to discount or donate free food to workers on furlough. I was so mad at the time about what the government was putting us through. I didn’t care whose fault it was – left or right. I was just furious. It didn’t seem fair. It didn’t seem like anyone in Washington really cared.

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So it made me really happy that the farmers, on their own fruition, decided to help those affected by the furlough. I started writing this blog because I realized small communities are going to save themselves. We are only able to hold ourselves accountable in these selfish times.

I’ve been helped by my farmer friends before. They know, to some extent, that hardship that touches upon my life. I’ve lost one job this year, and had an excruciating wait between two other jobs. The wait is showing itself to be well worth it – I really feel like my current job might be a dream for me – but it made an impact. The farmers took notice, and they were generous.

It’s been over six months since I started this blog and I thought it only appropriate to reflect on why I started it, and why I think it’s important to continue with it. The truth is, it takes courage to cook for yourself, to try new things, to make real food. But it also takes courage to meet new people, to let them into your lives, to be forthcoming about who you are. You can’t do that in a grocery store.

We need to start sustaining ourselves on a much smaller basis. It’s environmentally the right thing to do, it’s economically the right thing to do, and it’s emotionally the right thing to do. So as much as I am able I will keep writing about thoughts, farms, food, and reflections. There is a lot to say.

But most importantly, local farms shouldn’t be a novelty food source. They don’t treat their customers as anything less than real valuable people. We should be so generous.

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