Food is such an essential part of who we are and how we think of ourselves.
Of course what we eat and how and with whom we eat contributes to our health, both physical and emotional. And what and how we eat is dependent on what we like, what we can afford, what is available, who is around to share with us.
Making a meal for others or eating with a loved one can make the difference between wanting to eat and not much caring about eating. And eating a solitary meal while enjoying a good book can be valued immensely. It is about preference and choice.
It is also about history and family and memories. Take turnips. This past week, an elderly gentleman walking through the Fayette County Farmers Market with an apparent friend stopped to buy a bunch of turnips.
His friend asked what he was going to do with them. He did not answer directly, but said that his mother used to cook and mash them with potatoes. He wasn’t sure whether he could replicate this remembered dish, but thought it couldn’t be too difficult. A memory. A food perhaps not long tasted. An experiment to replicate something made by someone loved and remembered. Something beautiful and hopeful. Which is what food should be.
Meanwhile, far away, a family member in his 90s who is a lover of good breads and cheeses, and deli meats (but not so much vegetables), with congestive heart failure, is told that these foods are high in sodium and therefore should be limited, as is his preferred root beer. As he and my mother try to stay independent and prepare their own meals, it stands to reason that easy to prepare foods (canned, frozen, deli) would be preferred. What happens when what you love, for any number of reasons, is what you’re not supposed to eat?
Our relationship with food is complicated. It is health and it is comfort (and comfort may well compete with health). It is memory and story. It is family. It is personal.
Many “good for you” vegetables will be available this week at the market. We will also have two food trucks: The Farmer and the Dill (Tricia Runnels) will be here again, serving a Farmers Market brunch style menu, with lots of variety: KK’s Waffle Barn (Kay Nicole Terry) at the market for the first time, serving unique waffles of homemade Liege dough (rather than batter) originating from Belgium. You’ll have food to eat while walking and to take home to share and savor.
Modern Woodmen members are holding a Food and Supply Drive to benefit the Rose Avenue Community Center. Please drop off items at the Farmers’ Market’s Info Booth Saturday, July 17 and July 24 anytime during the market.
Items needed for Community meals are: dry goods such as spaghetti, macaroni, pasta sauce, Velveeta, rice, instant potatoes, taco shells: canned goods such as pork and beans, corn, green beans, gravy, chili, peanut butter, jelly and taco seasoning: supplies such as paper plates, 9 oz plastic cups, paper bowls, plastic forks, plastic spoons, toilet tissue, paper towels, 30 gal trash bags, foil wrap, and Clorox wipes.
Rose Avenue provides for concerns within the community like food, clothing, and assistance like budgeting and life skills training to provide a hand up to those in need. Modern Woodmen improves the quality of life for members and the communities where they live, work and play.
The Market is open Saturday morning from 8:30 to noon and is located in the municipal parking lot on the corner of South Main and East East streets in Washington C.H. SNAP EBT food benefit cards and credit/debit cards are accepted. Those using the SNAP EBT card for food purchases receive matching dollar “Produce Perks” tokens ($1 for $1) good only for fruits, vegetables, and food producing plants. So,”buy one, get one” for up to $25 every market day. Five dollar coupons will be available again for Fayette County Farm Bureau members at each Saturday market; these can be spent at both the Wednesday and Saturday markets.
The following list contains the names and products of the vendors that expect to set up this Saturday. Other vendors may participate as well.
Little Farmstead Flowers (Eicher family): Sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias, rudbeckia, dianthus and many other fresh cut flowers. Flower arrangements and fresh cut herbs will also be available.
King Farms (Jeff and Sandi King): Green beans, beets, new red potato’s, Yukon Gold potatoes, zucchini, onions, cucumbers.
Wood by DW (Debbie Welch): Wood crafts and sewn kitchen crafts.
Your Other Mother’s Kitchen (Don and Sara Creamer, 740-572-0134): Bread, muffins, blueberry crisp, brownies.
Bridge View Garden (Hunter and Lorelle Rohrer, 740-505-5125): Blackberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, onions.
Engeti (Alana Walters): Baked goods including dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, cakes, pies, cookies.
Gerhardt’s (Kevin Gerhardt and the old yellow truck): Supersweet white corn, cucumbers, sweet peppers, jalapeños and cherry tomatoes.
Greens and Greenery (Katrina Bush): Seasonal produce. Potted flowering plants for beauty and pollinators. Buckeyes. Sourdough crackers. Local honey. Beeswax hand creams, and glycerin and honey soaps. Natural insect repellent.
Jim’s Premium Ground Beef (Jim Hobbs): Premium Ground Beef which includes steak, loins, chuck and brisket all in our ground beef, vacuum packed in 1#, 5# and patties 3/#.