Monday, September 13, 2010

Sights, Smells and Farmers…

We just returned from a trip out to Washington state.  There was a lot that I loved about where we were, a lot.  Yes the weather was lovely, in both Yakima and Seattle.  The latter being warm and dry (read that as no humidity which I’ve never experienced till now!) and Seattle while a bit cloudy was still lovely and very fall like.  Oh and an FYI Seattle isn’t really all that rainy, cloudy yes, but not rainy, surprised?  I was!
The smells out there were so amazing and really anyone that lives there just doesn’t get how lucky they are!  In Yakima the smell of Sage permeates the air.  Now I’m not talking about the sage that you cook with, no this is the sage that Native Americans use for smudging and it’s a fresh, wonderful scent.  It’s one that I love and so wish could replicate, but I’ve not had any luck getting it to grow in my yard and certainly not to the massive bush sizes they have out there. 
Now I am not a city girl by any means and so the fact that I love Seattle is a big surprise to me, but I do!  Yes it’s a big city but it has a small city feel.  The people were amazingly friendly and I mean that sincerely, smiles, hellos, goodbyes and thank yous abound.  People smile when they are serving you, they ask how you are doing and really are just so incredibly friendly.  Even just people walking down the street were friendly and really how often do you get to walk through a city and feel comfortable and relaxed?  It was nice to not feel hurried or stressed, even in the downtown areas of Seattle!  I’m not saying it’s perfect but it sure was nice!
The thing that really got me though and I mean really, was the farmers market in Yakima and the Pike Place Market.  I live in an area that is rich in farmland all around.  We even have CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) sprouting up around us, but large burgeoning Farmers Markets, haven’t been high on the radar. In Yakima the one we went to Sunday morning was wonderful, produce in the brightest of colors exploded all around us, food vendors offering everything from fresh fruit, grilled chicken and pancakes.
Now Pike Place was an entirely different world!  Since we were there on Labor Day only one fish stall was open and it was mobbed.  There were vendors selling everything from doughnuts to produce, the flowers were stunning and so inexpensive.  Massive and I mean massive bouquets were $10!!! Lavender dealers, fresh candy, baked goods, jams and jellies were all around us.  It was an overload on the senses but in the best possible way.
I want more of this locally, I want to support local farmers by purchasing fruit, vegetables, honey and eggs directly from them.  I want to find a farmers market that is local to me and go weekly and do my shopping there.  So I went online and looked up Farmers Markets in Maryland and my goal is to find one or two that can supply me with at least my produce for the week!  I don’t know what they will have to offer, don’t know how large it will be or what I’ll find.  What I do hope though is that maybe just maybe I’ll get a small sampling of some of the wonderful fruits and vegetables that I love and I’ll be supporting the local farmers that so need my money more than the big chain stores do!
Oh and one more reason to love Washington, you can’t stand within 25 feet of a door, sans maybe your very own and smoke, so there was no walking through it to get into stores or restaurants!!!!!  I can’t even express in words how desperately I wish they would pass that sort of law..everywhere.  If you want to smoke that’s your choice but I shouldn’t have to breath it when I’m going into any building and out there, I didn’t smell a cigarette the entire time I was there!

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