What do you think of when you hear about a Farmers Market? For me, I have a vision of getting up early on a Saturday morning and heading out to a local parking lot where farmers and vendors have set up booths to sell all their gorgeous fruits and vegetables, baked goods, even honey and hummus. As a military family, we have lived in so many places and I always love to scope out the farmers markets. Northern Virginia had great farmers markets. They would set up at different set locations throughout the week. I would frequent the one in Burke and always seem to buy a big bunch of basil to make pesto, if nothing else. Seattle has Pike Place Market, not a true set up on a Saturday kind of farmers market, but still really awesome! Fantastic fish, flowers, fruits and veggies.
Los Angeles has a farmers market at the Grove that has been there forever (I even went there once when I was a little kid). I’ve also seen a parking lot one on Monday mornings in West Hollywood. And I have to give a shout out to the Saturday morning market in downtown Boise. WOW. I went to high school there back in the 70’s and that place has really changed. They shut down several streets and have an awesome market. I bought some really good spicy peanuts. During our last tour in San Diego we lived in Point Loma and on Wednesday evenings in Ocean Beach the main street would be closed and all the vendors would come in and set up their booths. We’d even eat dinner while strolling up and down the street. There was always something good to eat.
So when we moved here to Pennsylvania, I once again searched for the local farmers market. The one that pops up in a parking lot or along a closed down street. Couldn’t find one. There is a market open only a couple days a week in a building nearby which does have everything a farmers market has, but for some reason it doesn’t call me in like the outdoor ones do. In all fairness, I’m sure it’s probably just because, as everyone knows, this is my least favorite place I’ve lived so I’m sure I just haven’t given it a chance (but I’ve made great friends here so that’s awesome). The local market here does have a fabulous cheese counter though, even had one of my favorites, Humboldt Fog, which surprised me. I’ve been there a few times over the past two years, but unfortunately, I’m not a frequent shopper there. I just feel like something’s missing. Not the same ambiance I guess.
My neighbor had talked about a farmers market she went to over by Harrisburg. She described the plethora of vegetables she purchased for under $20. Sounded like something I needed to check out. So we went one Saturday morning…to the “Saturday Market”. I was pretty excited. I had visions of row after row of vegetable and fruit stands, maybe some tasty hummus, lots of fresh baked breads, you get the idea. Well, as I’m sure you can guess by now, it wasn’t quite what I had expected. There were a few vegetable/fruit stands (some of which were selling Dole fruit, I can get that in the grocery store!) and I did purchase the biggest head of cabbage I have ever seen in my life. I got a bunch of vegetables for under $15 and I think the prices were good. They also had some tasty homemade pickles, potato chips, and pretzels but I didn’t buy any.
I did get what I came for, but what I didn’t expect was the row after row after row of “crap”. Did you know you can buy your socks and underwear at a farmers market? Or how about a vacuum cleaner? If that doesn’t float your boat, you could always purchase leftover makeup, hot wheels cars or even sit in a chair and pray! I don’t know, it just was weird to me. And without being too mean spirited, let me just say that the clientele at Walmart is much more stylish! So the Saturday Market is really much more of a flea market with a few tables of fruits and vegetables thrown in. I guess it would have been okay if that’s what I was expecting…and if I liked to shop at garage sales and flea markets, but that’s not something I enjoy that often. I guess I had my heart set on something a little different.
So I’ll have to wait…we’ll be moving in a couple months so who knows what farmers market I’ll discover in the next place? All in all, it was fun to experience. Something do to. Don’t have any desire to go back.