In days of yore, farmers and merchants from afar would come into town to sell their wares once a week. These markets helped to build community. Money was made. Basics and luxuries were purchased. The economy was strengthened. You got to know the people who baked your bread, grew your food, and made your clothes. The open-air, the abundance of fresh food bursting with energy, the exchange of words and money, the connection with others had a vibrancy that is different than our modern stores and malls.
Today our farmer’s markets serve much the same purpose. In the many places I’ve lived, I’ve looked forward to going to the markets because I’d run into people I hadn’t seen for a long time, or be introduced by a friend to someone new. I’d arrange to meet someone there to have a chat or to exchange a bottle of supplements or a book. I’ve listened to musicians and watched jugglers. My kids have run around meeting other kids. I’d look forward to drinking my fresh young coconut juice on Kauai, buying gluten-free baked goods here in Asheville, or eating freshly cooked “street food” in Eugene.
Each market has its own character. I’ve bought plants, jewelry, homemade skincare products, freshly-baked bread, eggs, and farm-raised poultry. I’ve laden myself with so much food in baskets and bags that I can hardly carry it. And then I go home and turn that fresh food into simple meals for myself, my family, and my friends.
And the next week, I do it all over again. There is a rhythm. There is an enrichment of the community. There is a bounty. There is a whole world of activity. There is a connection with place, season, weather, sky, and earth. And for me, there is also a renewal of self.
Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN. I’m the author of Digestive Wellness, Digestive Wellness for Children, and Leaky Gut Syndrome. I am the Director of Doctoral Studies at Hawthorn University, on faculty at Saybrook University, the Institute for Functional Medicine, and The Autism Research Institute. I also offer mentoring groups for clinicians and nutritionists who want to add more Functional Nutrition in their practices. For more information, go to www.innovativehealing.com