Today the clouds look like carded wool. The sun is shining and the breeze is cool - a perfect Spring day for the start of the local farmers' market. I love going to the farmers' market, even when I don't buy anything. Like today.
My husband, son, and I got to the park where the market is held a half hour after it started. It was already packed and bustling! I shouldn't have been surprised, but the business made me smile. I think it's so great rubbing elbows with neighbors and fellow Cache Valley residents. And it's grown so much since last year! Buying something from the market always gives me an immense sense of satisfaction. I think it's knowing that someone that lives down the road made the cheese that I bought or spun the wool and knit the shawl that I admired - that buying something there is like buying a piece of my community and I become even more connected than I was before.
But, alas, this time I had forgotten to bring cash! We slowly meandered between the stalls past goat soap, hardy seedlings, 6-packs of hodge-podge colored eggs, fresh crackling bread, and various homemade crafts, and yet I couldn't buy a single thing! We didn't stay too long, but it was good to just feel the companiable vibe in the air, to hear the noisy, happy chatter, to smell the fried onions and perfumed soaps in the air and to feel the sun on our heads.
Even if I had had cash, I don't know if I could have justified buying anything, though. Our fridge at home is overstocked with wilting kale, yellowing broccoli, year-old dates (they haven't gone bad yet!), multitudes of miniscule postions of leftovers, and a variety of store-bought breads. My whole fridge fills me with guilt. Not because it's dirty (I actually cleaned it a month ago), but because I know that I want to learn to eat seasonably, to eat the bread I know how to make but don't, to be so organized that my menu recycles and uses leftovers in clever ways, to be using our food storage so that we don't buy as much at the store, to really cut back on packaged foods (like pasta which I'm confident that I could make), etc., etc., etc!
I long to join a CSA (we're job hunting after just graduating from school so that's not possible), and to know the story behind the food that we eat. Aaah, so many goals and so many frustrations. I tell myself that when we move and are settled, that it will be different. Maybe it will be, maybe it won't. I just need to remind myself to do what I can right now and be content until improvements can realistically be made. And the next time we go to the farmers' market you better believe that I won't forget my money! (And that I'll have an empty fridge.)