Friday, September 14, 2007

Time to go to market!

It's Friday night, and guess what I'm doing tonight (other than writing)? I'm putting together my grocery list for a quick trip to the Regional Market tomorrow.

I won't have much time, only an hour and a half at best, but it'll be delightful to shuffle along with the crowds and gawk at the beautiful produce and products. It's been a few months since I was there last, thanks to a summer full of home improvement projects and just sheer busy-ness. I can't wait to see all the farmers from the central and northern regions with their fall offerings. And buying food from them supports the quality of life here.

I live along a very busy four-lane highway that 20 years ago was a tree-lined bucolic state route. Active farms graced its length: pumpkins, cabbages, sweet corn, you name it. But now they are (almost) completely gone. Instead, we now have townhouses, hotels, restaurants, a car dealership, food clubs and shopping plazas. (Let's not even get into the traffic congestion!)

Did the farms vanish because of high taxes? The farmer passed away with no one to keep the farm in production? Not enough income? A developer came along and made an offer that couldn't be refused?

The answer is probably a bit of all of the above and more. But I can't help but wonder if more local folks had stopped by the farms and bought those pumpkins, that corn, whether more of the farms would still be around today.

I'm here for the long haul, and I believe our farmers want to be, too. So I'm going to do my tiny part in keeping what remains of local agriculture alive and well.

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