a farmers hands

Her hands gently held my wrists. Feeling for my pulses, she was working out whether I would be having a baby girl or a boy. While her touch was gentle, and the contact and meaning behind the check I found fascinating, it was her hands that struck me the most.

A farmers hands.

I’m lucky enough to be able to get the majority of my vegetables straight from the source. No middle man, no super market. Just my lady with her stall, selling what she grows. I love this.

I love that I can choose what to buy, its spray free, and the taste doesn’t even come close to anything else I could buy at a regular chain supermarket.

The tomatoes may look a little gnarly, the lettuce still has some dirt on it, and the cucumbers sometimes curl around a small child’s wrist.

Perfection.

This is what I want. This is how I want to choose to eat. Knowing my money is going back directly to the person growing it and toiling the soil to fill my dinner plate. If I’m not sure how to cook with something I’ll ask. Purple carrots not in this week? She’ll try to bring me some next week. Having that contact with someone who produces such an important part of my family’s life is invaluable.

If more people supported farmers markets such as these, I think societies would change. How could they not?

You would have contact with the person that was producing a large proportion of your food. You would be eating healthier, a higher proportion of your diet coming from vegetables, rather than pre packaged food. Money would be spent and going directly to the local producer, knocking out that chubby middle man, and not to forget that social contact. That wonderful element of connecting with someone and talking to them about what they do. This is just to list a mere few wonderful positives on shopping like this. Buying your vegetables in a supermarket what are the positives? Convenience?

Maybe convenience is overrated…

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61 thoughts on “a farmers hands

  1. I couldn’t agree more. The feel, smell, look and taste of these vegetables is so much more appealing. Each little piece is an individual. Supermarket ‘fresh’ produce just feels so soul-less.

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  2. somehow food that we produce ourselves or that bought straight from the source seems to have something extra..i wonder whether food grown with care and without harsh chemicals develops in a way that imparts something intangible but nevertheless important for our souls..

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  3. Yes! Yes! Yes!

    You’ll never find wobbly (but perfectly good) fruit in a supermarket, nor will you find a sense of community.

    Were skipping the supermarket (and shopping malls and superchains) for all of 2012. I wonlt be missing an thing and I know we’ll gain a lot.

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  4. I agree with you on this one, we do our best to go to our farmers markets here and the nearest farm is just over the Suspension Bridge at Leigh Court, and we can get lots of good organic veggies from them, complete with very healthy caterpillars sometimes that we find sleepily wandering around the fridge 🙂

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  5. I don’t buy fresh food from supermarkets for so many reasons. I don’t like the fact that a couple of big retailers have so much control and I prefer to know where my food comes from. Local is lovely!

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  6. Lovely post Brydie 🙂 I can’t bring myself to buy produce at supermarkets anymore (except potatoes, which I plan to move away from as soon as I get a wheel-y trolley bag that allows me to not carry everything on my arms!). When we do make purchases on holiday or some such, I’m always horrified at the cost and the artificial appearance.

    On this topic, have you seen The People’s Supermarket that’s been on TV recently? It’s a BBC production but touches on exactly these issues.

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  7. I like farmers. Like spending time with people who spend time working the earth, caring for animals.
    And I love farmer’s markets and the uber fresh veg that hasn’t gone through so many other hands.
    Great post, Brydie.
    Love seeing your fresh produce.
    Thanks.

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  8. I wholeheartedly agree that these sorts of habits are the sorts that change societies. Our producers need our support especially when large supermarkets not only mandate the type, size and shape of the produce they will buy but also the price they will pay for it.

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  9. An enjoyable read and your photo is lovely! I so agree. I love my produce imperfect, with dirt on it and the odd insect or two is ok. It’s real and how much better does it taste. Have you read ‘In defence of Food’ by Michael Pollan? I have a feeling you may enjoy it.

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  10. Every chance I get to shake a farmer’s calloused hands and enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of his/her labors, I do! We’re lucky to even have a few in the area open all winter. They’re a bit out of the way for me to reach so I’m counting the days til the neighborhood ones start popping up again. Winter seems longer without them.

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  11. I’m finding my meat with provenance journey quite tough. I’ve found somewhere I like (Free Range Meats at Orange Grove Markets), but the problem is that they are only there on Sat morning and that is my run training day so I’m really struggling to get there and there don’t seem to be many Sunday markets.

    It’s a struggle, but I’ll get there!

    Vegetables are a world I haven’t got to yet. I need to become a more inspired cook where I just buy things that look good, fresh and cheap and then create a dish. I usually work the other way round. I have a recipe in mind and then shop for the ingredients.

    I’ve pre-ordered some meat for Satruday’s market. I just hope I can get back from Hornsby on time!

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    • Richard have you thought about getting your vegetables delivered? People like Foodconnect will give you a seasonal box, deliver it, and it really helps you step out of the recipe rut. Plus you have the added bonus of it being locally produced and either spray free or certified organic. My stall lady that I write about in this post also supplies our local Foodconnect.

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  12. Hi Brydie, That was a great post!! I think that social contact with the person who grows it should be part of the experience too and farmer’s markets are a great way to do it.
    Even though we live on a farm we don’t grow everything. I took the children potato picking at a nearby farm yesterday .The kids and I worked hard and we were covered in dirt , hot and tired(but happy!).
    My teenage daughter turned to me and said,, ‘Mum , I will never look at a bag of potatoes the same way again..’ .I knew what she meant, because we had been buying potatoes from the supermarket , we had lost contact with where they had come from and the hard work that had gone into producing them.
    Those potatoes straight from the farm were the best potatoes we had ever eaten too!
    Thankyou so much for posts like these.

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    • Kim can you imagine if every school age child had that food connection as a regular part of their schooling. Either growing the food within their school or taking a trip out to a farm. Not as a once off but really part of their everyday learning?…sheesh, things would change!
      I had never rated potatoes particularly highly until I got some different varieties straight from the farm- ohhh, worlds apart!

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  13. I like that idea too , Brydie. Luckily there are organisations that do just that ( check out Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Program) ….schools can apply for grants from them and set up a garden with a teacher and a kitchen to cook produce.You need a really forward thinking principal to okay the idea though.

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    • Monkey Boy’s school was lucky enough to get a grant for a kitchen garden. It’s great that it’s there, but I think they can do more with it… really run with the idea and incorporate it in to every day lessons. I know some schools do a lot with it though.

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  14. A beautiful post. While I think you are indeed very lucky to have this farmer’s market near you, THEY are incredibly lucky to have YOU spreading the farmers market love. It’s a full circle, my dear.

    Oh and please excuse my shameless prying, but did she give any indication of the small one? A hint, clue or spiritual vibe of undoubtable measures? Yes? xx

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    • Shameless prying always welcome. She thought it would be a little girl due to my right pulse being stronger. The Persian rug man two days later told me it was definitely a boy due to the shape of my belly… but who is right!? 🙂

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  15. Our local farmers’ market sells oranges, avocados, kiwi fruit …etc., etc., and as far as I’m aware these things don’t grow locally in the midst of winter. I’ve stopped going to our local farmers’ market because it’s a farce.

    And besides it makes me flippin’ grumpy that they’ve trounced the real meaning of a farmers’ market.

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  16. YES! Convenience IS overrated. We are so blinded by convenience and it seems like the only thing that will bring us back to the ground, back to the soil, back to humble ways of gratitude, joy and appreciation are major natural disasters. Or perhaps people should just read your blog more often. I love this post. And I agree with you, fully. You resonate!

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  17. Pingback: dyeing with turmeric « Cityhippyfarmgirl

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