When I moved to western Michigan this past July, I was thrilled with the local farmers’ markets. Nearly every small town has its own market, and driving into the countryside you see u-pick farms and roadside vegetable and flower stands every few miles. It feels like the land of plenty. During my first visit to the farmers’ market in Holland I felt like a kid in a candy store. I bought too many vegetables at once, and ate green beans for the entire week. The Holland market is open twice weekly, so I have now tempered my purchasing to what I can eat in two or three days. During my first few visits, I exhibited behavior of a typical city/suburb dweller. I had planned a dinner menu and looked for what I had in mind. I asked around for asparagus and was told “It’s past asparagus season.” I looked for broccoli and was told “Broccoli isn’t ready yet.” So as the months have passed, I have learned to eat what is in season. I go to the market, see what is in season, and then plan my dinner. This is the way people used to eat, and is a very green way of living. Eat what is in season and what is from the local area. You can do that here in western Michigan pretty easily. I can buy free range eggs from just down the road, organic cheese from a local farm and any assortment of vegetables that are in season.
Now that autumn has arrived the market stalls have changed too. There are no more blueberries and peaches. The huge mounds of sweet corn are also gone. Today’s market had an abundance of apples, pears, pumpkins, and squash. It is now the season for broccoli and brussels sprouts. The autumn market is very colorful and the air is crisp and clean. Luckily, the Holland market is open until December 11th. After that I suppose I will go back to the supermarkets, and wait impatiently for spring. (http://www.hollandfarmersmarket.com).