There is nothing more inspiring for me as a cook, then strolling through my local farmers market looking for fresh, new ingredients & products. I have been frequenting the La Jolla Open Aire Market (LJOAM) on Sunday mornings for over 10 years now. With each trip I discover new ingredients, invent new recipes, and have the pleasure of meeting new people and farmers. I have come to realize just how important buying locally grown is, not to mention the markets themselves, which bring us so many local options in one, convenient spot! From organic broccoli rabe, chipotle Bitchin’ Sauce, to handmade jewelry; you can find anything & everything you’d need to make a healthy meal for your family, or give as a gift. You can also do all of that while eating delicious food from countless vendors. And who doesn’t love a crepe the size of a frisbee while they’re shopping?
I particularly love the spirit of my local market, as they donate a percentage of their weekly proceeds to the local elementary school and you can’t go wrong supporting small farms and small kids :) So, other than buying lettuce and tomatoes, I wondered how I might be able to support the many volunteers and farmers at my market. Coincidentally, I recently came across a contest being sponsored by American Farmland Trust. They are collecting votes now to crown “America’s Favorite Farmer’s Market.” Voting is a cinch and you can do it right on their website here. You bet I already cast mine for LJOAM!
The American Farmland Trust is an organization solely focused on educating the public of the importance of preserving our nation’s farmlands. They are advocates for the farmers who work so hard to keep producing, so we may buy quality domestic goods.They host this contest annually so we can give a little back to those awesome markets we frequent weekly. What good will our votes do? Well, according to American Farmland Trust, the purpose of this contest is to re-connect local consumers to local farms, with the ultimate goal of keeping our nation’s farm and ranch land productive and healthy! Buying at the farmers market keeps money in the local community and helps farms and ranches remain economically viable. By voting, you’re helping support farms and communities across the nation. As American Farmland Trust says, “No Farms No Food™!”