Professors and Farmers

This week we were fortunate enough to host Professor McNary-Zak for our first professor dinner. We had a wonderful meal of lasagna, zucchini, Greek salad, and garlic bread followed by delicious brownies. The meal itself was fun to make, everyone contributed a family recipe, and all of the ingredients (minus the brownies) were from the farmers market. Being encouraged to shop at the farmers market is one of the best aspects of this intentional community. Farmers markets are much different than grocery stores. Though there are fewer options, you know where every tomato, zucchini, and onion came from. I had never been to a farmers market before and just being there put me in a good mood. The farmers market is downtown on Front Street and has booths from different farms around the Memphis area. Shopping in a farmers market is more of an experience than an errand—when we run to the grocery store, rarely do we engage in conversation with someone restocking the shelves, but in the farmers market we talked to a few of the people selling their produce. At the farmers market there is no checkout counter, instead there is personal interaction with the person who knows exactly where that veggie came from. In my anthropology class a few weeks ago we talked about how the food we buy in our local grocery store comes from literally all over the world. We don’t know how many thousands of miles the banana traveled before it ended up at Kroger or how many countries the bag of lettuce traveled to before it was put in our fridge, but at the farmers market all of the food comes from nearby. Yes, there is definitely something to be said about the convenience of a supermarket that is a one stop shop for everything you need from shampoo to cold cuts, but I would encourage anyone to seek out a farmers market just for the experience if nothing else. Talk to the farmers and ask them about their crops—I promise this conversation will be something you will remember for a while.
-Emily

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