I’m lucky to live just 3 blocks from the Escondido Farmers’ Market and with rare exceptions I go every week.  And what’s so great about the Market?

1.  It’s seasonal.  The produce I buy has been nurtured by the sun and rain so that it has true natural flavor.

2.  It’s local.  It hasn’t lost flavor or moisture by being shipped long distances.  That means it lasts much longer without losing flavor or texture.

3.  It’s ripe.  Fruits and vegetables that are shipped have to be “hard” to survive the journey.  If I want to I can buy a tomato so ripe it has to be eaten that night.

4.  It hasn’t been chilled to death.  Refrigerating tomatoes dulls their flavor and changes their texture.  I don’t refrigerate them at home, why would I want to buy them that way?

5. It supports local farmers, bakeries, growers and purveyors of all kinds.

6. It enlivens our downtown.  People come for the Market and then look at what else we have to offer, stop and have a drink, maybe even stay for dinner.

7.  It makes me happy.  The guy who sells hanging plants waves to me, the people I buy my zucchini from remember me and Miguel, the handsome young man with great heirloom tomatoes part of the year, is always good for a hug.