Our market also moves indoors in November as some of the farms produce products such as bread, milk, free-range meat and goods like home-made soaps and wool. This past Saturday, armed with a list of ingredients needed for the upcoming week's meals, I ventured into the indoor market like a child bringing a list of toys desired for Christmas to Santa. I wasn't disappointed and happily checked off most of the items on my list. The bonus of visiting the market on a dreary and gray Saturday morning in Autumn is the wonderful colors of the all the late Fall produce still available to shoppers like myself. I was particularly struck by the color of the lettuce and herbs. The colorful leaves of Fall may be gone , but the farmers are still bringing the gift of green to the market table.
I often hear people talk about "living green". They simplify and upgrade their lives so their carbon footprint shrinks or the energy their homes consume pull less resources out of the environment. They buy organic foods, use homeopathic remedies and stay away from anything that's processed or made with synthetic ingredients. There's no question that the food at the Farmer's Market tastes better. One bite of a salad made with fresh lettuce harvested the day before and it's hard to eat the same kind off of the supermarket shelf again. But while most of the people I know who live this way are doing it for the health benefits or because they believe the sermons of pseudo-scientific studies which proclaim we've poisoned the world with our technology, I am of a different mindset. It's not that I don't agree with the benefits of eating more natural foods; I do. It's not that I think we should just consume, consume, consume with no regards to the consequences; I don't. What I believe is that the closer we get to how it was "in the beginning", the better off we are.
Like the beauty of a green head of lettuce on a gray Fall day, green in itself is a gift. When you look at it there is truly a sense of life at its most vibrant. There is a sense of earth and growth in this color that no other color possesses. It is not a lofty or esoteric color, rather it is familiar and inviting. It brings us closer to where we came from and reminds us to enjoy the scenery on the way to where we are going. How pleasant it is then to pick it up, put it in a bag and bring it home for dinner! As we head into a season of Thanksgiving here in the United States, I am mindful of how thankful I am for the gift of green. It connects me to the world I live in and reminds me to care for it in the same way I would care for a precious gem or a person I love. The gift of green is a treasure in every sense of the word. But we often forget how wonderful the world that brings it to us truly is.