Día de Muertos, and a celebration of the farmer's market

On Sunday, I danced with the skulls. 

It all began at the farmer's market. 

Poems could be (and likely are) written about farmer's markets. They're comforting and bright, bursting with new tastes, sights, and sounds. I still long after the Friendly City Farmer's Market in Harrisonburg. By senior year it was walking distance from my apartment, and on Saturday mornings (the ones when I wasn't sleeping till noon), I'd pull on a pair of boots and scamper down to pick up bunches of greens and Amish-made macaroons.  

And there was Root's in the golden hills of Manheim, Pennsylvania. This bad boy was a Renn Faire Tuesday ritual; they had the biggest pumpkins and the best apple cider. (And if you drank out a decent chunk of the top, you could pour in some Fireball Whiskey and have the best hammock ride of your life.) 

Though farmer's markets echo similar vibes of comfort and fresh produce, they're often unique to their location. This is to be expected. Different soils, different cuisines, etc, etc all lead to a deep cornucopia of culture and flavor.  But this is why farmer's market are such a treat. No matter where you are, you can head to the local market, grab some bites and absorb some of the town's flavor. 

Just to prove my theory (but mostly it sounded really fun) I made a little chart mapping the diversity and universality of the farmer's market, using my two most recent ventures to compare and contrast. Logan's Square is a neighborhood in Chicago, and Mar Vista is the town that sits between Culver City and Venice Beach here in Los Angeles. 

Logan's Square Farmer's Market v. Mar Vista Farmer's Market

Logan's Square 

Chai marshmallows

Hot apple cider

Thick-rimmed glasses

Flannel 

Local whiskey 

Both

Vegan baked goods

Women with dreads

Men with beards

Artisanal honey

Kale

Mar Vista 

Empanadas

Dumplings 

  Live mariachi music

Man buns 

Sangria 

!!!!!! Look at that! Regardless of the differences between the Farmer's markets they all share good vibes, happy people, and kale. So I knew going into the Mar Vista Farmer's Market that I would be satisfied. I did not, however, know that they would be celebrating Día de Muertos with such ebullience that I would spend all day consuming free samples and dancing with a mariachi band. But life surprises you.

Standouts included:

Hepp's Salt - I've never done a salt tasting before, and though my sodium levels likely exploded, I am so glad to have been involved in the experience. Hepp's habanero salt does magical things to homemade granola, and the 7-fire (named for being smoked with seven different types of wood) was like camping with a bunch of foul-mouthed girl scouts. In the best way possible.

Farm Style Cooking for Kids - I am so crazy passionate about this I could spit all over the computer. Sarah, an artist and food educator, teaches kids about the fun of choosing, smelling, and experiencing the foods we make and share with our loved ones.  A+++++++++++++++++++++

Dr. Sweetooth's Nougat - When I was younger, I dreamed I would meet this man. Dr. Sweetooth advertises his nougat as being "the best nougat you will ever taste" and he is right on the money. The nougat is made in the French-style, and it's all soy, gluten, and dairy free. And the best part is, while Dr. Sweetooth makes candy on the weekend, his day job is that of a DENTIST. Talk about a double life. 

Red Bread - We recently did a shoot with Rose Lawrence of Red Bread for Salted and I fell in LOVE with her mission: food should be tasty, nutritious, and sustainable. I also fell in love with the Bourbon peach jam. 

 

Until the next market, dear friends. 

- stay cozy