Farmer’s Market fiasco

It’s Friday and tomorrow is the 4th of July. Where has the year gone? With only five more months till December, I feel 2009 has been zooming by. This 4th of July weekend I will fill my home with friends and spend some much needed time at the beach reading and taking in the New England shoreline beauty.That said, Thursday was my one-day to prepare the house and get all my shopping done.

I asked my friend Geri if she would be interested in joining Violet and me as we went to the local Famer’s Market to pick-up a wide selection of fresh vegetables, eggs and fruits. Geri has a fun sporty convertible and since it was a fabulous day she was more than happy to drive and agreed to pick us up.Miss Violet loves being in the car with the top down taking in the fresh air on her whiskers. I hold her tight as she can take flight – with those ears back extended grabbing the wind she is ready for a take-off!

I love spending my summer in the Hamptons and Violet joins me just about everywhere. She is always greeted and welcomed to any outdoor gathering. Children play with her and adults can’t help but marvel over her cuteness and color.Whether it’s a tag sale, sidewalk sale or a Farmer’s Market, if it’s outdoors no has ever made a fuss about the little schnauzer that Mar Jennings owns. She is part of the family fun and always either on a leash or in my arms.

Now comes my hometown experience. Westport has two lovely Famer’s Markets on Thursdays and Sundays, and Violet is no stranger to the Sunday market. So, we were interested in what the Thursday market would have in store for us. With Geri by our side, we parked and entered with Violet in my hands as usual. A woman walked over and I thought it would be like any other day: I was ready for her to comment on how pretty Violet is (after all I just gave Violet a morning bath.) To our surprise were told, “You can’t have a dog here.” “What?” I replied.”No pets.” I could not believe what I was hearing nor could Violet or Geri.I looked over and no more than 10 feet away were live goats – yes goats – in a large pen yet Violet was not allowed in.I said to Geri “let’s go” as I refused to leave Violet in a hot car or spend a dime anywhere that would not welcome a dog. Too many rules for my taste. Oh, but what to do to get my market fix? (And be ready for my weekend guests?) The answer would come quickly as Geri knew a fabulous “real” working farm in Easton, Connecticut.

With Violet in my arms, we were in heaven to discover this true working farm and we knew we were in for a real treat the moment we drove up.Chickens wandered the fields; barn cats greeted us, as did the sight of cows in grazing in the hills.We felt as we traveled in time and found ourselves in a wonderful place.I could not get enough of the abundant selection of fresh produce that is picked daily.

Thanks Geri for the suggestion. She’s an advocate for healthy eating, and now thanks to her I have another healthy way to get my food, too.After viewing the documentary Food, Inc last weekend with her I feel re-committed to supporting organic farming and production. If you haven’t seen this film make sure it’s on your radar. Without resorting to overly-sensational images or too many talking heads it really makes you aware how society’s desire for convenience and quantity has affected food production – and where your tax dollars and subsidies are spent. My favorite thought-provoking blurb from the movie? Why is it cheaper to buy a hamburger than a head of lettuce?

If you have the pleasure of having a working farm in your area I suggest you befriend the farmer and show your support for their hard work and dedication to mother earth.Tell your friends and neighbors as the benefits will be food that tastes like nothing else you have ever tasted.

Schnauzer update: Violet is 30 weeks old and had a difficult week with a bad tummy. Better now, the poor thing could not keep anything down and all I could do was hold her and tell her how much of a good girl she was. By Wednesday she was feeling better, and by Thursday she was up and ready for a road trip. Not completely back to her spunky self but she is enjoying the fresh potato, farm eggs and free-range chicken stock with her kibble. No one likes to be sick but if you have to be it’s best to be sick around me as I’ll take good care of you. So Violet tells me, of course.