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Local Spirit

You've probably heard about the benefits of buying "local" produce just as much as I have.  Which is a lot.

There are loads of arguments that are convincing.  They have to do with health, economy, the environment and unicorns living forever.

Since our move to Memphis, we've been visiting the Memphis Farmer's Market every Saturday and buying interesting fruits and vegetables.

I've eaten some tomatoes these past few weeks that would make you weep sweet tears of joy, my friends.

But this local thing, I think it goes beyond economy and environment.

I feel like we've become very accustomed to manufactured experiences.  Maybe we're losing touch with one of the most fundamental aspects of our own reality as humans.

Stuff changes.  Life isn't predictable.

Or, basically, life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.

(Thanks for that, Maa-ma. You're a reeal smart, laay-dee.)

Places like Super Target, Wal Mart and other businesses based upon delivering packaged results seem to work in opposition to this basic truth.

Manufactured experiences push us to feel secure in the knowledge that no matter where we are in this country, we're always going to have the same experience.  This is great on paper, but it seems to be teaching us that environment and fulfillment of expectation dictate security and comfort.  If you know what to expect, you feel safe and comfortable.

If you're safe and comfortable, well, you're more likely to buy groceries and a throw pillow.

This is problematic for me because, as I see it, we aren't here on the planet to buy things and a sense of security should operate outside of environment and fulfilled expectation once you reach a certain age.

Security is being firm in one's knowledge of their own values and, at the same time, a personal ability to adapt, even if the environment, food, colors, people, languages or scenes change. I do, by the way, realize that this is a definition that's mostly specific to nations that are politically and environmentally stable.

I'm enjoying the local businesses and produce of the Memphis area.  This place makes me feel that, for the first time in a long time, I'm experiencing a real life and not a manufactured experience in which someone has 32 seconds to say hello to me before they get some sort of demerit.  If that's an alien concept to you, you have never lived in the Orlando area.

Sometimes people in the stores and stalls here are super friendly.

Sometimes they're rude.

Sometimes they're meh.

No matter where I've gone, though, it's always real.

Buy Local memphis Saturday Special at Our House: Homemade cream cheese spread on baguette with tomato, arugula and cucumber salad & sugar melon (not watermelon) ~ all purchased at the MFM

Reader Comments (12)

I'm glad to hear you are living in a real place and enjoying it!

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbeta dad

I loved the Farmer's Market! They also have booths where local artisans made beautiful works of art and hand crafted soaps. One of the good things that came to Miss Cordelia's when I worked there was the "Made In Memphis" section, which I hear is expanded. They would clear shelf for local products before national ones, thus supporting the local economy at the store! Wonderful! SO glad you're having a great time exploring the city! Make sure you get over to the Arcade for a burger! 190 year old grease don't lie!

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBlondefabulous

I get this! It's why we visit farmer's markets and I make every effort to experience local cuisines and customs when I travel - even in different parts of the US.

Although, I have to say that I have never had a breakfast look like that after visiting the farmer's market. Clearly Jared is doing something wrong.

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Britt

I'm looking forward to finding and exploring the local farmers markets here this fall. Most are seasonal, so I never even knew they were around!

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

i love that my favorite farmers' market goes until around thanksgiving. most of pittsburgh's markets do and that makes me happy. not because i am all "wahoo, let's buy locally and save the world" (although that certainly is a benefit), but mostly because i love good, tasty food. #selfish

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

also, i wanna try a sugar melon. love me some watermelon so this sounds tasty. probably outta season here in the burgh, eh?

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

Our Farmer's markets kind of suck here. The market is one thing I really miss about living in Italy. You could get everything there, from fresh produce and eggs to chandeliers. I'm not even exaggerating. It was the best.

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

What time is dinner?

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRen

I definitely gravitate towards local food before something shipped in from anywhere else. My parents took me to the same market as a kid as I take my own daughter to, now. (As a completely unrelated story, there was a man my dad knew who worked there, who was extremely androgynous, and I always left confused, like, "Was that a man or woman?" Good memories!)

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSybil Law

beautiful post!

October 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

The Farmers Markets are nice. We have quite a few here in Utah during the summer. Most are gone by now, but I think there is still one or two this weekend. Glad you found some local to you in your new locale.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermartymankins

One of the best parts of living in LA is access to outstanding Farmer's Markets year round.

October 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJack@TheJackB

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