Locally Grown & Crafted Items from Local Vendors
On a beautiful summer morning, I wandered through a path, looking for the way out to the South of the James Farmers Market I’d heard so much about. From over the hill, I heard a rumbling, deep voice accompanied by a guitar. I instinctively followed the voice, and as it grew louder, I found myself in front of a European-style outdoor market, filling by the second with dogs, cheerful kids, and sweet young couples.
I was in complete awe. More than anything else, I clearly remember the immediate rush of mesmeric, natural colors that flooded my eyes the second I walked past the gates. It was almost overwhelming: As I approached one vendor, my eyes would dart to the next, then to the one after that, until I came full circle.
I strolled around the market twice before buying anything at all, making sure I was fully aware of all my options. I was a kid in a candy store. I touched every homegrown mushroom, smelled one too many homemade soaps, tasted samples of cheese breads, and poked at vegetables I had never heard of before!
I must have asked a hundred questions of an Italian woman who introduced me to vegetables like spigariello, a seemingly long-lost cousin of broccoli and kale. I longingly explored her selection before moving on to converse with a natural pet treats vendor—for so long that the market began shutting down on me.
Ironically, I went home that day with just a dozen cage-free eggs, new farmer friends, and a full belly, but that was more than enough to keep me coming back.
– Oeuyown Kim, 2 year resident of Richmond