Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Experiencing the Farmer's Market from a Different Perspective

Welcome to the August 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Farmer's Markets
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about something new they've learned about their local farmers.
As part of the Carnival of Natural Parenting this month, we were challenged to experience something new and different at our farmer's market. We love our little farmer's market. It's tiny compared to the one where we used to live but the farmers are there week in and week out with the food they worked so hard to produce.
I love that I recognize all the farmers and never fail to run into a friend. L loves saying hello to the farmer we've started purchasing meat from and listening to the guy who plays guitar and sings.

As our challenge this last weekend I decided to let L pick out all our produce. This might seem like a silly thing to do but she is right in the middle of the I-must-do-everything-by-myself phase and I figured it would be a good opportunity for her to exercise her independence. Unlike the grocery store where the fruit and vegetables are stacked neatly and at just the right height for a two-and a half-year-old to pick the apple off the bottom and cause an avalanche, our farmer's market is almost entirely child accessible.

Much of the produce is in baskets or on tables within reach of my very tall toddler. She loves the market and loves to do things herself so she was more than happy to pick out the fruit and veggies she wanted. I had to exercise a little self control and stop myself from telling her to put back the ones that were a little overripe. Instead I gently explained how to pick out good ones.  I'm normally the one in control of our farmer's market wanderings and purchases and it was different (and difficult) to experience it as more of a spectator. I admit I did encourage her not to buy hot peppers because our garden is overflowing with them. 

We ended up with several yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, a bag of pickling cucumbers that she put in the bag all by herself, and a little green pear.

My second challenge this week? Choosing meals that use yellow squash and tomatoes (which will be easy) and learning how to make pickles (which will be a little more difficult)! L will take care of the little green pear on her own.

What do you love about your farmer's market?
Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon August 14 with all the carnival links.)

  • 10 Simple Ways to Make the Farmer's Market More Fun for Kids — Lorie at Reading Confetti shares ideas and books to help kids get the most from the farmers market experience.
  • 10 Things I Want To Teach My Daughter About The Importance of Shopping at the Farmer’s Market — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares the ten lessons she hopes to impart to her daughter about the importance of shopping at local farmers markets.
  • Charmed by Two Small Town Markets — Shannon at GrowingSlower was charmed by two small-town farmers markets while on vacation.
  • The Olympia Farmer's Market (and a giveaway!) — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes and family took a trip to their state capitol to experience a new market. See what they saw, and enter to win a book written about that very market.
  • On the Hunt . . . At the Farmer’s Market! — Exploring the farmers market by Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy writing at Natural Parents Network — with a scavenger hunt!
  • Exploring the Market ... Alphabet StyleThat Mama Gretchen is in the midst of creating a learning tool for her toddler and it's all about the market!
  • Unschooling at the Farmers Market — Megz at Aspen Mama loves building memories as a vendor at the Market.
  • Montessori-Inspired Vegetable Unit — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares links to Montessori-inspired vegetable printables and activities to help your family get the most out of a trip to the farmer’s market.
  • Markets — How sustainable mum has fitted a monthly farmers market into a weekly food shop.
  • The Farmers Market In Under An Hour ("Carl Style") — Andrea and family at Tales of Goodness adapt their farmers marketing approach to make everyone happy.
  • Tales Of a Troubled Gardener — Sam at Love Parenting writes about her dream of self-sufficiency and her lack of gardening skills!
  • A Few {Of The Many} Reasons Why I Love Our Farmer’s Market — Even though the experience can sometimes be less than peaceful, MomeeeZen shares why she enjoys taking her family to the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.
  • Experiencing the Farmer's Market from a Different Perspective — Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM had a great time letting her toddler lead the way at the farmer's market...
  • Ask A Farmer's Daughter — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter answers questions about her life growing up on a small family farm in New England.
  • Giving Up the Grocery Store — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares her family's summertime challenge to eliminate trips to the grocery store and rely almost exclusively on local, farm-fresh foods.
  • Urban farming and fresh food in the city — Lauren at Hobo Mama takes trips to farms, gardens, and markets within reach of a big city.
  • Market Tip: Get to Know Your Farmers — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger finally gets up the guts to talk to her farmers and learns she is among ardent food lovers.
  • New Farmer's Market Find — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is excited to make a new find at her new farmers market.
  • "The Real World" Grassroots Edition — jessica at instead of institution takes some time out to write a love note.
  • 9 Insider Tips for Farmer's Market Newbies — Dionna at Code Name: Mama chatted with a few farmers to bring you some insider information on how to get the most out of your local farmer's market.
  • The Place Where I Can Say "Yes!" — Erica at ChildOrganics gives you a tour of her favorite vendors at her local farmers market and discusses the benefits of creating community through the market.
  • Raw Local Milk — Jorje shares her family's field trip to a local dairy. Learn what you can appreciate from a small town farm at Momma Jorje.com.
  • Italian Secret Vegetable Soup Recipe — Alinka at Baby Web convinces an Italian Farmer & Cook to reveal a precious minestrone recipe and shares it with her readers.
  • Where do our eggs come from? A visit to Sucellus Farms. — Carli at One Fit Mom takes her family to meet the chickens that have been providing their daily eggs.
  • Beyond the Farm — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy and her family enjoy looking beyond the food at the local farmer's market to see the wares of the over vendors.
  • Magic at the Market — Do you ever take time to really look at the food you eat? Amy at Anktangle enjoys marveling at the beauty (and the utility) of the foods and goods available at the farmers' market.
  • Farmer's Market Discoveries — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen reminisces about the discoveries she's made at the Farmer's Market throughout the years.
  • Are You Getting the Most out of Your Farmers' Market? (My List of Not-So-Common "Musts") — Sheila at A Living Family shares some uncommon ways to squeeze even more joy and connection (and yumminess!) from your local farmers' market experience.
  • Pick Your Own And Eat It — Luschka from Diary of a First Child shares their trip to a PYO farm and the journey from picking to eating her favourite food


    1. Ha! What a fun idea. I might need to try this — we'll see what we end up with. Already my five-year-old loves to pick out one or two fun, new things every time we go through the produce section, but I've never let him pick out everything. How did the pickles turn out?

    2. I love that you gave your daughter the opportunity to get so involved, what a fantastic experience for her to be choosing the foods that will feed her family! I imagine she learned a lot about food during that day. Sam

    3. What a fun idea! I like to let my son do this when we visit my family's farm market, too. He typically grabs things and takes a bite first though, so I'd be hesitant to try it out when my grandma's not the cashier!

    4. You are a brave woman ;) I think if I let Kieran pick out produce, I'd have a hard time explaining why he couldn't put all of the goods from the baker's table in our bags!

    5. Wow, I'm impressed too. I usually let Vivi put the stuff in the bag and lug her own bag around until it's too heavy, but I've never thought to let her pick what we buy. The control freak in me screams NO!, but it also sounds like fun.

    6. Wow. I have never had the thought enter my mind. I admit, like the other mamas above, I would have a hard time. I think, though, a healthy alternative for me would be to choose the produce vendor or one farmer and have her choose what she likes then. I agree with CodeNameMama that there are some things she would get we wouldn't really want in the house. Also, she likes to fill bags. Doesn't matter with what! Still, what a valuable learning experience. I will have to try it. My daughter is just shy of 3. Yours? Thanks for the inspiration.

      1. My daughter will be three in November : ) I agree, if you have a large market with lots of options (which we really don't) it would be better to pick a vendor first! It could easily get out of hand otherwise : )

    7. This is such a great post and a great message about trusting our little ones! My guys often accompany me to the Farmers' Markets and I let them choose what they want, but I love the idea of letting them choose everything!

    8. Thanks everyone! It was really, really hard. I'm a bit of a control freak at times : ) But I think it worked so well partly because our market is sooooooo TINY! It would be much more difficult (and could break the bank) at a larger market with tempting bakeries and anything other than veggies!

    9. I love that you're going to learn to make pickles. Great story of patience and understanding - thanks. (P.S. Please let us know how the pickles turn out.)

    10. Great! i love farmers markets and to let the kids pick out some veggies and fruit is a great learning experience and helps encourage them to eat them too. My nephew loved to pick veggies in my yard when he was little. Wouldn't eat string beans at home, but when he picked them himself and they were "his" beans, he gobbled them up.



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