Today was the last day of the Umpqua Valley Farmers Market for this year. I couldn't help lingering at the market even after I had stocked up on organic jonagold apples, Swedish fingerling potatoes, enough lettuce to last a week or two if carefully washed and bagged, one more head of cheddar cauliflower, a few beets, two more jars of local honey, a few handmade chocolates, a package of bratwurst and one orange bell pepper.
I will miss my Saturday morning routine of making the rounds of all the vendors. In Deep Economy, author Bill McKibbon cites a study of shopping behavior which found that "consumers have ten times as many conversations at farmers' markets as they do at supermarkets." No wonder I enjoy it so much more than going to the grocery store!
All is not lost for shopping local, however. Several farm stands are still open and there is plenty of local produce to be found: broccoli, cauliflower, winter squash, beets, carrots, cabbage, apples, Klamath potatoes, hazelnuts.........and walnuts! Local walnuts will be ready at Cleveland Rapids Orchard on November 1.