You know, in community work and in conversation about the future of Cape Breton’s food sources, people talk a lot about things like farmer’s markets. We sit around in groups and talk about how to set them up, talk about how to get the word out, and talk about how to organize yourself and other people effectively. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.
And, at least for me, all this talk can get awfully boring. It’s necessary, yes! But, it’s not sexy. I end up doodling in the margins of my notebook, and watching the clock. Wondering whether or not it’s still nice outside. Imagining eating some of the food we’re talking about! Twirling my hair around my fingers.
But then market day actually comes around, and everyone’s hard work comes together under one roof. The work of the organizers, and of the farmers themselves, and in a way, that of the customers, who are bringing their hard-earned dollars to spend. It all comes together. It’s all in the same place.
And it’s alive, vibrant. You meander and wander among the tables, stopping to chat and hug people you know. “Oh hey! How are you? How have you been?” You overhear lots of other conversations like this. There are kids running around. Babies in Snugglis against their mamas’ or papas’ bellies and backs.
And the people who produce your food are right there, and you can talk to them! You can find out about where this food came from, which is the land they know intimately, and that you could visit quite easily. It’s not Chile, or China, or somewhere else a plane ride away. It’s here.
They might slice off little samples of another product for you to try. “Try this cracker, it’s fermented. It actually takes more work than the breads do! I put it in after the bread is done baking, you know, to use some of that leftover heat.” And I take a little piece of it into my mouth and chew, tasting the toasted flavors. It’s so delicious.
Like I said to Donald Hamm as I was snapping pictures, “The market is a blogger’s dream!”
The Baddeck and Area Community Market is on Wednesdays, on Chebucto Street at the Community Centre (next to the library).
I made a sub-page on here to house links and info about local eating and food production. Check it out here!