While my summer has pretty much officially been over for about three weeks since my return to the hallowed halls of the high school, today it suddenly kind of dawned on me that the end really is just about here. As I've done every single Saturday all summer, I woke up this morning and headed downtown to go to the Farmer's Market. Our market here attracts a lot of vendors offering a variety of products -- produce, flowers, fresh jams, homemade pies and cookies. It's an amazing selection and a definite benefit of living in an area surrounded by farms. All summer long we've been feasting on homemade salsa, corn on the cob, homemade tomato and basil pizza, shish kabobs, peach and strawberry pie -- all made with fresh, locally grown produce. I have one vendor in particular that I always make sure to visit. It's a family farm that's located about 6 miles outside of Galesburg. They offer an amazing variety of produce and are always so friendly and helpful. And I will second what Nicki of Grin and Baer It says -- homegrown produce just tastes better. I swear I'd never really tasted a cucumber until I had one from the Farmer's Market.
As I strolled through the parking lot that becomes the market each Saturday, I started to feel a little melancholy as I realized that this would probably be one of my last weekends at the market. Already, selections are starting to get a bit slimmer (although the tomatoes I bought today were still huge and amazing looking!). I don't look forward to a winter of doing the best I can with whatever the local grocery store has to offer and know I'll be counting the days until I can return to reap the benefits of the local harvests once more.