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Off to market…

Off to the farmers’ market

Early Saturday from May through October, just before 7 a.m., I’m heading down the road with Bob, making the quick 12 mile (19 km) hop to the farmers’ market in the center of town. Up at 5:30 after only three or four hours sleep, I’m generally a little groggy, and the drive is a pleasantly dreamy trip through peaceful farm country. Once in a while, though, a sharper awareness breaks through. We pass a farm that’d been turned into a seniors retirement home as a way to survive. We travel through a rapidly increasing number of adjoining farms, thousands of acres of them, bought out in the last couple of years by the Mennonite community—the continued farming is great, the seemingly monolithic takeover somewhat unsettling because it’s to me an unknown. The last farm on the way in to town is owned by the municipality and waiting for demolition. You can see the silos and buildings outlined in the fog ahead, right beside the lights of the new, low profile, high tech superprison that’s probably a bigger full-time employer and overall economic force than all of the farms on the drive put together. In the wrong frame of mind, I can really feel the decline-of-farming statistics I read about, and everything seems totally out of balance and more than a little surreal… Luckily, the farmers’ market is always fun!

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