I have been going to the farmers’ market since I was a small child, as long as I can remember. I get so excited every time pulling into the parking lot. I love the smells, seeing the new purveyors, reassured when I see the old standbys, waiting for the horn to blow, and most of all, knowing we’ll be eating what is now considered quite chic – farm to table. Where have you all been?
I grew up in the city and I do mean, right smack dab in the center of the city. No rolling hills, no green grass, no flowers, none of that good stuff growing around us. We were surrounded by the landscape of Pittsburgh, better known as Belgian block. But, I was raised by my grandmother who came here from “the old country” so she only knew fresh or “putting up” for winter. For you newbies, that means canning. I learned to respect food at a very early age. Enter the hard work from my side. It’s really hot and tiring standing over a steaming pot after picking through, peeling, cutting, and prepping produce all day, actually a lot of hot summer days.
But this post is to show you a little from the production side of this process; again, stressing family, hard work, and I’m guessing, a lot of memories. I contacted Janoski’s Farm because I LOVE the aesthetics of how they display their produce, bushels, and baskets of bounty. Everything is lined up perfectly straight, ever so neat, piled so high you wonder how it stays balanced. They agreed to permit me to come into their space to photograph and I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Janoski, the matriarch of this hard working, proud family. She is such a pleasant and lovely woman and was kind enough to tell me about her husband, who recently passed, and her children and grandchildren who have been taught how to continue working their farm for posterity and for you and me. Besides the pride showing in the way everything is displayed, the way they work together while unloading is a beautiful choreographed dance. The family and workers move in unison, everyone knowing their part; step left, step right, bend, turn now, repeat. It was beautiful. I’m guessing everyone is tired at night’s end so, again, family, memories, and of course, hard work.
I prepped what I purchased that night and I’m going back to Janoski’s next week to get my tomatoes for canning. No matter how tired and hot I get, those memories of working side by side with my grandmother keep me smiling while I’m making new memories with my family. Maybe that’s why I love the farmers’ market so much. It’s like going home. Treat yourself, go to the market.