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Farmers’ Market

Eating is an agricultural act.   – Wendell Berry

Films like “The Story of Stuff” have made millions of people aware of the connection between what individuals consume and waste daily, to the issues of poverty and pollution globally.  At the local level, we need to translate this to specific changes people can make in food, clothing and shelter habits to meet our needs without exploiting our environment and other people.

While the mainstream media spends billions persuading us that we need to consume more and more to be happy and that simple living is dull and difficult, the Farmers’ Market serves as a place to bring producers and consumers together, to and make a socially conscious economy not only possible but also joyful.  Street musicians perform while children ramble about the park and eager photographers zoom in on birds and butterflies.

The farmers bring fresh vegetables and fruits from their fields, and several stalls sell snacks prepared from organic ingredients.  As well as art and craft stalls, a place to spin thread on a charkha, a stall to get a massage and others that come and go.

I found it a worthwhile place to display our jivika products, particularly those that are not available in most places, such as our convenient nursing kurtas, cloth menstrual pads and cloth diapers, and the veggie-bags.   All of these are designed not only for supporting products made of khadi by rural tailors, but products that make sustainable living easier for all of us.  So I usually take an EZ Cooker, which generally interests people to come and find out what it is and how it works, and a few people order them for home use.  When it is cold I try to take some khadi hoodies as well.  And the usual AID literature, CDs, calendar etc.  Apart from sales, tabling is a great opportunity to meet interesting people and particularly young people looking for volunteer work.  Because the farmers’ market is not just about buying delicious food but connecting with people who believe that we can bring about a better world.

Organic food is expensive.  But polluting the land and our bodies is even more expensive, though as a consolation the vegetables may come with a lower price tag.  I try to keep on buying organic food not only for my own sake but also in the hopes that as the farmers practicing organic agriculture get more demand, they will also increase their supply, get more economic supply chains and eventually more people will be able to afford these and farmers who grow the food will have more secure livelihoods.

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