Fresh from the Farmers Market


August 3, 2013, Washington, DC: Oregon is one of those places that feels abnormally healthy. Barring the crowds we encountered at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, the people in the beach towns of the northwest coast struck me as incredibly fit and focused on making careful choices about what they put into their bodies. Everywhere we went, gluten-free choices were front and and center, from the sandwich options at Bread and Ocean Bakery in Manzanita to Crepe Neptune's tiny shop in Cannon Beach. It made me think about how the food choices available where we live can seriously influence our lifestyles, how locally grown food connects us to our landscapes, and how coming together to cook and share a meal can bring together our communities and families in ways that other activities can't. One of the best parts of visiting friends and family, in my opinion, is being introduced to the fresh food they most enjoy where they live. I've visited Story Farms in the Catskills just twice and the Friday night farmers market in Manzanita just once, but it's clear why these places top the list of spots locals love to show off as we crunch into a fresh peach or a bag of snap peas on the way back home. When visitors come to DC, I do the same -- it's a treat to walk through Eastern Market on a Sunday morning, to make plans together for a fresh weekend meal, and, of course, to people-watch in these busy public spaces.

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Is easy access to fresh and healthy food important to you? Have you ever noticed a change in your lifestyle depending on the food available where you live? Do you have a farmers market in your neighborhood? What are some of the markets, restaurants and fresh food options close to your home that you enjoy sharing with out-of-town family and friends?

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