Sometimes it’s hard to love the place where you live. Which is why, two years ago, I gave myself a challenge: every day for forty days I’d find *one* thing that I loved about Roanoke, Virginia. Then I’d go home and write about it.
From now until mid-October, I’m taking Mondays and Tuesdays and sharing excerpts from my gratitude journey with you. I hope these little posts give you a glimpse of the city through a newcomer’s eyes, and I hope they encourage you to help me share the sense of belonging that I’ve found here.
I wrote this post about a newfound farmers market on Day 19 of my 40-day journey. The Greenbrier market still exists, and many of the vendors I wrote about are still there, or at other great markets in the area (follow the links to find out more). I hope you’ll stop by and see what our local farm communities have to offer!
A Greenhouse Full of Good Food & Good People …
I have a little saying: find a new farmer’s market, and you’ve found a whole new community of friends.
That’s how I felt today, when I visited the winter Farm-to-Table Market at Greenbrier Nurseries for the first time.
I met Ashleigh, who makes tapenades and dips for her company, Cast Iron Catering, and who sells her mother’s fresh breads at the market (we couldn’t help but walk away with a loaf of that beautiful cheddar bread and a package of homemade cheddar-gouda pimiento spread).
I met Thomas from Good Food Good People, who helped us pick out the perfect sopressatta, a truly beautiful sunshine-yellow spaghetti squash, and fresh broccoli. Here’s my husband T, holding some of the bounty:
And I met Chef Gabor at Back2Basics Cooking, who sent us home with a heaping tray of Hungarian goulash, red cabbage and little complimentary pumpkin mousse.
“Play some Hungarian music while you eat!” he shouted as we left, in an accent so charming I couldn’t possibly do it justice in writing. “Maybe the violin!”
I can tell already that I’m going to love this market. It’s beautiful: bright winter sun streams through the greenhouse roof, and rows of pansies and ornamental cabbages flank the tables of produce. It’s also just plain *fun,* with a happy, knowledgeable clientele and the happy, knowledgeable farmers themselves — all of whom have a story to tell about how they became a ambassadors for good, local food.
But mostly, I love already the sense of community.
I can’t wait to meet more new faces … and also, eat some more fabulous food.
Hope to see you there!
If this post connected with you, would you consider supporting your local farmers at one of the area’s many wonderful markets? Fall is a great time to enjoy our area’s bountiful harvest! There are too many markets to list here, but, beyond Greenbrier, you might consider the Historic Roanoke City Market downtown, the Grandin Village Community Market, the West End Community Market and the Salem Farmer’s Market, for starters. The Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op, with locations in downtown and Grandin Village, is also a great place to find out more about our local food communities.