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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Is it Too Much to Ask?

Searching my archives for dinner yesterday I decided on a healthy chicken and veggie dish. I searched my pantry and had everything I needed for the most part except the veggies. I remembered that the Bel Air Farmers Market is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays, so I figured I would hit it after dropping off the kids at camp for the broccoli and red pepper I needed.

Let's go back a couple years. I had been to the farmer's market before and to say I was disappointed in it was an understatement. I think there were maybe 6 vendors basically spread out in a parking lot with what looks like was picked from their home vegetable garden. There were a few produce guys, flowers, a baked good lady and a meat truck.

Well, apparently there has still been no vision to what a farmers market should be. When I picture a farmers market, I see a variety of vendors selling produce, homemade food items, dairy, meats, etc. I also see places that shoppers can sit, enjoy freshly prepared foods purchased at the said market. The Bel Air Farmers Market remains exactly as I remember it from a few years ago. A huge disappointment. I was able to get a couple of heads of broccoli, but not a red pepper to be found.

Come on people. We are in Harford County. One of the more rural counties in Maryland. I pass by tons of farms when I drive around. Yes, there has been a boom in commercial properties in the last few years and yes, we are losing some of our green pastures to chain restaurants and shopping. However, there is still so much more that can be done!

I've been to the Pennsylvania Dutch Market in Cockeysville several times. While this is still not the big farmers market I envision, it is closer to what I think would be a no-brainer for the county. Open on the weekends. Fridays and Saturdays. A place to shop for fresh foods for the week. A place to have breakfast and lunch. A place to have ice cream and hang out with friends. Popular vendors can have satellite markets such as Bloom Broom for dairy, Bomboys for candy and ice cream. A local Italian restaurant can sell packaged, stove to table entrees. I have so many ideas.

Indoors would be ideal. The now abandoned Giant and Superfresh in Bel Air would be the perfect location.

Anyone on board with me?

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