I’d like to think every town across the county has a farmer’s market to shake things up at least once a week — seasons permitting of course. Knowing your local farmers, shopping locally, having access to just-picked produce and homemade wares are the obvious reasons. Living in a region that supports small, family farms is an added bonus. It says something about the landscape and even more about the community.

Arcata, California (my hometown) is one of those places and their Saturday market is more than a market, it’s a celebration. A once-a-week festival hosting live music, dancing, hot tamales and wholesome entertainment (hula-hooping included).

Here farmers bring the farm to the people. And this is where it all begins, right? The farm or garden is the step before the kitchen where, as family and friends we always seem to end up. Everyone crowding in the kitchen, no elbow room allowed. Except now we’re closing the dirt-to-dinner gap. If you’re counting elbows, maybe the garden is quickly becoming the kitchen’s number one competition.

What strikes me is beneath the trappings, at the heart of it, is a celebration of growing things. Food, flowers, fun and sharing in these things from beginning to end. That big, crazy world out there is full of all sorts of highs and lows but at the end of the day life comes back to the basics. Growing what you love.

*Special thanks to the boys at Laughing Mother Farms. Your photo op is much appreciated. Learn more about Laughing Mother Farms on Vimeo and Facebook.

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