Pick it Yourself: Perks of Foraging Your Food

I am a fan of local. Duh, I write it all the time. I sell at our farmer’s market. I am also a believer in doing as much for yourself as possible. Growing up we always had our own gardens. We hunted for our own food. Self-reliance was high on my father’s character-building. I am thankful for it.

IMG_20150816_151742A few years ago I found an article saying Seattle was going to build a forage market. So not just a place where you go buy beautifully staged rows of fruits and vegetables, but a scene of plants. Ready and bulging to be picked. You are in control. What’s ripe? Which ones are the best? It would provide not only more education on picking ou your own fruits and veggies, but it would provide a sense of pride. Pride in selecting and picking your food with your own two hands. RAD.

IMG_20150816_151353This year there is a new vendor in town. They are called the Pickery and I am in LOVE with them. I am in incandescent, stupid love. In love with their organic produce. In love with what they represent. In love with their idea. In love with their rows and rows laid out in front of me, bursting with produce. Waiting on me. Saying pick me, pick me. So many options. 

11898668_10101054178240623_2361617686100626814_nMy friend Heather posted an article on my wall about them in our local paper. Just laid it there. Knowing me, I can’t just not do something about it. I am an action kind of girl. And this tag was a sign and push telling me to get my ass over to the Pickery and give it go.

11058819_10101054178320463_4640130159990730980_nSo Sunday I was texting Heather. We were supposed to meet up to walk or something. Then I had a duh, aha moment: why don’t we head over to the Pickery. It seriously is not that far away from where either one of us live. A short, conversation-filled car ride later and we were there. Pausing for a moment. Looking at each other. Waiting with nervous anticipation for the other to make the first move. Finally we strolled up to the stand, ready like kindergartner’s on their first day, attentively waiting on instructions.

IMG_20150816_152055A bucket, a list of what was ready to pick, instructions on how to pick them, some scissors and we were set out on our own. We went from kindergarten to graduating in a matter of moments. Such freedom and independence now. We just kind of stood for a moment taking in all the rows. Where do we begin? Nervous smiles, as we slowly started in.

IMG_20150816_151619A few laps and we had our bearings a little more. We’d scoped out what we were looking for. We separated to seek what we came for. We reconnected to scavenge for the best butternut. Conceptualizing dishes and making future dinner plans as we went. We kept walking. Sweating as the sun beat down. We pushed on, though, making sure we got everything we needed.

Now with our buckets full, were able to talk to the staff. Asking their favorites way to make eggplant.

IMG_20150816_151242Overall it was a wonderfully unique experience. We got the farmer connection. But we also had radical freedom. I came away with dirt on my hands from pulling up some colored carrots. We got to bond together as we strolled the rolls. We planned meals. We laughed. We sweated. We left with that sense of pride I mentioned. Not something you get on your mindless trips to the grocery store.

Shop Local. Eat Local. Pick Local.

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