I wanted to stop by and share a little experience I had yesterday at the Grower’s Market in Blackheath.
Oli and I had almost finished collecting what we needed when we walked past a young man selling his garlic. I had bags in both arms and was trying to keep tabs on OB in a crowd while he was trying to drink his uber large and tasty mango smoothie-thing. Anyway, as I glanced at the seller and considered whether or not it was worth calling to OB to stop, putting down the three large and precariously balanced bags before scrounging around in one of them for my wallet, he smiled at me, “Good Morning, Miss. I picked this batch yesterday, if you’re interested.”
In that tiny little moment I felt as if there was nothing more important than buying a two dollar head of garlic from this man. Yes, I needed garlic but the exchange stayed with me afterward for much deeper reasons. The garlic grower was so genuine and happy for my purchase, albeit for a tiny two dollars. He was warm, friendly and had manners and a smile.
It is little moments such as this that only strengthen my resolve to buy as much as possible locally, from people who believe in what they’re doing and who have knowledge and passion for their product. It was quite strange that I should come across this garlic seller on Sunday because not two days before, Seb was telling me that OB had enquired as to where the garlic came from that they had seen in the supermarket. Seb explained that it had come all the way from Spain and that was why he wasn’t going to buy it. (We had to show OB where Spain was on the globe when they returned home) We had a lengthy and impassioned conversation about how so much is imported and there is are few questions asked around food milage and more environmentally (and economically) sound alternatives.
We were lucky enough to head up the mountain on Sunday to find Blackheath buzzing with locals toting their baskets and recycled shopping bags, ready to fill with locally grown and homemade produce. I honestly did a air fist pump thingo when I realised our luck and I was straight into the action, soaking up the beautiful sun, enjoying the atmosphere and all the while supporting those growers and makers that put heart and soul into their goods and produce.
I urge you all to do a little research into your local markets or, at the very least, the local green grocer. They care about food and in most cases, they’re supporting a family, too, just like you are. So give the little guy a chance. Ask questions and consider what is best for not only your family but your community, too. I guarantee the shopping experience at a market or your independent grocer will be a pleasant one including a little chat and some sun, far better than one of those bloody self serve checkout stations that requires the one staff member manning the eight machines to re enter their staff code after every purchase just because you want to use your OWN FREAKING BAG! Sorry about that. You get my drift.
Let’s raise the little guy up and snub the big chains. Where you spend your money makes a bigger difference than you may first think.
Peace and garlic.