A More Abundant Life

farmers' market bookpikes

We’re doing more than just growing vegetables. We are creating biodiversity and protecting water, as much as our small farm can. And I just enjoy being able to take it to the market. I enjoy interacting with people who eat it, appreciate it, and enjoy it. I meet a lot of neat people there, doing a lot of neat things. It’s kind of inspiring. You get tired, oh gosh! But all these other people who are doing these amazing things. And I think, I could do more!” — Melissa Evard, farmer and vendor at Bloomington’s Farmers Market

For the past many weeks, countless farmers markets have provided the freshest produce possible to urban dwellers across the country. Tony Hiss, author of The Experience of Place, has called the local farmers market movement “one of the most creative and useful additions to American city life since parks or street lights.”

If you’ve enjoyed fresh sweet corn and just-ripe peaches this summer, you’ll know all about the true benefits of this growing movement. You also might enjoy The Farmers’ Market Book: Growing Food and Community by Jennifer Meta Robinson and J.A. Hartenfeld. This book tells the story of harvest markets everywhere by focusing on just one — the Farmers Market of Bloomington, Indiana. Here is a vibrant place where urban and rural lives intermingle. The Farmer’s Market Book artfully gathers both the stories and colorful images at this intersection of land, food, and community.

Also pictured above: There’s no more classic story of a treasured community institution than Seattle’s Pike Place Public Market. Established in 1907, Pike Place is the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers market in the country. The persistence of the market (against all odds) is wonderfully told in Soul of the City: The Pike Place Public Market by Alice Shorett and Murray Morgan. We especially loved the many historic black & white photographs included in this book — the sheer energy of the market quickly jumps across the years, reminding us how critical certain public spaces are to the vitality of our communities.

Vitality, and all the other intangibles markets offer, abound in these two volumes from our Waterton Canyon Kids Nature Library:

markethow much
Two beautifully illustrated books on markets across the globe, by Ted Lewin: Market!, and How Much? Visiting Markets Around the World.

Providing healthy local food is central to two other indispensable volumes on the Land Library’s shelves:

winneag urbanism
Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in a Land of Plenty by Mark Winne (the subject of an earlier post, and last month’s Land Library Book Club selection!), and Agricultural Urbanism: Handbook for Building Sustainable Food Systems in 21st Century Cities, edited by Janine de la Salle & Mark Holland.

To borrow a phrase Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke in the depths of the Great Depression, may every city thrive, and enjoy a “more abundant life”!

And here’s just a few of our favorite city posts over the past few years:

The City Alive, on the great wandering soul of New York City — Joseph Mitchell. His favorite market? The Fulton Fish Market!

The City: Humanity’s Greatest Invention?

Work, Enjoy, Together Now — more on the new food movement!

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