Beyond veggies at the farmers market

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I enjoyed a cup of tea this morning made with an herbal blend I’d bought at the Nelson farmers market. It’s made from nettles, red clover, milky oats, lemon verbena, and mint, and I got it from Borrowed Ground Farm.

(One of the farmers, Terry Lilley, was the subject of an ABODE story I wrote several years ago; she knows a lot about permaculture and was then living in a Charlottesville house to which she’d made lots of awesome green changes.)

Anyway, the tea was great and it sparked my admiration for the know-how involved in growing and using herbs. I’ve certainly raised some nice basil plants in my day, but it seems like a higher order of wisdom to be able to blend one’s own tea. Hillside Herbs is another local business I like: a pair of sisters making everything from tea to cleaning products to bath goodies.

Then there are the soap makers, the honeybee people, the woodworkers and bouquet-arrangers. I love seeing all the varieties of expertise that exist in our community. Growing a great carrot is a feat, and so is making a delicious jam out of berries you’ve foraged.

All of it represents local resources, local talent, the local economy–and an opting-out from the anonymous, efficient and geographically unidentifiable.

All this in a cup of tea!

What are your favorite non-veggie, non-fruit farmer’s market buys?

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