We Sleep In. Our Farmers Don't.

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I've had this thought before, especially on Friday nights. I get more sleep than the farmers and food-makers who keep me so happy and well-fed.

As the growing season progresses, on Saturday mornings tiredness visits the faces of farmers I know best and see often.  Sometimes I ask, "Late night?"

Last Saturday morning, one farmer's answer was, "Well, because of all we had to do to get ready, we got around to eating dinner at 11:15 last night, and the alarm goes off at quarter to three."


The answer is that getting to the Market and being ready to sell involves lots of work that's invisible to me as a shopper. After the planning, planting, cultivating, weeding, harvesting, washing, and packaging are done, trucks have to be loaded. Trips from farm to Market with carefully packed heavy loads take a while -- up to two hours for some farmers. Once at the market site, coolers and bins have to be off-loaded and wheeled or carried to the right space. Trucks have to be moved to acceptable spots for the long day ahead. Tables, tents, signs must go up.

So most farmers start a market day hours before the market opens. The more I know, the more amazing I find it that the vendors at our farmers' markets still have energy to smile and be gracious when I show up well rested, rubbing my eyes and probably sipping a Caffe Marco or Sunrise Bakery coffee. My excuse: I want to wake up enough to appreciate the miracle that people will work so hard to grow or process fine food and bring it almost to my door.

Here's your bonus for reading to the end of this post: Mark Bittman's extraordinary, 101 Fast Recipes for Grilling (about half veggie or fruit-based) to inspire you before or after you shop at the Lexington Farmers Market on Saturday or Sunday, or Bluegrass Farmers Market on Saturday.

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This is Savory Kentucky Bite number 17 of 116 Savory Bites created in honor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.