Down on the farm
I don’t remember when the milkman stopped delivering, but I do remember the odd taste that the milk in the bottles from the grocery store had. It took a while to get used to blended, pasteurized milk, but I adjusted. Years later, I married a dairy farmer’s daughter and enjoyed that wonderful taste of fresh milk whenever we visited her folks in Wisconsin. Their dairy farm is gone now, sold to a large agricultural corporation when my in-laws retired.
Like most folks, I love the taste of fresh food. I’m sure I have told the story of picking apples at the orchard up the road and the kindly elderly woman that would press those apples into cider. I was fortunate to grow up in a small community surrounded by farms.
One by one, all of my favorite places to buy fresh food have faded into nothing more than fond memories. The milkman, the butcher shop, the bakery, and the roadside stand were as hard to find as the cobbler that once resoled our shoes.
Fortunately, after several scares with the safety of food imported from far off lands, farmer’s markets are making a comeback. I have been shopping at the farmer’s market in Petersburg, Virginia for the past few years. Along with the fresh produce, grass fed beef, free range chickens, and goat cheese, there is always a jam session going on, all of it fresh and local. Now that’s my idea of shopping.