If you don't already think that I'm strange, you may very well think so now: I just love shopping for produce! I actually get excited about getting to go and do it!

Not just anywhere, though. I love shopping for produce at my local market (2 EE's, for those who live near me), and especially in the fall during harvest time. Today, I visited my beloved market for the first time in about 5 weeks (prior to our 2 week vacation, I hadn't gone for a while to try to use up what I had and make good use of my own garden produce).

I must have been looking around at the fruits and vegetables admiringly, because one of the employees asked me what I thought of it with a smile on his face, and I said enthusiastically, "Everything looks just amazing!" because it really did.

Perhaps it's because it's the end of the Indian summer we've been enjoying, and all the local produce is out in full force. Perhaps it's that there is no where else around here where I can get organic and unsprayed and local produce for such reasonable prices. Perhaps it's that learning to garden and to buy more seasonally has really opened my eyes to the marvelous variety that's out there, and taught me to fully enjoy the changing seasons and the harvest that accompanies them.

I believe that the only things I purchased today that were not local and seasonal were a few avacados and a bag of lemons. Other than that, the aisles and bins were bursting forth with broccoli, cabbages, corn, peppers, kale, potatoes, herbs, plums, pears, grapes and squash, and multiple varieties of each at that. They were fresh, vibrant and gorgeous, and so full of nutrients and amazing flavor that I could practically taste them. Not only does this type of produce rarely make it's way into a grocery store, but even if it does you'll pay far more than you should for it.

I left almost giddy, as I made away like a bandit with all that you see in the picture (most of it organic or unsprayed, and there's more food than it looks like in the photo), for a mere $33.

Can I just say, once more for the record (scratch that- I know that I'll keep on saying it again and again), seek out a produce market near you! Find a local farmer! Search for a farmer's market (or here for Canadians), or a CSA program or a Food Coop, or any other source of local, seasonal produce you can get your hands on! You will not regret it!

Do you use a Produce or Farmer's Market? Where you do find the best quality produce for the best prices? Am I the only one who gets excited about buying fruits and vegetables? :)