Curiosity and Connection: Earth Day 2021

It’s Earth Day 2021. Spring! Finally!

Springtime is a new season for growing and for farmers markets. This year, it’s a time of readjusting/re-connecting in the wake of the pandemic and the resolution of the Chauvin trial. It’s a season of continued grief and uncertainty as we mourn the killing of Daunte Wright. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling…stretched.

Where to start? How to care for the bodies, families, and livelihoods of our community in the midst of uncertainty? How to prioritize soil health and clean air and water when our attention is called to healing our interpersonal relationships? And while we’re at it, what the heck is for dinner tonight?

I think it’s helpful to keep that question mark at the end of every sentence. Curiosity gives us room to grow and see the many facets of each of our decisions. For me, the farmers market is a great place to stay curious AND find some of the answers to my big and small questions.

When you shop the market, you’re in close proximity (but not too close, of course–six feet should do it) with neighbors from many backgrounds, races, and walks of life. It’s a great way to learn about culinary traditions that are different from your own. It’s an even better way–in these distanced, polarized times–to form bonds of friendship in a neutral environment. It’s good for body and soul to share a greeting and a laugh with farmers market friends once each week.

When you shop the market, you’re purchasing food from people who are tending to our soil, air and water right here, on a small scale. You also support small-scale food entrepreneurs who in turn purchase supplies and business support services locally.

When you stay curious at the market, one new flavor can gradually lead to healthy lifestyle changes. It’s fun to eat more veggies when you can report back to the farmer that you prepared and loved those golden beets or SweeTango apples or purple carrots.

Last but not least for this working parent, the market often gives me answers about what on Earth to cook for dinner. Happy Earth Day. We’re so excited to welcome you back to the Maple Grove Farmers Market on Thursday May 13 from 3-7. We’ll be back at our home base–the Maple Grove Community Center, 12951 Weaver Lake Road, Maple Grove MN, 55369, North America, Planet Earth.

~Kirsten Bansen Weigle, Market Manager