A Farmer’s Market – is that an unusual place for finding inspiration? I have been to the Saco River Market now for a few times – I am a sucker for good food and entertainment. I bring my jewelry table even though it’s really technically a farmer’s market, not so much a venue where people come browsing for jewelry and accessories. These markets tend to evolve though, attract more varied vendors and this one is now also a destination during the Saco Biddeford art walk on last Fridays. I love the setting – old brick factory building right on the river on the second floor. The view is amazing and potential limitless. There is both indoor and outdoor space, and a band playing every Saturday, tables and chairs for seating. You can browse various crafts – from jewelry to pottery and from Maine nature pictures to pillows. You’ll find natural beauty products from handmade soaps to natural fragrances. The food is awesome: fresh seafood (scallops, oysters, tuna!), vegetables, bread, lobster, pie, seaweed snacks, cajun spices, authentic Italian cookies, artisan chocolates, even locally brewed beer and delicious Italian food cooked right on the spot! (the beet salad, you HAVE to try it…) The vendors are an interesting collection of people from all over the country (and the world!) You can find their life stories quite fascinating.
I want to feature some of the great vendors here, to get your taste buds going! If you are not near Maine, find some other local farmer’s market – I’m sure there’s one nearby. It’s worth exploring – you might find your ultimate favorite product (like I did with the Maine Homestead Farm’s Blueberry jam) I have cooked both scallops and arctic char that I got from Jim’s seafood (Pine Tree Seafood and Produce), delish! You get that nice sear on fresh scallops, nothing beats it! If you’re in the mood for pasta, try Terra Cotta Pasta gourmet ravioli.
Then have a sweet treat by 3 Sister’s Italian Cookies (yummy authentic Italian cookies – try the lemon!) End your day with Medicine Wheel Herbals using one their soaps made out of food grade plant oils and home grown herbs and smell yummy with Kittywitch perfumes.
In the mood for something warm and hardy? Try one of the fantastic handmade artisan soups from the Soup Guy (he has been known to also offer fresh “Finnish Limsa”, his version of Sima – a lemon drink made in Finland for the first of May. )
If looking for something for your pet – like for Penny here – try the Growling Gourmet’s organic dog treats. And of course jewelry – there’s me (Evädesigns), Lois Kenney and Marrick , you will get accessorized in no time!
So does the farmer’s market inspire creativity? I would have to say “Yes!” I get inspired by seeing other vendors’ set-ups, the materials and colors they chose to use. This venue itself is inspiring, the rustic look of the brick and the river, can’t beat that. I enjoy seeing interesting packaging design, like Kittywitch’s labels, the strong colors are instantly recognizable. There are a couple of vendors here that use white birch, I love it since I grew up seeing those birches everywhere. The luscious colors of baked goods and vivids of fresh vegetables certainly inspire. It also becomes a journey in texture, shapes and lines (and don’t forget smell, since there is food cooking here!) Enjoy!