I’ve always wanted try to capture the feelings I experience while wandering the farmers’ markets of Kansas City. I get caught up in all the colors, sounds and smells and I feel like I’ve left the Kansas City I grew up in and have somehow arrived in a new place that bustles with pedestrians, a place where food is sold on the street (because our city is not a walking city, this is not a common thing here).
I’m a touchy shopper too. I love to feel texture and shape. I still remember my grandfather snapping at me as a small child, telling me to keep my hands to myself unless I was going to buy whatever item I was touching when we’d go Christmas shopping together. The farmers’ market is no exception. My hands are everywhere, feeling shapes and textures like the smooth edges of peppers or holding the fruit to smell their sweetness. Yes I’m a writer, but these sensations are important in writing because they help to bring the story to life. I try to remember these senses and feelings as I tell a story and I try to bring them to life in my writing.
I love seeing all the food and the faces and hands that grow it and bring it in to sell. I love buying from those hands and faces and putting the food in my bag. I feel a sense of satisfaction at the bumping of the veggies and fruits bouncing against my hip as I meander between the booths.
There is a huge difference between shopping in a grocery store and the farmers’ market. The difference between the grocery store and the farmer’s market is equivalent to the solo commute in my car versus the mass transit lifestyle of big cities like New York and Washington D.C. I got to experience the subway commute for a summer while living in NYC and I loved every second of it: the bumping into passengers, how everyone leans to the left or right together when the train turns one way or the other, the mass exodus at your stop or the squeezing into the train car. These are all sensations that I had never experienced before leaving Kansas City. I get some of that back as I meander between the stalls and try to make my way to the front of the lines of shoppers.
But back to the farmers’ markets. Kansas City actually has quite a few different markets. It’s always been a goal of mine to photo blog each market and try to pick up on the differences. The following pictures were taken by me at the Overland Park Farmers’ Market last Saturday. I focused more on the colors and the shapes as opposed to the people who attended the market this time. Next time I’ll take my real camera. These photos were all taken with my phone.