St. Matthews Farmers Market

When I was a kid, fresh produce right out of my daddy's garden filled our bellies in the summer. My cousins and I would eat more strawberries in the field than ever made it into our coffee cans. I still love going home and choosing what I want for my salad that night by strolling through the backyard, and I never come back to Louisville without fresh eggs and a sackful of whatever is in season. Spring in Atlanta coincided with Kate's introduction to "real" food, and I happily spent every Saturday morning at a small farmers market on our side of town and every Saturday afternoon during naptime filling ice cube trays with pureed peaches, green beans, and sweet potatoes. It's true what they say, y'all: you are what you eat.

Louisville is a city that cares about what it eats. The keep Louisville weird campaign and focus on buying local has a strong carryover into the food scene. Louisville-based restaurants often note dish ingredients from local farms by name on their menus.  Food traveling 10 miles from farm to table is bound to be fresher and taste better than food coming from, say, Chile, right? The best farmers market in Louisville is the St. Matthews Farmers Market, which is located at the corner of Shelbyville Road and Browns Lane and is open summer Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Robert loves crepes
First, the basics. Supply and demand dictate that you do a little research and plan accordingly. Some produce, like asparagus and broccoli, have short growing seasons and small yields so it is important to get there early if you are looking for something in particular that may be in high demand. As a general rule, farmers markets only take cash. There is a Fifth Third bank branch located across the street (Browns Lane) from the St. Matthews Farmers Market. Finally, the first time I went I made the mistake of eating breakfast at home first. Don't do this! There are bakery booths that sell scones and muffins, and, better yet, booths creating made-to-order omelets, breakfast burritos, and crepes. Decadent, delicious, Nutella crepes. But I digress.

Sampling the Cheese!
The St. Matthews Farmers Market is made up local farms selling local fruits and vegetables, just like you would expect at any farmers market, but there are so many representative farms that the variety is astonishing. Aside from produce, you can find farm fresh eggs, organic meat, flowers, honey, granola, artisan cheese, jams and sauces, bread, pasta, and handmade jewelry and other non-food items. This summer, Winston's, which is a restaurant operated by the culinary school at Sullivan University, is offering cooking demonstrations on select Saturdays. Robert's favorite booth is manned by who he calls "the cheese guy".  As for me, I have simple tastes. I can't wait for blackberries to be in season, so I can make some cobbler with my favorite recipe out of White Trash Cooking.