Finding God at the Farmers’ Market

13 Sep

A big part of my childhood was farm life. Although many of my memories include angry roosters, being knee-deep in silage, or trying to find escaped horses, when I look back on that part of my life, I look at a lifestyle very near to, and aware of, God. Whether it was a calf being born, the rain for which we had prayed our rosaries finally arriving, or tapping the maple trees for sap, the miracle of life and growth were a part of my everyday life.

Now that I live in the Twin Cities, the closest thing to experiencing what I did on the farm is spending Saturday mornings at the local farmers’ markets. Surrounded by fresh flowers, shiny onions, and fragrant herbs, I get a glimpse of God’s plan for the cultivation of the Earth He gave to us. It is part of His plan for us to experience what St. Bonaventure called the “footprints of God” – to be able to experience His presence through His natural creation, to have first-hand experience with life and growth, of beauty and goodness, and also with death and that fragility of life that moves us to seek Him. And here at the farmers’ market, we are gathered together, the community of the created, supporting our neighbors and experiencing the tangible good of being able to receive a carton of tomatoes from the same hands that cultivated them.

As I wait to get my potatoes from a Hmong vender, I watch as the father bags the vegetables, the wife polishes onions, and the child takes the customer’s money with a toothless grin. Watching this, I realize that whether they know it or not, these people are doing God’s work. They are being stewards of the earth, they are feeding God’s people, and they are using what God has given us in the right way, the whole way.

Farmers’ markets can take people from the garden, the office, the home, the sanctuary, or the classroom and humbly root them in God’s creation. So, whether you get a sausage from the St. Paul Farmers’ Market, taste Aunt Else’s Danish pastries at the Mill City Farmers’ Market, or bite into a fresh Ames Farm apple at the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market, you are experiencing and cultivating something beautiful, something whole, something Godly.

Saint Paul Farmers Market

Locations and Hours for Farmers’ markets mentioned:
St. Paul (290 E 5th St. / St Paul): Saturday: 6am to 1pm, Sunday: 8am to 1pm
Mill City (704 S 2nd St. / Minneapolis): Saturday: 8am to 1pm.
Minneapolis (312 E Lyndale Ave. / Minneapolis): Monday – Sunday: 6am-1pm.
-Zita Larson

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2 Responses to “Finding God at the Farmers’ Market”

  1. Mary Jo Larson September 13, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Wonderful article. So true, but not thought of enough. Thank you for reminding us.

  2. Novice Natural Mama September 13, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    Beautiful! Love the reminder.

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