How ’bout them apples?

All the cool kids are doing it, but that’s not the only reason to see what all the fuss is about. The Lexington farmers market is the place to be right now. And with the Fifth Third Bank Pavilion, it’s even bigger than before.

Not only does the market support the efforts of local farmers and the livelihood of Kentucky families, but it is also the most relaxing, yet lively place to be on Saturday morning. So when you’re not mentally prepared to start studying, mosey on down to Cheapside Park with a few friends.

The farmers market does not only offer fresh produce, but you can also find artisan cheeses, local wines, homemade pasta, local free-range meat, baked goods and flowers. You can even buy a freshly prepared breakfast or lunch from local vendors. Not to mention you can taste almost everything, so get there no later than 10 and take your time. The homework can wait.

As college students, the common goal is to get as much for your money as possible and to accept all of the free pizza you are given. At the farmers market, however, you must have a different approach.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but whatever you spend, use it wisely. Take the time to talk to vendors and taste-test before you buy anything. This is what you’re paying for, the farm-fresh produce and the friendly vendors who want to tell you all about what they have to offer.

Feel free to walk up to vendors and ask them how they raise their chickens or how they pick their peaches. Unlike shopping at the grocery store, the vendors know exactly how their merchandise was grown, picked and transported.

One common misconception is that the produce looks dirty. Let me remind you, it did most likely grow in the ground, outside, and/or in a tree. Expect imperfections in the produce, because most likely it was grown naturally and that’s the way it was lying against the tree or bush as it grew.

And although it may be new to some at first, you will soon find that there is nothing better than farm-fresh food grown or raised with care. Take tomatoes, for example. Picked ripe from the vine, they taste completely different than chemically ripened tomatoes that sit out at the grocery store after traveling thousands of miles. Who would have thought?

The food tastes better, it’s healthier for you and it’s something different to do with your friends on the weekend. What’s not to love? September and October are harvest season. Embrace it. Try new foods, find a new recipe and cook dinner with friends.

Whether it turns out well or not, you’ll have stories to tell. Just don’t burn down Rosenthal Commons in the process.


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