Friday, September 23, 2011

South Bend Cultural Experiences: Farmer's Market

This summer, I decided t to go to the Farmer's Market in South Bend every Saturday morning I could make it. Rain or shine, sleepy or perky, sick or healthy; I have gone as I was able. In the years past, I had seen the market as a place to buy vegetables and some other crafty things, and it didn't interest me, but now, I have come to discover the market as a social network, a second home on the weekend, a place to meet and make friends.

It seems that each Saturday I have been to the market, I have discovered something new. In the first few weeks of the summer months, I discovered my favorite places; those which are essential for me to have a spectacular Saturday. My first discovery was Great Horse Tea (  I ended up at the booth of a friendly woman selling teas from China. After my travels around Asia, I had come to appreciate teas and tea blends, so I had a try. The first tea I purchased was a tea called Clear Breath, seemingly appropriate since I had been sick that morning (sick or healthy!). I got to talking with the woman and struck up some similar notes on China and enjoyed discussing different things about culture and tea houses. The second week, I passed by, she remember me by face and since then I go by every week to try out her newest blend.

Passing by the same booth every week will get a person wandering to other places as well, and that is how I happened upon my favorite coffee place, Zen Cafe ( These two booths typically sit next to one another most Saturdays. After some time of introducing his product, I began striking up conversations about the love of coffee and different experiences Ive had. For example, when I visited Laos, I saw a coffee farm and got to see the beans in each stage of roasting, fermenting and whatnot. After some time, I really began to enjoy hearing about his coffee and all of the benefits it has to offer the environment, one being bird friendly. Now being a bit of a birder myself, I highly respect this standard. Oh, and did I mention, the coffee is organic, decaffeinated by water only; absolutely no chemicals? I love this coffee. It is by far some of the best coffee I have had in my area.

My other favorite place is Ben's Soft Pretzels. Umm, yeah, they are pretty much amazing. Nothing like any other pretzel. Last, but not least, organic, free range chicken eggs from Hiatt's couldn't be better.

Chatting it up with friends, sipping my coffee and eating my pretzel as I paruse down the highly trafficed aisles, I couldn't see a better picture of my idea of paradise. My summer would not have been the same with out it.

My recommendation: find your local farmer's market and check it out; you may find a new love!

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