Quite often, I think Columbia gets a bad rap. We are centrally located, we're not a beach or mountain destination. Since the State Legislature is here, sometimes we're viewed as the capital of B.S. and governmental nonsense. Since we're "Famously Hot", some people avoid us like the steamy, humid plague from June to September. But, you know what? Columbia is a lot cooler than many think and we're pretty fortunate to have so many interesting things to do and see here.
Take for example, the All Local Farmer's Market (click here). It began, oh I don't know, maybe 2 years ago in a run-down warehouse space in Olympia. I took Viv a few times early on then I started working most weekends, so I began to forget to work it into our schedule, despite the fact that I drive by there everyday. Well today, I put the market on our agenda and I'm so glad! This is going to become a regular part of our schedule from now on!
The market has undergone a major renovation but is still a rustic, open, warehouse space. A covered porch has been added and the exterior is very attractive now. The coolest thing though is that the market is really evolving into not so much a place but an event. People now go there not just for the quality, local, fresh, home-grown, organic, natural and delicious products, but for the experience. Eating out on the porch, listening to music, meeting up with friends, making new friends, trying new stuff. It's exactly what we all want to find in our towns.
This morning, our little family unit went over and this is what we found. Emile DeFelice's Heirloom Pastured Pork , City Roots' microgreens and nasturtiums, Anson Mills' grits, my good buddy Stephen serving biscuits & gravy and quiche from Gervais & Vine, Paolo's gelato for the Vivver and crazy strong espresso for the Neilix and I tried this awesome truffle salt (sorry I can't remember the name of the vendor). I'm going to have to go back and buy that. I can't quit thinking about it. I'm thinking about making homemade french fries and tossing with that truffle salt. Oh yeah! Columbia has hit the jackpot.
So I'm of the opinion that this should be part of the Akre family Saturday morning. Local shopping, breakfast and a thermos of Bloody Mary's on the porch, then head off for our Little Ninja's karate lesson. Sounds like a delicious plan to me! You'll have to join us sometime.