I’m a regular at the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market on Rt. 3 in Spotsylvania. The market starts in April with plants and a few spring veggies, has plenty of local berries in May, explodes in mid-summer with huge mounds of corn, tomatoes, watermelons and all of the summer fruits and vegetables, continues to convene through the fall, offering pumpkins, squashes, apples, and fall plants, and doesn’t close up shop till near Christmas. In addition to locally grown fruits and veggies, you can find artisan cheeses, cut flowers, herbs, honey, cider, specialty meats, and bakery items. I love the bins of hot peppers, from the sweet banana peppers to the hot serranos and jalapeños, from the mild poblanos to the searingly hot habañeros, and we buy enough each summer to freeze and use all winter long. I never had much luck with gardening (my excuse is that my yard is just too shady, but really, I lack the commitment that real gardening takes), but I don’t feel that badly when I can get such beautiful produce so many months of the year, just 5 minutes from home. Aside from getting the freshest ingredients, shopping at the Farmer’s Market supports small farms, and is environmentally sound as well, since most of the produce in the supermarkets has been refrigerated and shipped long distances, using large amounts of energy resources in the process. So think globally, buy veggies locally!