This is the first post of the new Readable Blog! I’m still working on the blog design, but from now on I will mostly be writing easy-to-read posts so that you can get English-reading practice. If my posts are too hard, too easy, too long, too boring, or or if it’s good and interesting, please tell me.
By the way, you can click on the pictures to see a bigger version.
I live in California, near San Francisco and Silicon Valley. In many parts of the US, people buy their fruits and vegetables at grocery stores. This stuff is often very old because it was grown far away, in another state or even another country, and then taken to the grocery store. Recently, it’s become popular to try to buy food that was grown closer to where you live. People think it tastes better because it’s fresher. (I think it does.) They also think that this is better for the environment, because the food did not have to be driven for thousands of miles. Because most of the US has a cold winter, most places can’t have farmers’ markets all year. But California doesn’t get very cold, so our farmers’ markets are open all year! There are about four markets very close to me, and more in other towns near here.
Each seller’s place is called a booth or a stall. Each stall has one or more tents and one or more tables. Because of the tents, we can still go shopping when it rains. Not as many people go shopping when it rains, but it’s still crowded then! Some of the stalls that sell hot food don’t come then. I think their electrical equipment isn’t safe in the rain.
One nice thing about shopping here is that we can ask questions. The farmers can tell you how they grow their fruits and vegetables, so you feel safe. A lot of the things sold here, including eggs and sausage, are organic, or they use very few chemicals.
My husband likes citrus (oranges, lemons, grapefruit, etc.), and we can buy a lot of it during the winter. Some sellers have special kinds that taste and look really interesting. They can tell you all about each type, how to cook it, etc. We can also buy fresh strawberries almost all year, although they’re best in the summer.
Potatoes and onions–looks like stew!
Sometimes I don’t know what I want to cook until I come to the market and see what they have.
Daikon is just one of the many Asian fruits and vegetables at our market. We have lots of things that are originally from India, China, Japan, and so on. Many of the shoppers and sellers speak languages in addition to English. (In fact, some of the sellers speak English and Spanish and enough Mandarin to sell their vegetables!) It’s pretty fun to try new things.
I haven’t tried buying mushrooms here yet, but I want to. They’re much cheaper than the mushrooms at the supermarket. Actually, many of the farmers’ market items are cheaper than at the supermarket, even though many Americans think that farmers’ markets are just for rich people.
I’ve never bought flowers here, but they look so pretty, don’t they? I didn’t take pictures of the sellers who sell bread, pies, sausage, fresh fish, eggs, hot food, etc., so maybe I’ll take photos again sometime!
We usually buy bread, vegetables, cooking ingredients like garlic, and fruit. In the winter we buy more vegetables like carrots and potatoes, but in the spring we buy asparagus, and in the summer we get tomatoes. In the winter, the main fruits that we buy are apples and citrus, but in the summer there’s a lot to choose from–peaches, all kinds of melons, and so on.
Of course, outdoor markets are standard in a lot of the world. How about where you live? Where do you buy fresh fruit and fresh vegetables? What else can you buy there?
Grammar note: “Fruit” is usually non-countable (I like to eat fruit). However, when we use it to mean “types of fruit” or “kinds of fruit, we can say “fruits.” So —
1. A lot of different kinds of fruit are sold at the farmers’ market.
2. A lot of different fruits are sold at the farmers’ markets.
If you have questions, please leave a comment!