It has been almost four years since the first hospital-based organic farmers' market at a Kaiser Permanente medical center was launched. There are now over 30 markets at Kaiser Permanente facilities in Hawaii, Oregon, California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
At each of these locations are people committed to making their market successful. I hear back from KP employees, members, and others who shop at these markets. The challenge for all of us is to make sure new and more mature markets are viable for the long term.
The best way to insure that the markets continue is for the farmers to see our markets as a great outlet for their locally grown products. However you can do it, try to encourage everyone at your medical centers and your friends to spend 10% of your family food budgets at farmers' markets or on consumer supported agriculture programs.
Research is in progress that will show, I hypothesize, that shopping at farmers' markets is actually less expensive than shopping at grocery store chains. Stay tuned.
In all the recipes shared since the summer of 2003, I haven't done much with carrots. Try this carrot and ginger soup which depends on the flavor of the carrots. Buy those with bright green tops still attached, not those that have been in a plastic bag for a couple of months.