I love the farmers market. Every weekend, it’s a celebration of bounty.  Farmers bring their fruits, vegetables and herbs to market, and we revel in the delicious tastes, smells, and colors before us.

The farmers market has a sense of time – offering asparagus in the spring, corn and cucumbers in the summer, and pumpkins in the fall. It also has a sense of adventure, goading us to experiment with foods we haven’t tried before -- like celeriac, jicama or sunchokes.

Have you ever noticed that people tend to bond over fruits and vegetables? There’s a special kinship or camaraderie between the person who grows the food, and those of us who bring it home to our families.

I enjoy getting to know the people at the farmers market. Last weekend, I asked an Asian farmer – who spoke very little English, if I could buy just $1 worth of banana peppers since I didn’t need a full tray.  When he gave me the whole tray, but charged me only $1, I felt compelled to buy something else. So I bought a tray of zucchinis that I really didn’t need (as my bag was already overflowing) for $2 more. Yet, his generosity continued, as he threw in a tomato without charge – telling me the peppers, zucchini and tomato would make a nice combination dish.

I’m not going to turn this into a convenient analogy about how big business can take a page from the folks at the farmers market, but it’s true. By giving me more than I asked for, and pleasantly surprising me with a variety of products – some of which I didn’t know I needed – I am sure to return time and again.

With autumn almost here, the bounty will continue for only a couple more months. But after the spring thaw, I’ll definitely be back.