Food is such an integral part of who we are and how we think of ourselves.

What we eat and how and with whom we eat naturally contributes to our physical and mental health. And what and how we eat depends on what we like, what we can afford, what is available, who is sharing with us.

Preparing a meal for another or having a meal with a loved one can make all the difference between wanting to eat something and not caring about the food too much. And having a solitary meal while enjoying a good book can be immensely valued. It’s about preferences and choices.

It’s also about history and family and memories. Take beets. Last week, an elderly gentleman who was walking through the Fayette County Farmers Market with an obvious friend stopped to buy some turnips.

His friend asked what he would do with them. He didn’t answer directly, but said his mother cooked them and mashed them with potatoes. He wasn’t sure if he could recreate this remembered dish, but thought it might not be too difficult. A memory. A meal that may not have tasted long. An experiment to replicate something made by someone loved and remembered. Something beautiful and hopeful. This is how food should be.

Meanwhile, a family member in their 90s who loves good bread and cheese and charcuterie (but not that much veggies) with heart failure will be told that these foods are high in sodium and are therefore remotely limited, as is his favorite Root Beer. Since he and my mom try to be independent and prepare their own meals, it stands to reason that easy-to-prepare foods (canned, frozen, deli) are preferred. What if what you love for various reasons is what not to eat?

Our relationship with food is complicated. It’s health and it’s comfort (and comfort can well rival health). It’s memory and history. It’s family. It’s personal.

There are many “good for you” vegetables on the market this week. We will also have two food trucks: The Farmer and the Dill (Tricia Runnels) will be back and serve a varied Farmers Market Brunch menu: KK’s Waffle Barn (Kay Nicole Terry) for the first time on the market, serving unique waffles made from homemade Liege dough (instead of dough) from Belgium. You will have food during the walk and take it home to share and enjoy.

Modern Woodmen members are hosting a Food and Supply Drive in aid of the Rose Avenue Community Center. During the market, please hand in items at the information booth of the farmers’ market on Saturday, July 17th and July 24th.

Items needed for community meals include: Dried items such as spaghetti, macaroni, pasta sauce, velveeta, rice, instant potatoes, taco shells: canned goods such as pork and beans, corn, green beans, sauce, chilli, peanut butter, jelly, and taco seasoning: consumables such as paper plates, 9-ounce plastic cups, paper bowls, plastic forks, plastic spoons, toilet paper, paper towels, 30-gallon trash bags, foil wrap, and Clorox wipes.

Rose Avenue handles community issues such as food, clothing, and support such as budgeting and life skills training to shake hands with those in need. Modern Woodmen improves the quality of life of members and the communities in which they live, work and play.

The market is open Saturday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and is located in the municipal parking lot on the corner of South Main and East East Street in Washington. CH SNAP EBT Food Benefit Cards and Credit / Debit Cards are accepted. Those who use the SNAP EBT card to make groceries will receive matching dollar “Produce Perks” tokens (US $ 1 for US $ 1) that are only valid for fruits, vegetables, and food-producing crops. So “buy one, get one” for up to $ 25 every market day. Five dollar vouchers will be available again to members of the Fayette County Farm Bureau every Saturday market; These can be given out on both the Wednesday and Saturday markets.

The following list contains the names and products of the vendors who are expected to be putting up this Saturday. Other providers can also participate.

Small farm flowers (Eicher family): Sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias, rudbeckia, dianthus and many other fresh cut flowers. Flower arrangements and freshly cut herbs are also offered.

King Farms (Jeff and Sandi King): Green beans, beets, new red potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, zucchini, onions, cucumbers.

Wood from DW (Debbie Welch): Wood crafts and sewn kitchen crafts.

Your Other Mother’s Kitchen (Don and Sara Creamer, 740-572-0134): Bread, muffins, blueberry crisp, brownies.

Bridge View Garden (Hunter and Lorelle Rohrer, 740-505-5125): Blackberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, potatoes, onions.

Engeti (Alana Walters): Baked goods, including rolls, cinnamon rolls, cakes, tarts, biscuits.

Gerhardts (Kevin Gerhardt and the old yellow truck): Super sweet white corn, cucumber, peppers, jalapeños and cherry tomatoes.

Greens and Greens (Katrina Bush): Seasonal products. Potted flowering plants for beauty and pollinators. Horse chestnuts. Sourdough crackers. Local honey. Beeswax hand creams and glycerine and honey soaps. Natural insect repellent.

Jim’s Premium Ground Beef (Jim Hobbs): Premium ground beef that includes steak, sirloin, chuck and brisket in our ground beef, vacuum packed in 1 #, 5 # and 3 / # patties.

Multiple vendors will be in attendance at this week’s Fayette County Farmers Market.

There will be two food trucks on the market.