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Food & Drink

Best Farmer's Market 

Clayton Farmer's Market

Walking toward the farmer's market in Clayton on a Saturday morning is a treat for all the senses. First the live (usually folk) music reaches your ears, then the smell of freshly brewed coffee and freshly baked something-wonderful entices your nose. Brightly colored flowers sit next to eggplants so purple that they should be outlawed. You touch the bumpy squash, feel the feathery skin of just-ripe peaches. And then the tastes: little pastries filled with oversize blackberries, fresh omelets made to order, samples of wine and cheese (hey, it's never too early for wine!). The market, a brainstorm of chef Julie Ridlon, was set up to teach people how to cook with local foods, and each week a different set of chefs give demonstrations. But the real stars of the farmer's market are the farmers: Take the time to talk with the potato lady about the pros and cons of each variety, ask the seller of free-range chickens about his operations. Everyone's eager to share information, recipes, tips for keeping fruits fresh. The market is open from 8 a.m. till noon every Saturday from mid-May through the end of October. And Birkenstocks are optional.

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