PULLMAN — I live in a desert.
Groceries, shops, cool bars and restaurants are nearly extinct in my part of town.
The bright spot, however, comes every summer when the Dotson's Farm traveling market returns.
But this year, the south suburban farm didn't roll its semitruck of produce into Pullman until Wednesday.
And folks shopping for fresh tomatoes, green beans, zucchini and a variety of greens and herbs under the familiar white canopy couldn't be happier. Well, most of them.
"It's nice that you can get fresh vegetables, fresher than the store, because they come from closer farms," Gerald Williams said. "There used to be a farmers market closer to us at 71st and Jeffery, but it's not there anymore. So we have to go out to where the markets are."
Williams' fruit-picking companion, though, wasn't happy that there wasn't more of a selection of fruits, particularly watermelons.
I know what she means. Farmers markets that I've visited Downtown and on the North Side typically offer a better selection of produce — not to mention fancy cheese and artisan breads.
But when you live in a food desert, you take what you can get.
"When I heard the farmers market was coming back, I told Ashley we had to get here the first day," Pullman resident Charia McKee said. "It's a deal for sure, and so much fresher than the store. It's exciting."
McKee's veggie shopping buddy, Ashley Holmes, said she usually has to travel to a farmers market in the West Loop.
"Coming here is much better. I mean, why can't we have fresh fruit and veggies down here, too?" Holmes asked. "I think we'll get more variety eventually. But this is better than nothing."