Sunday, September 14, 2008

That Lovin' Spoonful (or I've Fallen in Love with a Farmer and I don't even know his name)

Ahh just kidding...

But today was a day of new experiences and eye openings for me!

I have always *thought* about going to one of our many local Farmer's Markets but it was the kind of thinking that is done rhetorically and required no effort on my part. In fact, by thinking about it so often and with such fervor, somehow I had absolved myself of the need or desire to truly go to one.

Today dawned sunny, brilliant with September colors and well - I just felt like I had to find one that was open. The caveat was that I couldn't spend more than 5 minutes on the road...and it was Sunday so most Farmer's Markets had already happened yesterday.

So, I googled Farmer's Markets with my zipcode and found ONE that met the 5 minute requirement. So I grabbed the fiance, baby, sunblock and a water bottle crammed with ice and took off in the car - in quest of the most perfectly red tomatoes. (disclaimer, I know that in order for this to be an ideal situation we would have biked, but I am not risking life, limb and baby with the lunatics on our roads...that and we just have one bike!)

Honestly, had I not been so motivated to go to a Farmer's Market today, I do not think I would have even stopped. Because from the road it didn't look like much. Shows you what I know!! Hehe

After we parked, we put sunblock on the baby and grabbed his stroller. Once we walked to the sales area it was clear that I had vastly underestimated the sheer deliciousness of what I was about to experience.

The late summer Strawberries sang a chorus to me when I walked by. The hot sun had warmed them and released their potent fragrance. The apples were blushing shyly when I brushed their cheeks. The blackberries nearly lept from their boxes into my fingers. Oh and the mountains of tomatoes were more than my senses could stand.

We spent 45$ and had a kiddie sized wagon full of produce. I thought I would do a price check for you....

Green Beans $1.65/#
Fuji Apples .99/#
Japanese Eggplant $1 ea
Strawberries $13 for a half flat
Watermelon (seedless from Hermiston, OR) .39/#
Swiss Chard $1.25 a bunch
Green Onions 2 bunches for $1
Yellow Pear Tomatoes $2.50/ pint
Blackberries $2.25 - $3/ pint depending on which booth you were at
Purple Cauliflower $1.25/#
Zucchini 3 for $1
Beets .99/bunch
Kohlrabi 3 for $1
Carrots .75/#
Lettuce $1 each
Herbs all $1 a bunch
Corn 3 for $1
Cantaloupe $1 ish a pound - they were tres gourmet ones
Heirloom Tomatoes $1.50/#

It was a fantastic experience and one we will have each week from now until they close for the season. I can't believe it took me so long to go!

It was neat because most of the smaller farms had signs stating their organicness (is that a word? heh). And their prices were the same as the bigger guys who were clearly not as organic(ness).

I sent my fiance back to buy some Strawberries before they close at 2 today! We are going to freeze them for winter. MMMM

It was neat to see how I could still save money and get to buy the most fresh, local, mostly organic product available. Oh and even better - reduce my carbon footprint to a smidgen...well at least for today.

If you do not go to your local FM regularly - get thee to one asap!!

I'll post pics shortly.



Milkweed said...

I think there's a persistent myth out there that shopping at the farmers market is an expensive "boutiquey" experience for the yuppie of heart.

But I always find that in addition to being WAY fresher, better tasting/smelling/looking than the supermarket, things in season not shipped to my town with jet fuel and diesel are usually way more affordable than the alternative, too.

Hurrah for your family for getting out there and getting the goods!

Heather said...

Weird, I missed this reply somehow - sorry!!

I was of the same mindset that it was a boutiquey thing and one I couldn't afford.
Silly me!

I am so happy to be proven wrong.

Last weekend was just as great too.
I can't wait to see what we get this weekend.

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM as my wee one would say! :)