On Sunday Joshua and I slept in a bit (8:30) and went to the local Farmer's Market. I have enjoyed doing this since forever and it's something my kids both love and have been doing since birth.
In recent years I've been noticing something... People around the country having a higher value for seasonal, locally grown foods. It makes good sense. They're much fresher and therefore healthier, less packaged and usually less expensive too.
At one point I looked into a community farm share (organic), but it proved too costly, so I stuck with my pattern of enjoying farm markets when I could.
I love the freshness. So many of the mass-produced, grocery store marketed, trucked in from California or who-knows-where fruits and vegetables have lost their flavor. My friends shared some home-grown tomatoes two weeks ago. I ate one right off the vine and it struck me once again just how bland, mealy and pink grocery store tomatoes had become. Yuck.
Having two busy adults and a very social high school senior at home, it's difficult to find evenings when we're home to cook meals. I realized I don't want to pile too much fresh food in the fridge at one time. So for lots of reasons the weekly farm market appears to be a better and better option.
Then I saw this: “Consumers who buy locally not only get a great product, but if every state household spent just $10 per week on Michigan-produced food, they would generate $37 million each week for our economy.” ~ MDA Director Don Koivisto
Full article here.
Granted it's $10 at a time, but $37 million to our local economy, and I get the sweetest corn, the freshest apples, the reddest tomatoes... It's a win-win deal.
This time Joshua and I walked away from the farmers market with: yellow beans, red potatoes, prune plums, macintosh apples, sourdough bread, raspberries, corn and fresh canned hot pickles.
We had no shopping list. Just got what appealed to us. But I found myself craving recipes to utilize this bountiful harvest to its fullest potential. I didn't find any locally crafted cheeses, and there was only one free range meat vendor who froze and shipped their products direct to you. (That was expensive) So now I'm looking for more complete alternatives to our small and not-year-round city market.
I'm open to suggestions! Please share if you have any.