During week one, we were about three days into our first goal when we realized that we were ready for the next one: to rely entirely on local, seasonal organic produce. For us, this meant the farmers’ market. So on Saturday morning, I brought Isabella and my big bag, and we had a blast talking to the farmers, getting to know about vegetables we’d never seen before, and picking up cooking tips. I had forgotten how much more fun it was to shop this way, and Isabella really enjoyed it too. She didn’t do any of the squirming and wriggling that she does in the grocery store, because at the farmers market there is always someone talking to her—she is included in the shopping experience. I let her choose some of the vegetables and fruits, and she also enjoyed carrying the bags.
We left the market two hours later and completely loaded down with more fruits and vegetables than I’d ever bought at one time. I think we had a dozen apples and oranges, a big bag of green beans, ten zucchini, eight tomatoes, a pumpkin, a couple of avocados, an eggplant, a variety of lettuces and green, a mixed bag of peppers, a jar of honey…I’m sure there was more that I have since forgotten. My concern at the time was that some would go to waste if I wasn’t careful; after all, we are new at this. However, by Wednesday I had run out of everything but one tomato and four zucchini. Luckily I had a few things leftover from previous trips to the grocery store,
but I still had to make an emergency trip to a local indoor farmers market. I learned a lesson there too—a store’s claims to be local and organic means nothing! Only a handful of items truly were—the rest had stickers from California and even a couple from South America!
This morning, we are up early eating breakfast and getting ready for the farmers market. I recently contacted Turtle Bend farm about joining their 2012 CSA, and I look forward to meeting them at the market this morning. We like them because they are a tiny operation. If you’re interested, you can check out their blog here:
http://turtlebendfarm.blogspot.com/ (They didn’t pay me to link that).
Every day we are coming to new questions concerning the ethics of the food we’re buying. For instance, how can we strike a balance between personal health and extreme limitations? Do we go hungry before we shop at Publix, just to make a point? So far, we are not willing to do that. What about smally family owned restaurants—do we withhold our business because of how they buy their produce? We have started
by compiling a list of local farm-to-table restaurants. How can we buy our gains, nuts, and seeds locally? So far we are relying on a local bulk store. And there have been plenty of products that we are slowly working to replace with our own: so far we have been able to make our own bread, crackers, pizza crust, and cereal. We are tiptoeing around the issue of pasta…but really, we thought bread would be difficult and so far it hasn’t been. And I thought I couldn’t part with my Kashi cereal, and I have found that making my own is by far better. Maybe pasta won’t be so hard to make…
Goals for today’s trip:
–double the quantity of vegetables and fruits that I bought last week
–find out more information about CSAs (Community Sustained Agriculture: it means that you buy a membership directly from the farm, and pay a weekly fee that covers a set quantity of a variety of what they picked that week)
–start a relationship with a local diary farmer and experiment with small amounts of local dairy and eggs
–talk to the woman at the pumpkin stand and thank her for teaching me how to puree a pumpkin!
Today’s Recipe: Cold breakfast cereal (also known as…granola. Go ahead, bring on the jokes!)
whole oats, uncooked
whatever nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and bran/germ you have lying around
enough honey to just barely coat all of the above dry ingredients
Mix together in a bowl, using honey sparingly but being sure to coat all of the oats. Pour out onto a foil-lined baking sheet; bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes. Let cool completely—it will crisp up a little more as it cools. I am
storing mine in an airtight cereal-pouring contraption made by Rubbermaid. I swear they didn’t pay me to say that, but now that I think about it…