Monday, October 13, 2008

Local diet update - October 13, 2008

This past Saturday morning was quite the opposite of last week. This time, I woke up early, alert, and feeling fabulous. Saving breakfast for later, I grabbed my canvas bags, my purse, and my "returns" (empty egg cartons for the egg people and some accumulated baskets, ziplocks, plastic bags and paper grocery sacks for some of the other vendors - why recycle when you can reuse, right?). A quick kiss from the hubby and a promise from the dog that she'll be an angel while Mommy was gone (yeah, right) and I was off. Sure, it was a little foggy but I could feel it in my bones. It was going to be a beautiful day! 

A nice easy bike ride and 15 minutes later (used to be 20, but I seem to be stronger on the bike these days), I entered the local Health Department parking lot already crowded with vendors and customers - ahh, the beauty of market day!

Before I had purchased a single thing, a reader (now friend) hurried over to me to offer some of her local, home-canned peaches! And ooh, do I love peaches! Thanks, Tammy!! I also picked up a dozen eggs, some mustard greens (Mmmmm), more green beans, a few onions, and a couple zucchini. It wasn't a large haul (and even better, everything I did get cost less than $10), but with a refrigerator drawer full of sweet potatoes, the better part of a bag of spinach, a couple leftover onions, and fresh soup and potato salad still sitting in the fridge, we didn't need much and frankly, the fresher the better. 

As always, my basket of goodies were a tiny sample of all the market provided. Also in attendance were cornmeal, wheat flour, brown rice, jams and jellies, pickles, salsa, okra, peppers, spinach, baked goods, red potatoes, sweet potatoes (this is the first time I've seen them at our market!!!), purple onions, purple hull peas, locally roasted coffee, honey, and (I'm sure) another dozen or so things I've already forgotten (sucks getting older, huh?).

And most promising, I was speaking with some of the vendors, who recalled in years past, far fewer vendors and customers at this time of year. It seems people are becoming more and more interested in growing, eating and buying locally. And in talking with some of the newer vendors, I found out a couple more will be hanging on through the winter season. Wow! I mean, it's not the mob we were experiencing over the summer, but hey, more vendors are doing a great business and with a few less customers, I don't have to be there within the first 30 minutes in order to get eggs (sweet)! Talk about the best of both worlds! Go local!

Of course, the farmers market isn't the only source of local foods. We picked up two gallons of local, raw milk from the dairy this week. I also bought more local almonds from the grocery. We have jar after jar of pasta sauce, soup, and tomatoes in the pantry (all local) as well as local rice. I don't foresee anyone going hungry in the near future. Not at this house!

Although not local, I do plan on baking this week, from scratch of course - a loaf of wheat bread and some whole wheat sandwich rolls. That will cover sandwiches and toast to round out all those fruits, veggies and eggs. But save the drool. I'll have pictures for you Thursday once some of these local goodies start coming together. In the meantime, have a great week everyone and, as always, 

Happy (and mindful) eating!


sharli said...

You may have to share those peaches... :) After several weeks of being a tad out of sorts, I actually baked this weekend. My mom went to the farmers market for me and picked up a few things. So, I think I'm getting back into the swing of things. Its amazing how having a "life change" can make you run to the store looking for a huge box of honey buns! But, I know getting back to my non-processed and local food habits will make me feel a lot better. (but the honey buns were better than I care to admit!)

Green Bean said...

I love mustard greens! My favorite.

And I'm with. It is a nice time of year. When the crowds peter out a bit and you can establish a relationship with the vendors. My favorite farmer is too busy for much conversation now but we're friends because of all the conversations we've had over the cold days of winter.

ttammylynn said...

How are the peaches? I just love fresh fruit, even to the extent of buying non-local at times...canned is okay, the brandied peaches are dessert peaches because they are in a light syrup. The apple juice I packed the others in is natural organic, so it should be good...but even if you didn't like them, I want to know so that I know not to do it that way next time:-) I just want a critique.
BTW, the peach jam seems to be a hubby favorite, he alternates between that and his aunt's fig preserves. I haven't done jam in a while because I am a low sugar person, but I think I will try the pectin you reccommend... now to find some fresh fruit.....

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

How nice of her to give you home canned peaches - what a score! The rest of your loot looks mighty fine as well. And too funny that they start having sweet potatoes at market after you already got all those!

Enjoy your baking adventures!

Heather @ SGF said...

sharli - I think sometimes we all need a little comfort food (my downfall is ice cream), but it'll be good to get back to homemade. I know the kids love your breakfast bars. What did you end up with from the farmers market? Lois' green beans are the best!

green bean - I really like them too and I don't think I'd had them before. The greens are really good on my veggie sammies. I might have to add them to my garden next year.

ttammylynn -The peaches are fabulous! I used the ones in apple juice in a fruit salad that is to die for. The ones in brandy are ok, but the apple juice peaches were my favorite. Yum, thanks! You should try the Pomona's pectin. WAY less sugar.

jennifer - I know. I couldn't believe the sweet potatoes came within a week after my dad had loaded me up. Oh well. I think next year I'm going to be growing my own anyway :) Yum!