Monday, January 19, 2009

Local diet update - January 19, 2009

There had been rumors that Saturday would be bitter cold; that many of the vendors wouldn't come out with predicted temperatures in the 20's. While the parking lot where we now meet is great for access, it doesn't provide any shelter from the weather. And 20 degree weather in Texas, well, that's just pushing it. But the cold front blew through on Friday instead and by Saturday morning, we were in the mid 40's. Not bathing suit weather, but warm enough. 

Bundled in as many warm clothes as I could manage, I hopped on my bike and peddled on downtown where the farmers market was well underway. Twelve vendors lined the lot selling all kinds of winter goodies. Check this out: red potatoes, white potatoes, red onions, yellow onions, green onions, cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, mustard greens, turnip greens, spinach, a variety of leaf lettuce, tomatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, dried fruits, jams and jellies, pickles, several different kinds of salsas, lemons, honey, eggs, canned okra, cornmeal, grits, whole wheat flour, tamales, sandwich breads, cornbread, pastries, fresh potted plants, handmade crafts like wooden bird feeders, firewood, and much more. How beautiful is it that week after week, the earth provides us with such an amazing harvest? 

As you can see from my photo above, I picked up a couple gorgeous tomatoes, 6 large carrots, 3 heads of broccoli, a bag of leaf lettuce, mint, and 4 pounds of red potatoes. I was sad to see that we have reached the end of the sweet potatoes, but with any luck, I'll be planting my own this spring. Sweet potato heaven is just a season away!

My few purchases are far from my total stock of local food. I still have jars of all-local soup, tomatoes, rice, cornmeal, jams, and beans in the pantry; local ground beef and mozzarella cheese in the freezer; and local mushrooms, nuts, eggs, grapefruit, and oranges in the fridge. Pshew! Anyone hungry?

But that's not all... Saturday afternoon, I led the Brazos Locavores out to Wateroak Farms (a local goat dairy) for our monthly field trip where I purchased a pint of fresh vanilla bean ice cream (more on the field trip tomorrow). Mmmm. Ice cream! 

After a full day of local food purchases, I curled up on the couch back at home with a stir-fry dinner made from all-local ingredients - a perfect end to the day. That was until Dave snuggled in next to me with that pint of vanilla ice cream. Our whole family will vouch for the wonderful flavor and the soft, creamy texture. Wateroak Farms certainly deserves all the awards it has received for it's ice cream. It also receives a thumbs-up from Dave and Kelsey (our Shih Tzu who enjoyed licking the lid) - even I had a little nibble. Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Eating locally is a beautiful expression of community (saturday mornings at the farmers market, supporting local farms and dairies), but at it's heart is about the best our land has to offer - amazing food grown by even more amazing people. 

Have a great week, everyone. And as always, Happy (and mindful) eating!


Green Resolutions said...

"And 20 degree weather in Texas, well, that's just pushing it." Ha! I'm in the Southeast, so I totally get what you're saying! But reading the bloggers up north, I wonder what they think of us :) Glad the weather cleared up and that you enjoyed the day! That ice cream sounds delicious!!

Farmer's Daughter said...

Haha! I won't eat ice cream again for months. Too cold! Good thing it's in the 40's there.

Heather @ SGF said...

Green Resolutions - Yeah, but those readers putting up with extreme lows don't have to deal with our extreme highs. It all evens out :)

Farmer's Daughter - Is it ever too cold for ice cream? I'm not sure about that :) Yeah, our temps here have been weird. High 70's one day, 30's the next. This has to be the strangest season yet.

Shiny Green Penny said...

Your ice cream description was giving me a huge craving!! Too bad I live at least a 1 hour drive from ANYWHERE that has ice cream at this time of the night!

Heather @ SGF said...

Shiny Green Penny - At least you're safe from the occasional impulse buy :) It was good though!