Despite the weather, we had our usual crowd at the market this weekend. Every few minutes, vendors would lose fliers, bags, even coffee mugs to the gusts of wind and everyone scurried around to retrieve these newly airborne materials.
Knowing that fresh, local food is the best foundation for a good meal, customers didn't let a little weather keep them huddled at home. Vendors were there and business was good!
This Saturday's farmers market offered another amazing harvest. Available were tomatoes, spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, red potatoes, white potatoes, purple potatoes, turnips, beets, kohlrabi, carrots, broccoli, red onions, yellow onions, green onions, lemons, dried apples, a variety of salsas, pickles, canned okra, herbs, locally-roasted coffee, jams and jellies, homemade sandwich breads, cornbreads, and sweet rolls, tamales, eggs, olive oil, a variety of plants, cornmeal, grits, honey, and more. Pshew! There's just no way to go home empty handed with such a beautiful rainbow of home-grown goodness.
As for me, as you can see, I picked up a dozen eggs, red potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, and mustard greens (I think, I'm still not very good at figuring out which greens are which). I already have plans for all these goodies - more steamed broccoli and carrots; stir-fried potatoes with some of the onions from my garden; wraps made from those beautiful greens with a little local rice and plenty of the veggies from the market and my back yard nestled inside. There are so many possibilities...
And here we are. No, your eyes are NOT deceiving you. That's a Texas watermelon there in the picture along with some local mushrooms. Sunday morning, we made a quick stop at the Farm Patch, our local produce market to find these goodies. The mushrooms, will of course, be added to just about everything I eat this week (rice dishes, stir fries, etc). The watermelon? Honestly, I couldn't believe it when I saw it. It's from Texas but not anywhere very close to home (about 400 miles away). It just looked so good and it was from Texas (which this time of year, I consider local - well, for fruit anyway). Besides, it really is an unselfish act. I mean, my compost bin has been pleading with me to add something other than citrus peels (what? your compost bin doesn't talk to you?) and when I tossed in the watermelon rind, well, the compost bin looked much healthier and happier and thanked me profusely (what lovely manners it has!).
As I was cutting into the watermelon, I thought back to last summer when I had been eating watermelon week after week for months, longing for ANYTHING different. Now, here I am in the dead of winter (as dead as Texas winters get anyway) and feeling the same way about citrus while I drool over this juicy watermelon. Mmmm! It's a good one too!
I also have plenty of Texas grapefruit and oranges in the fridge; and the pantry is stocked with about a dozen jars of all-local soups (canned over the summer) as well as some local dried black beans, and tomatoes (also canned over the summer). Good heavens! We're still bursting at the seams here with wonderful, fresh local foods. So, I suppose the question to ask is: Anyone interested in moving to Texas? We have an extra room...
Have a great week everyone, and as always, Happy (and mindful) eating!