Monday, February 16, 2009

Local diet update - February 16, 2009

Ok. I thought I was having fun at our farmers' market as a customer. It turns out, that was nothing compared to the excitement of hosting my own booth - sharing my locavore adventure with others, connecting people with local resources, signing up new vendors, sharing ideas to promote the market, getting to know the other vendors even better, shamelessly plugging my blog... 

Not only am I growing as a person, but we are growing as a market. I've mentioned this before - last year, we had only 3 vendors all winter long. So far this winter, we've had anywhere from 10-14 vendors. This past Saturday? We had a total of 18 vendors lining the Brazos County Health Department Parking lot. In one word - AMAZING! The summer months, like any market, are normally our heavy months, if this trend keeps up, we're sure to fill the entire front parking lot. Definitely exciting!

Of course, more vendors means more goodies and what a spread it was! This week at the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market, you could find: white potatoes, red potatoes, red onions, yellow onions, green onions, broccoli, cauliflower cabbage, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, spinach, lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, beets, kohlrabi, carrots, eggs, honey, herbs, wheat flour, corn flour, jams and jellies, canned veggies, pickles, a variety of salsas, olive oil, locally roasted coffees, locally roasted peanuts, tamales, dried fruits, yeast breads, quick breads, cookies, bagel bites, cakes, crafts (wooden bird houses, handmade dolls, winter scarves and caps, hand sewn journals, puzzles made from a dried coconut shell, pot holders), a variety of plants... and I'm sure I've missed a few things.

So of that amazing harvest, what did I bring home? Well, let's see. I got LOTS of carrots, 3 yellow onions, a head of broccoli, some brussels sprouts, a bag of bagel bites, red potatoes, mint for tea, 4 small handmade dolls (thankfully none of the intended gift recipients are old enough to read this blog), and a plant that was a gift from one of the market customers - and for the life of me, I can't remember the name of this plant. I know. I know. But I'm getting old. Give me a break. 

I was thrilled to speak with some first time market visitors at my booth. Even more exciting, some of those first timers were people I'd met elsewhere in the community and encouraged to come. I have to tell you. Eating locally has changed my life. I love the food. I love the community I've found as a result of my journey. But what I love most is the feeling that I'm making a difference. And finally, the clouds part, the dove descends, and the angels encircle me as I find my calling. Ok, even I can be a little dramatic at times, but the result is the same. It turns out, after searching the world over to discover what truly moves me, that in the end I'm just a local kinda girl.

Stay tuned for Thursday's "Market to Table" post to discover what became of all these local goodies. Have a great week everyone, and as always, Happy (and mindful) eating!


Michelle @ Leaving Excess said...

Normally I don't mind living in MN, but I am very jealous of those beautifully lined tables! Thanks to you, I am so excited to make our farmer's market a regular weekly stop come April.

I am so happy for you that you have found your calling :>)

Lisa Sharp said...

You won an award on my blog. :)

Beany said...

Like yourself, I also had noticed a change in the Philly farmers market from 2006 winter to 2007 winter. Here in San Diego, a local blogger found the same thing to be true, the idea of eating locally had grown in the year she blogged about eating locally. This can only mean good things for many people.

Heather @ SGF said...

Michelle - That's wonderful! I'm glad you're excited about your farmers market. It really is addictive once you start going. And April isn't far away!

Lisa - Thanks for sharing the love!

Beany - That's great! So it's not just us then. Going local is definitely catching on - sweet!

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

I still think it is really, really awesome that you are out there talking about the benefits of local eating. Perhaps one day I will be brave enough to do something like that - you give me hope that it is possible.

I love that the market is growing! What a difference from last year to this one. I wonder if you can expect it to continue to grow. Have you noticed there being a lot more people each Saturday as compared with last winter?

I am really jealous of all your abundance, I can't wait to see your Market to Table post!

Heather @ SGF said...

Jennifer - There are definitely more customers than last year. It was rare last year that I ran into another customer. Now they're everywhere. It's great! Kinda like "if you build, it they will come." Instead, it's "if you sell it, they will come." Hey, whatever works!

I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to get a chance to eat those brussels sprouts this week. I picked another cabbage today and it was bigger than the one I picked last week. Last week's gave me 7 pints of soup and 4 lunches. This week, it looks like it's 7 pints of soup and 5 lunches. That's a lot of cabbage!

And there certainly is hope. I'm such a recluse, but once I found something I was passionate about, all the sudden you can't shut me up. I enjoy it so much that I think it trumps my hesitancy.