Monday, February 2, 2009

Local diet update - February 2, 2009

You couldn't have asked for a prettier day on Saturday. Sure it started off a little nippy (33 degrees as I pedaled my bike downtown), but there was no wind, the sun was shining, and the sky was a beautiful shade of blue. It was the perfect day for a farmers market.

The usual suspects were already setup and busy helping customers. Eleven vendors in all, they lined the health department parking lot, displaying the amazing harvest that a Texas December provides: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, collards, mustard greens, beets, kohlrabi, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, yukon potatoes, red onions, green onions, yellow onions, tomatoes, lemons, jams and jellies, freshly baked yeast breads, cookies, pastries, corn bread, tamales, pickles, salsa, canned okra, eggs, honey, herbs, roasted peanuts, freshly ground cornmeal and whole wheat flour, a wonderful variety of handmade crafts, firewood... and I know I'm missing probably a dozen things. 

Me, of course, I always start out with a plan that goes horribly wrong once I actually get to the market. "I only need a few things," I say to myself. For heaven sake, I still have 16 jars of home-made, all-local soup canned and in the pantry. I could feed myself for weeks without going to the farmers market. But the lure of all that good food draws me every time and this week, I came home with almost 10 pounds of sweet potatoes. Well, you see, I hadn't seen them for weeks and one of the vendors has warned me that it was the end of the season. So when I saw them at the booth that morning, I selected my largest bag, put a few in... hmm, this will probably be the last of the season... put a few more in the bag... sweet potatoes really are one of my favorites... put a few more in the bag... Next thing I knew I had almost 10 pounds, but they are going to taste SO good! 

Of course, that wasn't the only thing I picked up. I also bought mint for my morning herbal teas, 7 large carrots, roasted peanuts, a dozen eggs, and 2 handmade pot holders (gifts for loved ones).

That alone would feed me well into the week, but I also have all that soup I mentioned earlier; tomatoes that I canned over the summer; two fresh tomatoes, red potatoes, and some collard greens leftover from the previous farmers market; local mushrooms and still a little TX watermelon that I picked up at our the produce market last week; TX rice from the natural food store; lots of TX citrus (oranges and grapefruits); and lots of goodies in my backyard garden (onions and cabbage are ready to pull). Pshew! I might need some help with all this food. Any takers?

As many of you know, local food is a real passion of mine, a passion that is turning into a community service. I've been speaking with some of the vendors as well as the president of our local farmers market and in the coming weeks, I'll be sitting at my own booth at the farmers market and in the future at the many festivals here in town - spreading the word about the benefits of eating a local diet, helping people get started as a locavore, signing up new vendors so that our market will grow, maybe even sharing some recipe ideas on what to do with all those local goodies. I don't know how much change will come from Washington, but I can tell you without a doubt - change is coming in my town. It's time to get moving, to get excited, and to go local!

Thanks everyone for your support! Hope to see many of you next week at the farmers market. For now, have a great week, and as always, Happy (and mindful) eating!


Chile said...

Ha! The same thing happened to me, Heather. I met a CSA friend at the farmer's market Sunday, intending to get only a few things since I didn't get my CSA share this week (due to the vertigo). Next thing I knew, I had 3 baskets of California strawberries, a loaf of sourdough bread, a cucumber, a zucchini, and a bunch of greens. How'd that happen?

I think that despite having home-preserved food on hand, we crave fresh produce. That's something I think about a lot with considering moving to colder climes. Could I really make it through a winter on preserved food and sprouts?

Green Resolutions said...

I'm out of sweet potatoes, so I'm quite jealous. Enjoy them :)

Heather @ SGF said...

Chile - ooh! Strawberries! Those are just around the bend here and I'm drooling just thinking about them :)

It really is nice having year-round produce. It would be depressing to have to miss out on market days for months at a time. That's my favorite place!

Green Resolutions - Yeah, it was a surprise to see them again for one last hurrah. I stir-fried some up for dinner with green onion (from my garden) and mushrooms (local from the produce market). They were FABULOUS! Pics coming on Thursday :)