Monday, February 23, 2009

Local diet update - February 23, 2009

Saturday morning was chilly and wet, but that didn't stop the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market from setting up shop in the parking lot of the Health Department (although it did mean I left a little earlier than normal, wimp that I am). We had food, we had crafts, we even had free samples of spanish tortilla (egg, potato, and onion - almost like a potato pancake but MUCH better) for everyone to enjoy. It was a trial to see if people would be interested in buying them in the future. Let's just say, the potential vendor got a BIG thumbs up on that idea. Everyone is hoping she'll become a market regular. Mmmm, mmmm! 

The rain started in about 10AM and had us scrambling for cover. Thankfully quite a few people had brought canvas covers and we were able to find enough shelter. We talked, laughed, and watched Robert do magic tricks with a quarter (he showed me how he was doing it and I STILL couldn't guess which hand the quarter ended up in). There were less customers this week, probably scared away by the weather, but the faithful were back for their weekly
supplies. Me included. I also had a chance to hand out a few more vendor applications (come on, spanish tortillas!), and speak to people about eating a local diet, upcoming farmers market events, and the Brazos Locavores - until it started pouring anyway. But, back to the food!

This week's market featured another wide variety of winter goodness including red potatoes, white potatoes, yellow onions, green onions, purple onions, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, carrots, collard greens, leaf lettuce, kohlrabi, turnips, eggs, baked goods (yeast breads, corn bread, quick breads, cookies, and cakes), wheat flour, cornmeal, jams and jellies, pickles, canned okra, a variety of salsas, plants, firewood, and crafts (hats, scarves, coasters, mini easter baskets, pot holders, aprons, wooden bird houses, dolls, journals, and art).

Of course, with all that cabbage, onions, and herbs coming out of my home garden, I didn't need much to round out the weekly food supplies. I picked up some carrots, broccoli, and red potatoes; as well as a knitted scarf and hat that I'll give to my Mom on her birthday.

In addition to all the goodies from the market and my personal garden, I still have LOTS of local items stocking my shelves at home: brown rice, mushrooms, eggs, canned tomatoes and soups, jams and jellies, grapefruit, oranges, and mozzarella cheese (Sand Creek). I suppose with all those goodies, I didn't really need to buy anything at the farmers' market, but who can resist?

But again, that's not all. After several trips to Farm Patch only to discover that they were (yet again) out of local strawberries, I finally hit the jackpot. I went ahead and bought 6 containers of berries and froze four of them for the coming weeks (I'm kind of at the end of my citrus tolerance this season). This should last until I have a free day to head up to one of the local orchards to pick some myself. I nibbled on one as I was prepping them for the freezer and they are indeed as good as they look. 

Well, it looks like I'm set for another fabulous week of all local foods! Stay tuned for Thursday's "Market to Table" post to discover what I did with all these local goodies. In the meantime, have a great week, everyone.

And as always, Happy (and mindful) eating!


Seraphim said...

Those strawberries look great - do they freeze well? I've always wondered if it would be worth freezing berries or if they would go mushy...

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

I still can't get over the abundance of your winter market even though I see it every week! Mmmmmmmmmmm.

And those strawberries, Heather, oh my goodness those strawberries! Strawberry season couldn't get here soon enough!

I hear you on the local fruit overload - instead of citrus, its apples here, I think I am done with the apple for awhile.

Lisa Sharp said...

I'm very jealous, every time I see pictures of your farmers market..

Ours is tiny.

Heather @ SGF said...

Sera - Actually, strawberries are one of the easiest fruits to freeze. I just take the greens off and toss enough in each plastic bag to eat for one week. Then when I'm ready for them, I defrost them in the freezer, rinse them, and enjoy!

Now if you want to be able to take out only a few at a time, take the tops off and place them on a cookie sheet (spread apart just enough so they don't touch). Freeze them for a few hours and then drop them in a ziplock or other freezer container. Once they are frozen, they won't stick and you can remove as many or as few as you like.

Jennifer - I was saying the same thing about our strawberry season. I'm getting the point that I can no longer do citrus twice a day. I'm just so tired of peeling them (I'm a whiner, I know). Now I know that I definitely need to can more fruit this year so I can at least have a break every couple weeks. :)

Lisa - There's hope though, so don't give up. Last year our winter market was tiny (2 egg vendors and a veggie vendor in the winter; though we have lots of people over the summer season). And now it's just exploded! We have so many goodies week after week.

Farmer's Daughter said...

Strawberries? So. Jealous.

Heather @ SGF said...

Farmer's Daughter - I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful it is to nibble on a few of those berries every morning. Such a wonderful break for the non-stop citrus. Don't get me wrong - I love citrus. But I'm at my limit for the season, I'm afraid.

Chile said...

All those goodies sound wonderful. I can understand being ready for some non-citrus fruit! I've noticed the same at the CSA in the trading baskets, but it's often because members have citrus trees in their yard.

I've got to remember to go to the Farmer's Market soon and get more strawberries. They aren't local (they drive over from California) but they are organic and delicious.

ttammylynn said...

Awesome...I just got some potatoes, broccoli, carrots, beets, banana bread, some other sweets, salsa, some jelly and I forget the rest. Lorrie really loved the baby blanket. I teased her that she would use it as a throw and claim that it was covering "the baby". It must have taken a lot of your time and patience to put it together, truly.
Of my haul, I gave my sis some carrots, jelly, coffee cake and broccoli. She was amazed at how delicious the broccoli was, she said that she can't buy anything even close to it at the all is well.

Heather @ SGF said...

Chile - Thankfully, the berries are breaking up the citrus quite nicely. I still have an orange once a day, but it's not ALL I'm eating. And there are only more berries to come as the season progresses. Yeah!

Tammy - those sweet breads always look soooo good! The salsa you buy - is it Marjorie's (the one made from Tanya's tomatoes)? I've been thinking about getting a jar but I cant' eat anything super hot. It is milder than the Two Brothers Salsa (Donna and Roger's salsa)?