Monday, March 9, 2009

Local diet update - March 9, 2009

Twenty vendors. Yep, that's right. Saturday marked an all time record for our winter market. We had twenty vendors lined up in the health department parking lot. It was absolutely amazing! And if you need tomato plants, let me tell you - The Brazos Valley Farmers' Market is the place to get them. We had three vendors selling tomato plants. Can't wait that long for fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes? Well, scoot across the isle and get some of Tanya's tomatoes, grown right outside of town (year-round) in her greenhouse. It just doesn't get any better than that. 

Ok. Actually, it does. This week's farmers' market featured all your favorite winter veggies and lots more: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, yellow onions, purple onions, green onions, spinach, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, turnip greens, kohlrabi, beets, tomatoes, red potatoes, white potatoes, yeast breads, sweet breads, cornbread, pastries, dried fruits, tamales, canned okra, pickles, jams and jellies, relishes, a variety of salsa, corn flour, whole wheat flour, grits, locally roasted peanuts, locally roasted coffees, both decorative and vegetables plants, herbs, crafts (pot holders, aprons, scarves and hats, easter baskets, crochet dolls, hand sewn dolls, puzzles, journals, change purses) and much more. 

Of course, my shopping for the day was a bit less grand. But as you can tell from the photo, I picked up lots of carrots, broccoli, onions, kohlrabi, and mint. I still have red potatoes, mushrooms, eggs, cabbage and LOTS of cabbage soup in the fridge. I'm stocked up with plenty of rice, home-canned soups, and home-canned tomatoes in the pantry. AND (check this out), I may have finally found a source for local wheat! That's right! I handed over two gallon sized bags to one of the market vendors who has a grain mill so we can test out some local wheat (of course, I handed over the 2 gallons after I took a couple cups of wheat berries out to try them boiled - more on that Thursday). Local wheat. Local wheat. Local wheat. You can't tell I'm excited about this, can you? We still have some questions to ask the supplier, but if this works out it will be fabulous! Woohoo!

You guys keep reminding me, but I already know it's true. I'm incredibly fortunately to live in a place that has such an amazing harvest year round. Of course, that means we have to brave long, 100 degree summers, but it's SO worth it. Anyone want to move to Texas? Local tastes mighty good here!

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


Lisa said...

I have been lurking here for a while and must say how jealous I am of your winter FM. We have a pretty good market in the summer, but people here only sell a very few varieties of anything. No heirloom tomatoes, nothing but the most typical type of anything. That's okay, it's better than nothing!

I thought you might enjoy this farmer's market post from my birthplace in Hawaii. Makes me weep just thinking of all I am missing!!

fearlesschef said...

Whoohoo! Local wheat! That made my day... I'm so happy for you! Will he mill it all for you, or will you have to do your own?

Green Resolutions said...

mmm... wish I could afford to put a greenhouse in the backyard! I'm missing my homegrown tomatoes :)

Heather @ SGF said...

Lisa - LOVE those pictures. Isnt' tropical fruit the best. Mmmm! Thanks for sharing!

fearlesschef - If it all works out, I might get a mill attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. For now, though, I gave the bags to one of the vendors at the farmers' market who currently grind local corn and some non-local wheat. Once we get a few more answers from the wheat farm, we'll decided how we want to operate (will the vendor buy and grind it all, then sell it; or will we all buy our own and she'll grind it for us for a cost or a percentage of the resulting wheat).

We'll have to see, but I'll keep everyone updated!

Green Resolutions - Yeah, I'm still amazed to see all those tomatoes year round. Will you grow any this summer?

fearlesschef said...

I have that attachment for the KitchenAid and I have been really pleased with how it works. It's slow, but the flour is really fine on the smallest setting.

Heather @ SGF said...

fearlesschef - Ooh. Now I have to ask which one you got, because I've seen lots of different ones (KitchenAid doesn't actually make it, I've heard).

Someone told me it's not really compatible with the motor and they were disappointed, but I have the professional series and maybe the person I talked to just had the regular one? I don't know.

So which brand adapter did you get and what KitchenAid did you have? Do tell... :)

Jen said...

I hope your local wheat source works out for you! I've been lurking for a while too, and you've inspired me to go local as much as possible.

We joined a CSA running June through November. I can't wait for that to start. We always grow herbs, peppers, and tomatoes in our garden, but are planning to expand this summer.

I know you're vegan, but we love our meat and dairy. Last November we purchased pastured, antibiotic and hormone free beef, pork and chicken from a local farm. The difference from store bought products is ASTOUNDING!

I'm currently searching for a local source of raw dairy. I have high hopes once the farmer's market opens here. I even found a Go Local blog for my state, Indiana!

Sorry to ramble, but I'm so excited, and want to thank you so much for inspiring me to provide healthier food to my family, and to support my local community. It feels really good. :)

Lisa: I got married and honeymooned in Hawaii, and I am drooling over those photos! It's such a wonderful, relaxing and beautiful place.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of getting one of these if I can buy wheat...

fearlesschef said...

I just have a regular Kitchenaid mixer. I can't do huge amounts of wheat at a time, but I like it anyway. I found it on the actual kitchen aid site and then searched around the internet until I found a good deal. Here's some pictures:

Heather @ SGF said...

Jen - That's wonderful! Keep on the lookout for the dairy. It took me 5 months before I talked to the right person and found out where we could get local dairy. It takes time but it's so worth the effort. I hope you find your adventures in local eating as fulfilling as I have!

Anonymous - Cool! I used to have a meat grinder that hooked up to the counter like that. Thanks for the link!

Fearlesschef - found it at kitchen universe. I'll keep an eye on prices. This would be great to have if we end up buying the wheat berries! Thanks!