Monday, May 18, 2009

Local diet update - May 18, 2009

The harvest has begun! At this point it's still small, but I'm pulling anywhere from 6-12 green beans a day, sage, basil, lambs-quarter, kale, and onions. The rest of the garden is blooming and growing so lettuce, chard, collards, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, yellow squash, and spaghetti squash are well on their way (sweet potatoes will be planted within the next 2 weeks). Having eaten out of the pantry most of the last three weeks, I still have a few farmers' market goodies in the fridge - like carrots, red potatoes, eggs, cucumber, one little yellow squash, and copious amounts of dill (next time someone asks me if I'd like a little dill, remind me to clarify what a little means - 2 gallons of dill is A LOT). Then there's plenty of local brown rice, wheat berries, and homemade egg noodles (from the farmers' market) in the pantry and fridge. So the plan was to take it easy again at the farmer's market this weekend. 

Speaking of the farmers' market, this Saturday we had live music from local performer, Joey McGee! Talk about setting the mood! It made the market wonderfully festive and everyone had a great time. We also had the City of Bryan handing out information on recycling and composting. VERY cool! Of course, the highlight of the day is always the food, so let's get to it. Available at this week's farmers' market was:
Veggies: garlic, yellow onions, red onions, white onions, snow peas, spinach, turnips, beets, radishes, swiss chard, yellow squash, red potatoes, white potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, greens, herbs, arugula, green beans, cauliflower, hot peppers

Fruits: dried cranberries, dried apples, blackberries

Canned Goods: jams, jellies, salsas, pickles, chow-chow, relishes, tomato juice, canned veggies, pickled eggs

Baked Goods: both white and wheat flour egg noodles, yeast breads, sweet breads, cakes, pastries, cornbread, puppy cookies

Other Foods: eggs, olive oil, locally-roasted coffees, grits, cornmeal, whole wheat flour, trail mix, raw food snacks, honey

Plants: ornamental plants, veggie plants, herbs plants, flowers, fruit trees

Crafts: dolls, games, journals, wallets, crocheted boxes, pot-holders, jewelry, soaps, candles
What I took home was far more modest, of course. I got a bag of red potatoes, a few red onions, dried cranberries, a jar of tomato juice, 2 containers of blackberries, and puppy cookies. 

This was the first week of blackberries and I'm looking forward to many more berries (and a batch of homemade blackberry jam probably later this month). Between these goodies, my well-stocked fridge, and the back yard harvest picking up, I have no doubt we'll be eating well this week (as always). 

Check back on Thursday for the "Market to Table" post to see what became of all these local goodies. Local is truly a beautiful way to live, so get on out there and check out your own farmers market and experience the wonderful world of local food.

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


ttammylynn said...

Heather, I think those are dewberries, like blackberries but larger and quite native here. I got some too. I had a huge haul at the market this week. A jar of strawberry rhubarb jelly, five bars of black raspberry goat milk soap, two bags of coffee, ten jars of salsa, two dozen eggs, dewberries, tomatoes, peppers, yellow squash(lots of it), two kinds of green beans, some homemade noodles, a three tiered candle in a glass, and a container of olive oil. I've already used most of the veggies plus most of the CSA veggies from Thursday--lettuce, zucchini, cabbage, yellow beans(like green beans), onions, broccoli, herbs, and greens. My garden is making strawberries, onions, carrots, herbs, some garlic, some tomatoes, some spinach, and raspberries now(I love raspberries). Becoming ripe I have green beans, squash, and bell peppers. Fruitwise, I have mulberries, figs, blueberries, pears and oranges coming soon. I hope to have seedless grapes this year, too.
On the flower front, I have a few roses, my mimosa is blooming, oleander, hibiscus, and mums all blooming. I still have pansies, begonias, petunias, and others blooming as well.
My loofah vines are growing and I hope to get loofah sponges plus seed for next season.
Weeds have become a problem around the corn and squash plantings particularly, but I just try to do a little each day so as not to overburden myself. Chris was on vacation last week and really did a lot of projects around the house. That meant that when I got home from work, it was time to roll up my sleeves and work some more. The man has a vicious work ethic. We did plumbing, mowing, yard work, repotting, planting, some landscaping, housework, cleaning, organization, purging of unused items, vehicle maintenence, et cetera over the past week. I'm tired. No wonder I got sick over the, I'm getting better though, it just hit me last weekend and it took me a while to figure out what was wrong with me.
Oh, I hate to tell you this after the fact, but yesterday I drove out to Hempstead with my son. We picked 22 pounds of peaches and came home with peach and blackberry ice cream, also. I knew you had the thing at Vicki's later, so I just ran out to get some stuff (I am afraid that their season will be very limited this year because of the weather leading into the season--only 1/3 of their crop made it and from what we saw, insects ate a good portion of that). The peaches we picked will be ripe in a couple of days(and refrigeration becomes necessary because of the lack of fungicide). Perhaps we could arrange a trade--peaches for jam later:-) We only picked a box because we were trying to leave fruit for other pickers plus we did not want any waste whatsoever, but a box is a bounty and I will share, let me know, I'll take some to your house at our mutual convenience. Of course, if you have another source then I can make some cobbler or pie(or can some) and use everything, so let me know, but seriously, these peaches rock if the past few years are any indication...

Heather @ SGF said...

Tammy - Bartering peaches for jam sounds great to me! Sounds like you guys did great. I was sorry to hear that peaches took a hit this year. I'm hoping some of the farms north of us did well. Last I heard, the one that the Locavores is visiting in July is still ok. Got my fingers crossed...

Wow! You picked up a ton of stuff at the market. Does that family eat all that salsa in a week? I know you have a few extra at your home these days, but wow! That's a lot of food! Do you cook it all yourself or does the rest of the family pitch in from time to time.

Actually, the berries are Brazos Berries which are native to here, but are actually a kind of blackberry (cultivated, not wild). The dewberries I've picked around here are definitely smaller and tarter than the berries that Lois was selling. Both are great though!

Have a wonderful week! It was great to see you at the market!

ttammylynn said...

No, not everyone likes veggies. My son was picking out broccoli(his absolute favorite vegetable--maybe fav food), my hubby likes everything pretty much and so do I. I resorted to easy cooking(the steamer). Most of the people in the house cook, but most of them only cook what they like, so veggies are more or less just my thing. I get creative enough that almost everyone eats what I cook.
For example, I don't particularly like mushrooms, but I know how I like them. There was some ground beef thawed and everyone more or less decided to have stroganoff. I made it with my husband's and son's help but left most of the mushrooms to the side. These were sauteed with onions, garlic,butter and wine. My son who doesn't like mushrooms loved these...he is his mother's son besides, things that taste good just taste is hard to explain.
Okay, I'll bring some peaches and we'll go from there.

Anonymous said...


i found a recipe i thought you might like to try.
Pickled Magnolia Flowers:
1 poud fresh young magnolia flowers separated.
1.5 cups rice vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt

wash and dry flowers and put into a sterilized jar with the salt. mix vinegar and sugar and heat to boiling. pour hot mixture over flowers. cool and seal jar.

they have a nice light flavor.


Heather @ SGF said...

Tammy - sounds like it's tough to please everyone. I'll look forward to those peaches :)

Blondeoverboard - Thanks for the recipe. With so many magnolias around here, it should be an easy recipe to put together!