Monday, June 22, 2009

Local diet update - June 22, 2009

My favorite part about eating locally is the sense of community that inevitably follows. Whether you hang out at the farmers' market, the local cooperative, the CSA drop, or the farm, it's impossible to get away without a sense of being a part of something larger than ourselves; to find friends, neighbors, kindred souls - all with a love of life and of food.

Much of my community-time happens at our local farmers' market. Although I'm not an official vendor (I host the market informational booth), I'm still just one of the gang. The market manager saves me a spot each Saturday morning, one of the vendors sets up a table for me, and another has provided me with a gorgeous table cloth. Before the market officially opens, I take a few moments to walk around the market, do my personal shopping, and talk to the vendors I've come to regard as friends. We share our stories from the week, ogle the gorgeous produce on display, and make each other laugh from open until close. Truly, the farmers' market not only nourishes my body with fresh local food, it nourishes my soul with deep, meaningful relationships.

Honestly, even if I were growing 100% of my food from our backyard, I wouldn't give up my time at the market. All those wonderful people and an amazing harvest all in one place? How can I resist? Besides, where else are you going to see mutant cucumbers like that (check out the top of the pie safe)? Yikes!

Well, despite the fact that we're harvesting green beans, a few last onions, tomatoes, cucumber, chard, collards, lettuce, lambs-quarter, sage, and basil from the backyard garden, the market harvest was just too good to pass up. In fact, it was so good, I couldn't capture it all in one photo.

Starting with the top, that's a humongous watermelon, a coffee container full of whole wheat flour, carrots, apples (my first local apples!!!), a jar of mild salsa, a large bag of green beans, (wait for it, wait for it) 29 pounds of beautiful ripe red tomatoes (guess who's tinkering with spaghetti sauce this week), and a half dozen onions on top of the tomatoes.

The bag of potatoes wouldn't fit in the first photo without making everything way too small, so it's off on its lonesome (poor potatoes).

In addition to all the market and backyard goodies, I have more local foods lurking here and there in the house - like eggs, canned soups, canned tomatoes, canned corn, lots of local brown rice, and a friend brought by a jar of homemade bread and butter pickles (my favorite pickles - Mmmm).

Does local get any more tempting than this? My culinary world is wide open. What am I going to make with all these fresh local foods? Tune in to this week's Market to Table post to find out. In the meantime, have a great week. And, as always, Happy (and mindful) eating!


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temptressyarn said...

I'm trying to figure out where in the USA you can get lettuce, tomatoes, watermelon and apples to ripen all at once, at this time of year.

We're still on Strawberries here in NY, though they're rotting from so much rain. If we don't get some warm days, we'll never see a tomato, I fear.

Heather @ SGF said...

Marshall - Thanks!

temptressyarn - Texas, of course :) The only other place I can think of that would have this kind of variety would be California. Gardening in GREAT here, other than its just awful hot (close to 100 every day).

Enjoy your berries and remember, the tomatoes are SO worth the wait :)

Po said...


Just stumbled across your blog. Love it.

Have you had a look at yet?

Lots of people there who would appreciate what you have to say. Over 1000 food gardeners and locavores networking together.

Ooooby is an acronym for Out of our own back yards.

Hope you like it.


Heather @ SGF said...

Pete - What a cool site! Thanks for sharing!