Monday, August 24, 2009

Local diet update - August 24, 2009

Saturday marked another amazing morning for the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market. But before we checkout all the local goodies, I have a story to share...

A woman arrived with her son, who was perhaps 5-6 years old. The son promptly presented himself at the veggie booth just next to me, waved his dollar bill in the air, and announced boldly, "I'd like 2 carrots, please!" Lois Vaughn, the vendor, greeted him with a smile as the mother proudly watched from behind. The child selected two of Lois' plump and wonderfully sweet carrots and allowed her to weigh them. "That's just the right amount of money for these two carrots," she told the boy. The carrots were tucked into a grocery tote and the boy continued to make his purchases around the market. Ok. Seriously, parents, does it get any better than that? What an opportunity to get kids interested in fruits and veggies than to select them themselves? Even better, where else other than the farmers' market could an exchange like this happen that was as reinforcing for the child? This has to be the most adorable market moment I've experienced thus far and a memory-maker for everyone there. In the words of MasterCard... Priceless!

Ok. So without further ado, here's the scoop on the harvest available at this weekend's Brazos Valley Farmers' Market:
Veggies: tomatoes, potatoes, bulb onions, green onion sets, carrots, cucumber, yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, green beans, a variety of hot and sweet peppers, okra, spinach, herbs, purple hull peas, black eyed peas, tomatillos, yard long beans

Fruits: pears, dried apples, cantaloupe

Baked Goods: sweet breads, pies, fruit tarts, cheesecake bars, pecan bars, dog cookies

Canned Goods: jams, jellies, salsas, pickles, chow-chow, relish

Other Foods: cornmeal, wheat flour, eggs, olive oil, honey

Non-Food Items: jewelry, pot holders, decorative plants, soaps, roll-on perfumes, body cream, greeting cards, photo frames
So obviously, I didn't end up with even anywhere near the bounty available at the market, but I did bring home a wonderful spread of purchased, bartered, and gifted goodies: eggs, grape jelly, whole wheat flour, pears, carrots, wheat grits(?), and black-eyed peas. The flour will quickly be turned into homemade whole wheat bread, crackers, and vegan pancakes. The rest of that wheat (wheat grits?) is a by-product of grinding the wheat berries. I'm told they can be made similar to oatmeal and enjoyed for breakfast. I don't like prepared oatmeal, but I'm willing to give it a shot and experiment with it further if necessary.

As for the other goodies, you'll have to tune in to Thursday's Market to Table post to see what good things we'll end up eating this week. Keep in mind, I also have plenty of local cucumber, okra, pinto beans, rice, tomatoes, and a few potatoes (from last week's market), as well as all-local canned soups, pasta sauce, and corn to help fuel some wonderful all-local meals this week. In the meantime, I hope you're enjoying fresh local food in your neck of the woods. You might even consider getting the kids involved next time...

As always, Happy (and mindful) eating!

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