Monday, September 14, 2009

Local diet update - September 14, 2009

Saturday's farmers market could be described in one word: WET. Surprisingly enough, that didn't keep customers from coming out and getting their share of the best goodies available in the Brazos Valley. You can't tell much from the photos, but I wasn't exactly going to bring my iPhone out when it was pouring (hand-me-down or not).

No one was complaining though as we REALLY need the rain here. In fact, it rained most of last week and the seeds we planted on Sept 6 had broken ground only 4 days later. You gotta love that rainwater!

Right, so back to the farmers' market. It was in fact, a little nippy too. Yeah, I know. Texas in September and I was cold. Go figure. Regardless, 12 vendors came out to brave the weather and share their harvest with the community. Available at this week's Brazos Valley Farmers' Market were:
Veggies and Fruits: red potatoes, sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, bulb onions, green onion sets, carrots, cucumber, yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, green beans, a variety of hot and sweet peppers, chard, okra, spinach, herbs, purple hull peas, black eyed peas, purslane, patty pan squash, dried apples, cantaloupe, pears

Baked Goods: yeast breads, sweet breads, herb breads, cakes, cookies, cheesecake bars, pecan bars, pies, kolaches, croutons, dog treats

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

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

Non-Food Items: pot holders, decorative plants, fruit trees
Of course, my take-home haul wasn't nearly as impressive, but between buying, bartering, and gifts from generous vendors, I still came home with quite a spread. I picked up pears, green beans, carrots, eggs, sweet peppers, okra, an onion, herb garlic jelly, salsa, and whole wheat flour. Does anyone see a hearty stir-fry in my future? 'Cause that's exactly where that tasty herb garlic jelly is going... unless I make some of my homemade crackers. Hmmm......

But just when you think I'm set, there's plenty of goodies coming out of the backyard garden too. Like green peppers, sage, basil, lambs-quarter, and (pictured here) sweet potatoes. Mmmm!

Then there's the 16 quarts of all-local home-canned soups, and the local rice, corn, and pasta sauce in the pantry. Yeah. I'd say eating locally is going to be a breeze this week. Bring it on!

Until next time, Happy (and mindful) Eating!

P.S. Are you challenging yourself to eat more local foods? What's in season in your neck of the woods?


Anonymous said...

What are you doing to cure your sweet potatoes? I am interested in hearing how long they last that way.

Heather @ SGF said...

I'll do a full post soon on the entire process of sweet potatoes. Keep in mind this is the first time I've done this and I'm being coached by one of the vendors at the farmers' market.

To cure them, I'm placing them on newspaper on my back porch and covering them with my compost sifter (just a wood box with a mesh screen). The cover is to keep the critters out. You could do this in a green house or a garage too.

It needs to be pretty warm to cure them (80-ish degrees) and high humidity to cure them in 10 days. We just got a cold front come through so it may take them a little longer. I'm not sure yet how to know they're ready for storage, but I plant to ask about it at the market. Once they've been cured, I'll wrap them separately in paper and store them in the coldest closet in the house (cool and dark for storage). I'm hoping that will keep them all winter, but again, this is my first time and I'm learning as I go...