I believe in farmers markets. When I was a kid, my grandparents lived on a working farm. They had livestock and crops along with a huge garden. My grandmother was known for her sweet corn. I have memories if running through the rows of the garden and bending down to pick strawberries and carrots and radishes. When I was a bit older, I helped my Mom can vegetables from our garden. We'd also spend a day or so picking stawberries from a local farm to make jam for the winter.
But there wasn't Farmers Markets. What you had back then was random trucks sitting at the end of streets or corners, selling out of their trucks. After my Grandmother sold the farm, there was one corn seller that was the best, parked about a mile from my parent's home. We'd buy corn by the dozen and eat our hearts content.
When I've lived in homes that I owned, I've tried to garden. I have some of the knack from watching and helping my parents. But neither yard was condusive to gardening. My house had 2 big dogs running around in the yard and I had to container garden in huge containers. Even then the dogs were knocking fuit and veggies off before peak. My townhouse now has a small patio with full sun. It's nearly imposible to keep containers moist even with daily watering.
My solution for all this is farmers markets. I looked into a CSA the last few years, but decided against it. Mostly because up until this year we were so busy that we weren't home on weekends. With packing and working, I was cooking fresh meals about twice a week. The amount of produce that would have gone to waste wasn't a good thing. Now, we have time and I cook better, fresher foods. Only Pete eats about 1 cup a meal and isn't anywhere near a vegetaian - in fact he dislikes most vegetables. My goal is to either find someone to share a CSA with (like my parents) or find one that gives a pretty small portion.
This was my haul on Saturday. I got all the veggies/fruit for less than $20. Pete thought it was expensive. But really it wasn't. The basil would have been about $3, the lettuce would have been about $4, the tomatoes about $3, the strawberries about $5, the carrots would have been about $6, the peas about $6 and the corn about $6. All totalled, about $33. When you add in the rolls from the German bakery, it was $35. So not a bad deal.
We've eaten from this bounty every meal since Saturday morning. I've made crepes with starwberrys, stawberry shortcake, green veggie salads, grilled corn, roasted carrots, creamed peas over potatoes and some salads for lunch this week. Tonight I'm going to use the basil, some tomatoes from the Thursday farmers market and make a quick fresh pasta sauce to go over pasta.
So what's your latest haul from the market?