Monday, July 07, 2008

Enjoying the Local Market

With the high price of food these days, I'm thankful for the opportunity to purchase local produce close to home. Fresh, tasty, and abundant --- many delicious foods can be found this time of year. Cherries, sweet onions, zucchini, cabbage, radishes, lettuce, cucumbers, garlic, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and more are brought to market by local farmers and gardeners.


Doesn't this look delicious? It's a beautiful head of cabbage!


Although shopping for fresh produce is enjoyable, the most fun at Farmer's Market is observing people and visiting with the vendors. The 'honey man' is back this year and I'm waiting for him to bring bricks of beeswax so I can purchase them to make ornaments again this autumn. They are a by-product of honey production, so I always have to ask him when he'll be bringing the beeswax for sale since he's really there to sell honey. A 'master food preserver' from the extension agency always has a table filled with pamphlets on food safety and food preservation. The reminder that home canned vegetables, salsas, and pickled asparagus require specific processing times, methods, and recipes is always a good reminder. The fruit and vegetable vendors each have their unique items to sell and are competitive with their pricing of foods similar to what others have brought. Seasonal eating is key to being a shopper at the local farm market.


Dill anyone? So fragrant smelling, it reminds me that it's time to think about making pickles.


Prices for cherries are high this year. Both the Bing and Rainier cherries look and taste great! A cold spring with late frost and rain at harvest time have made these little gems like gold! They are running $3.50 to $4.00 a lb. this year. And so are the blueberries --- one little pound clamshell is $4.00 each place I check. Even at Farmer's Market, prices are high for certain foods. Fortunately there's other produce that is quite affordable and delicious! This is the time of year for zucchini stir-fries, sweet onion sandwiches, and garden greens.


I'm drawn to visit Kathy at her plants and flowers booth. She always has a wonderful selection of new flowers and fragrant herbs. Other's enjoy it too and one usually has to wait their turn to purchase plants from her.


This time I forgot all about fruits and veggies (I was in a frugal mood!). Instead I purchased several new mints, some echinacea, and a cel-parsley plant. I'm eager to add Korean mint and banana mint to my mint-herb garden. The echinaceas are new varieties that will go nicely in the spa garden next to the beautiful echinacea that Karleen gave me a few years ago. I love how it always comes back each spring without any thought and effort on my part.


I wonder what local produce will be featured next week? How long until the apricots are ripe? Yum!

13 comments:

  1. Our local grocery store had Washington State bing cherries on special for the 4th of July weekend. $2.99 a pound! Guess what I bought?!

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  2. I miss having a farmer's market that sells cherries. We don't have any local cherries up this way. The whole market is so far ahead of our plants here. Sigh!

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  3. Our little community has a wonderful Grower's Market each Saturday from May - October. It's a wonderful place to shop for fresh produce, flowers and plants. We are there often. It's a good way to save some money and to support the local economy. ~Adrienne~

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  4. Fun. I'll need to head over to the Farmer's Market and plan a menu as I walk about. I love apricots. Growing up in Southern Cal. we had an apricot tree in our back yard. Apricots fresh off the tree....
    Enjoy your day!

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  5. What a vibrant and lovely market! You are very fortunate! I have one near me, as well, and I LOVE it!

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  6. How about $8.99 a kg for cherries?
    That farmers market is leading me toward envy........slippery slope..

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  7. The Farmer's Market is indeed a wonderful place to shop. I have not found cheaper prices, but I can feel good about support local growers. I found some Alpine Strawberry plants early in the season at my local market. They have been great fun to walk by and munch.

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  8. I recenty went to the market and you can't beat the freshness and taste.

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  9. Isn't wonderful to have a farmer's market so close by? I live near many farmers, but alas, they are all dairy farmers. Very few actually grow veggies and fruit to sell. I hope you enjoy your plants.

    blessings,

    mari

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  10. Oooh! So delicious looking!

    Re: the Maeve Binchey book. Yes, I read it. I think it was "Night of Rain and Stars" or something like that. I loved that story! Now I have to go home and reread it. I never thought I'd be in Greece when I read it before!

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  11. I have not been to our farmers mrket, but loved touring yours. Love Clarice

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  12. OH! Everything looks SO mouth watering good! I'd like to take that whole tote of rainier cherries and run!!
    Thank you for you very sweet comments on my blog too LaDonna!
    Nikki

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  13. oh. . .did you see any sorrel there? I'm on the hunt for some sorrel to make some summer borscht. I wish I would have had the good sense to plant a new plant after my old plant withered away.
    The farmers market looks wonderful, and I agree, seeing the people is nearly the best part.

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