Thursday, May 21, 2009

Farmer's Market

The long-awaited opening of our local farmer's market occurred in the first week of May. I took Gareth out in the slight drizzle and was surprised to find the place packed. Toward the end of last summer it never seemed so busy as it does this month. I was hoping to find asparagus, since I know that it's one of the first crops ready for harvest, and I wasn't disappointed. It costs the same as in the store, but why pay for asparagus shipped from Mexico or Canada when you can get some that was cut that morning only a few miles away?! We've been enjoying asparagus once a week so far. We've also been enjoying the lettuce and spring greens. Ryan's comment on our first salad with the fresh greens: "It actually has flavor!" We're also starting to stock up on the homemade jam, hoping that come wintertime we'll have enough extra to get us most of the way through until we can get it again.

I never thought we'd go this far with the whole fresh food thing, but we're actually contemplating trying out the local pasture-raised meats as well. I was surprised to see that the ground beef isn't all that much more than in the store: $4.25 - $5.25/lb. Just to get 85% lean has been costing us $2.99 at the store lately, with more lean options costing almost $4. Unfortunately the ground beef is the least expensive of the local meats. I'm not sure that the market prices can compete with the store prices where chicken and pork products are concerned, but I've still got some checking to do. If we weren't a poor grad. student family I'd maybe do it anyway.

We did get a couple of tomato plants - an Early Girl and some variety of grape that I can't remember the name of. We've had plenty of rain and sun since planting them and it looks like they're shooting up quite nicely. I'm so excited to (hopefully, if all goes well) have our own tomatoes this summer!


Susan said...

We haven't made it to our Farmer's Market yet but hopefully in the next week or so. I love summer when you can get fresh fruits and veggies for such good prices. We're contemplating planting a few tomato plants as well but I'm not sure if it's too late now. Enjoy yours!

Pops said...

Somerville is starting a farmer's market the first Thursday in June and weekly thereafter on the court house green. With all the dung from the attorneys in the area the farmers are having record crops!

And with all the Superfund sites in NJ we are going to enjoy the toxic termaters; glow in the dark lettuce; asbestaragus.

Actually we are excited. Nothing better than NJ berries and tomatoes

And our cages are working!! Them rascally rabbits and groundhogs haven't figured out how to get in yet. And haven't seen a deer in the yard yet. But we are early in the season yet. They may be going to summer school for an advanced course on messin with my head.

Pops said...

Man that was a lot of yets

Myrna said...

There is nothing like fresh produce! And tomatoes that you grow and pick yourself--better than candy!