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!