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Farmer's Market

This afternoon, my son and I shopped at our town’s farmer’s market. It’s tiny – only three stalls – but there is a good selection of things, nonetheless. It’s only been operating since June, so I’m guessing it will grow over time. I hope it will, anyway. I got some great looking vegetables today, and some Amish baked goods. The corn I bought was picked this morning, less than eight hours before I purchased it.

Part of the reason I decided to check out the farmer’s market is a shock I had earlier this week at the supermarket. I wanted to buy some baby carrots for my son’s lunches, and there were two brands on sale. One of them I recognized right away: Grimmway Farms. This company sells great carrots . . . but they’re located in Bakersfield, California (I used to live there, once upon a time). ACK! I don’t want carrots that came all the way across the country. So, I looked at the other brand only to discover that they came from Pleasanton (another place I used to live; also in California). There were no carrots for sale (that I found, anyway) which hadn’t come at least 3,000 miles. That’s just ridiculous. It really is time to start buying local produce.

So, I’m going to do my part by shopping regularly at this farmer’s market. I suspect I’ll like the vegetables better, too. Most of the stuff you can buy in the market here isn’t really great quality, either. Considering how far it’s traveled, I guess it’s not too surprising.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
gail_b
Sep. 14th, 2007 09:52 pm (UTC)
PRODUCE JUNCTION!

Best prices around, I'm telling ya.

And hey, I'm still alive. Took a while to recover from the busy festival my temple was having, first physically and then mentally.

If you're still interesting, I have the information for the haunted tours through Philly.
here_be_dragons
Sep. 14th, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, where's Produce Junction? I haven't heard of that before. :)

Sorry we missed the festival - did you see the entry I wrote the day after? (Probably not :D). We went to Independence Hall that way, and we were going to stop at the temple on the way home, but I got lost and ended up . . . um . . . pretty far away. :D I hope it was fun!

Yes! I'd love to do haunted tours, and Connor loves that stuff, too. :)
gail_b
Sep. 14th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
Produce Juntion You remember my street, Allens Lane? The next street over (away from Chestnut Hill area), at the traffic light, make a left (you can't turn right...heh). This road is Mount Airy. You drive on Mount Airy for a while...I'm bad at estimating miles, and I've never counted before...but you'll pass one old grave yard on the left, then continue, passing another graveyard (where there is a Walmart on the right)...then go through this bit of construction...pass Arcadia University (on the left, looks like Hogwarts or something), and then just a little bit further from that...on the RIGHT SIDE of the street is the place.

Just so you know, the street Mount Airy changes its name to Easton somewhere along the way, but you keep on that road, and you'll be golden. Good luck with my directions...heh.

Cobwebs & Cobblestones - in other words, the haunted tour. Click on that site, and there you'll find the official home page, where there are other things that you might be interested in, too.

And I'm planning on seeing the musical Assassins. I haven't figured out which night, but if you're interested, it would be fun to have the company. <3
here_be_dragons
Sep. 15th, 2007 12:11 am (UTC)
I'd love to see "Assassins." I've never heard of it before, but I'm almost always in the mood for a night out. Just let me know what dates you're considering, so I can figure out a good one (in terms of K being home to watch the smallfry).

Oh, and what's your username on GJ? I tried to find you, but failed. I wanted to follow your journal over there. :)
gail_b
Sep. 15th, 2007 01:15 am (UTC)
Ooo...Assassins is Sondheim. A musical about the lives of those who tried (and in some cases, succeeded) in assassinating US presidents. I haven't seen it either, but love the score. I'll try to upload the file for you.

urm...it's faux_bohemian, but there's not much going on there, either. Except gaming stuff. But I'm definitely more active ther, and if I know somebody is actually reading it, I might just update with more interesting things than memes. Heh.
(Deleted comment)
here_be_dragons
Sep. 15th, 2007 12:08 am (UTC)
Did you post those statistics on your journal recently? I know I've just seen that in the past couple of weeks. It's one of the things that really got me thinking. It's utterly ridiculous to waste resources in this way. Utterly. I can deal with a few specialty items maybe being shipped from tropical climates (although really, how hard would it be to do without them?), but surely someone on the east coast could grow carrots!

I'll put the book on my "to read" list, although it will probably just make me angry. :D
(Deleted comment)
here_be_dragons
Sep. 15th, 2007 12:40 am (UTC)
It sounds like getting rid of that tree would be for the best all the way around.

I wish we could do some gardening here (well, we will be able to at Connor's school; they have a lot of garden space there and I think I might volunteer to help with it). We had a community garden plot in California, and that was fun. It is nicer to have it at home, though. I didn't want to drive over there every day to harvest things.
syrinxkat
Sep. 14th, 2007 11:05 pm (UTC)
btw - some interesting factoids on "baby carrots" - http://www.wisebread.com/baby-carrots-the-frugal-idea-that-isnt

It didn't convince me to give them up entirely, but it certainly explains the taste and texture issues.
here_be_dragons
Sep. 15th, 2007 12:13 am (UTC)
LOL! That's a scary story. Actually, I only buy the baby carrots because I think they're cute. Connor will eat regular ones, so I'll start getting those instead, and just cutting them up myself. :D
(Deleted comment)
here_be_dragons
Sep. 15th, 2007 12:16 am (UTC)
This is the first time in a while I've had a farmer's market really close to me. When we lived in NC, there was an AWESOME permanent HUGE one nearby, but since then, I haven't really found one. (There probably were some relatively close in California, but not in San Ramon; they started one up in San Ramon the month that we moved away). :D

I think my favorite thing about it is being able to help support the small local farmers. It looks like 2/3rds of the merchants at our local FM are Amish, and I like the idea of helping them sustain their way of life, even in this tiny way.

(I've just noticed I have NO food icons. I'm really not a foody. This gardening one will have to suffice). :D
judyserenity
Sep. 15th, 2007 11:39 am (UTC)
We have a great Farmers' Market here in Ann Arbor, but I also have a huge vegetable garden as part of our local Community Garden project. (I'm actually the site coordinator for about 20 vegetable plots, although I've been pretty remiss in my duties this year.)

So, given that I have this big vegetable garden, I'm usually buried under fresh vegetables at the time our Farmers' Market is in full swing.

As for carrots, I buy the baby carrots, but they have NO FLAVOR! I really prefer a carrot that has a bit of parsnippy, herbal taste. My favorite is a variety I used to grow called Belgian White (yes, it was white), but I haven't found seed for it lately.

As for the fact that not many carrots are grown on the East Coast, well, carrots require a long growing season and are very particular about soil conditions. I'm sure there are places in the East where the soil is right, but they may be being used for more lucrative crops, such as onions (which are even pickier about growing conditions.) So, the large-scale production gets done in CA.

Wendy, have you ever been to Reading Terminal Market in Philly? When I lived in Philly, I LOVED that place!
here_be_dragons
Sep. 15th, 2007 02:19 pm (UTC)
I haven't been to that market - I've hardly spent any time in Philly itself. I'll have to check it out!

We had a plot in the community garden in California; it was a great experience for Connor and I to grow things (he'd never done this before), although we didn't really get a lot of produce out of it. We did get great Halloween pumpkins, though. Plus, it was fun. :) We don't have room to grow anything in our apartment here (except for a few houseplants and a Venus flytrap :D), but that's okay. We'll have a garden again eventually. :)
synergy
Sep. 17th, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC)
local produce
I think that's the good thing about living down here is that a lot of produce and fruit is from south Texas. I remember when I was in Indiana seeing Ruby grapefruits which are grown in "the Valley" down here in Texas.

I don't really know about the climate particularly from PA, but I'm guessing that there's nowhere near the growing season as California or Texas. Or Florida for that matter. If you want to go that route, if you don't know them already like I don't :D, then you'll have to look soon into what are the winter produce of PA.
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