Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Darrel Manson

Shopping Farmers' Markets

Recommended Posts

Do you shop at Farmers' Markets in your area? We often go to one nearby on Sat. AM. This time of year there are lots of good stone fruit. Also a good place to go to find some of the greens that Asians are fond of -- and experiment a bit. The one we usually go to has a stand with bacon wrapped hot dogs that are to die for (and considering the fat they cook in, to die from).

For us the gold standard of Farmers' Markets is the one in Santa Monica (Weds. and Sat.). Really good selection of fruits and veggies, and lots of more exotic varieties. It's rare that we get to that one, but if we're planning a trip to a movie there, we'll take a cooler and plan to hit the market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We started to buy from the farmer's market many years ago, but we were sporadic customers, stretching our pennies usually by buying for less at the grocery store.

When we made the switch to better produce, we embraced CSA by signing up for a weekly delivery from a local farm. Our first year was underwhelming -- basil seemed to be the guy's only good crop -- but ever since we switched to Great Country Farms, we've been very happy.

From there, it was a hop, skip, and a jump to raw milk delivery from a farm in Winchester, VA, mostly grass-fed beef from a farmer in Delaplane, VA, and more recently, pastured pork and free-range chickens from Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm in Swope, VA.

Once you start down that road, it's hard to stop. That's been our experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chashab   

Went regularly to the one in Lincoln, NE when we lived there. Great variety of produce and meats, and farm eggs if you were early enough. We really miss it. Our little town tries to get vendors out, but there are usually not more than five tables. Went over to the Fayetteville, AR market once which was a lot better, but still didn't really compare to the variety offered at the one we were used to.

It can be more expensive, but my wife and I have relegated ourselves to the fact that we spend more on groceries anyway than a number of our peers. Not an incredible amount more, but enough so that trying to buy organic and locally from time to time is something we attempt to do.

And it really is worth the extra money if you have it. The produce and pasture-raised meats really are far superior.

Edited by Chashab

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use the local farmer's market about every 2-3 weeks during the summerish months. Things are perhaps a bit pricier than Safeway, but it's a bargain in comparison with our usual venue, Whole Foods. Today, $27 got us 4 pounds of tomatoes for salsa, a bunch of cilantro and parsley, 5 white peaches, a couple of cucumbers and peppers, two bunches of dahlias, 6 ears of organic corn, a few days worth of salad greens, a few big onions, and some grean beans.

A few years ago, I was living with 4 other guys and we tried the CSA thing. We recieved a bundle of produce from a local organic farm once a week. The quality was quite high and the variety was good. The price was also high, so I'd rate the overall value as good, not great. But I'd do it again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're doing a CSA this year. 35 weeks (so longer than most) at $25/week. We are not impressed. Been a drought in Ohio/Ky so the farmer's production is down (apparently he didn't think about irrigation until six weeks w/o rain). But, each week we get a list of stuff he's selling at the local farmer's market, then a small subset of items is what we receive on his CSA plan. And I can tell you that $25 spent at his stand would buy a heckuva lot more stuff (and stuff we want, as opposed to kale and cabbage) than what we get in the CSA. Definitely not doing this again. :cuss:

Example from this week's email from our farmer:

THIS WEEK AT MARKET:

Broccoli

Cabbage

Spinach

Portabello Mushrooms

Red Leaf Lettuce

Mild Red Radishes

French Breakfast Radishes

Turnips

Yellow Squash

Zucchini

Turnips

Tender Green Bush Beans

Cherry Tomatoes

Carrots

South Carolina Peaches

Nectarines

Mung bean Sprouts

Alfalfa Sprouts

THIS WEEK CSA SHARE:

Cherry Tomatoes

Yellow Squash

Zucchini

Red Leaf Lettuce

Tender Green Bush Beans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We started to buy from the farmer's market many years ago, but we were sporadic customers, stretching our pennies usually by buying for less at the grocery store.

When we made the switch to better produce, we embraced CSA by signing up for a weekly delivery from a local farm. Our first year was underwhelming -- basil seemed to be the guy's only good crop -- but ever since we switched to Great Country Farms, we've been very happy.

From there, it was a hop, skip, and a jump to raw milk delivery from a farm in Winchester, VA, mostly grass-fed beef from a farmer in Delaplane, VA, and more recently, pastured pork and free-range chickens from Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm in Swope, VA.

Once you start down that road, it's hard to stop. That's been our experience.

Since I mentioned Joel Salatin above, I'll put today's Washington Post profile of the self-proclaimed "Christian­conservative-libertarian-environmentalist-lunatic" here.

 

How America’s most famous farmer can appeal to left, right and center

 

Still, conventional wisdom says the movement is on a roll. There are now more than 8,000 farmers markets in the country (a statistic brought to you by the USDuh). Local food economies are a hip thing to be thinking about. Wal-Mart is getting into the local-foods game.

 

Salatin, though, is a lot more guarded. He doesn’t see it. There have been victories, yes, there has been some progress, but he says the broader trajectory in the way we feed ourselves is still putting us on a collision course with disaster.

 

“You can’t have a healthy civilization without healthy soil. You can’t have junk food and have healthy people,” he says. “The problem is that the historical record is not very friendly to a civilization finding out in time to save itself . . . . I’m very pessimistic about the way things are going.”

Edited by Christian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×