June 12, 2010

Farmer's Market, Sunshine, and Gardening

The sun is finally out and the mood was cheery at the farmer's market today.  People are picking up more seedlings to get them in the dirt while we can.  This may be the beginning of our sunny weather, but there is more rain to come.  We generally don't see continual warm weather until after the fourth of July.  There are more edibles showing up at the market and it will get better each week now.

Some of my friends think I probably spend more on my groceries, but I don't think so.   It costs a little more to get the vegetables directly from the farmer sometimes, but all the money goes to the farmer and the fruits and vegetables are usually picked the same day I buy them.  They don't spend a week or more in a truck.  

The strawberries I picked up today are not 100% organic, but they are from a small local farm, just 20 miles away.  Small farms that do use non-organic farming methods, usually farm much closer to organic than a factory farm using less of any herbicides. There are also many farmers farming organically that just can't afford all the testing and paperwork filing involved to become certified organic.

There are many things I can get at the farmer's market too besides vegetables. We have a local coffee grinder, a couple bakers, a local chocolatier, and a goat farmer who sells fresh goat cheese.

Today I spent about $38 and came home with:

A nice large bunch of fresh carrots, I have found ways to use the greens too,
a large bunch of beets with healthy greens,
10 lb of fresh strawberries, picked this morning,
2 lb of fresh asparagus,
1 loaf cracked wheat bread, dairy free, made with whole grain flour, flax seeds, and sesame seeds,
1 loaf of the same cracked wheat bread made with cinnamon and raisins (this is our sweet treat this week), both made by Homer Bread in Longview.
1 small round of garlic cheese bread and a jalapeno cornbread made by at Victorian Acres in Clatskanie,
and two beautiful purple flowering plants for the garden.

The biggest expense was the fresh strawberries. I will buy whatever fruit is in season in quantities every weekend until the end of the season and freeze most of it so we have a continual supply of fresh local fruit into the winter. This year I hope to do some more canning, we'll see. That garden takes up a lot of time.

Speaking of the garden, the sun's out, my husband will be home shortly and it's off for a day outside working our beautiful garden.   Even though it's been cloudy and rainy, very rainy, most days this spring.  There are some plants growing and healthy.  They should enjoy the sun this weekend, I know I do.

This is what the sky looked like yesterday evening in the garden.  

And a happy pepper blossom :-)

The rainbow chard hasn't minded the rain.

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