Monday, May 21, 2012

Farmers' Market Report

Welcome back to another week of frugal thoughts.  This past weekend I paid an early morning visit to the DOT market, so early some vendors were just setting up.  I was there without my kids (who were still sleeping) and made some quick purchases before returning home for a day of kid adventures.  Those frugal finds included:

Image credit: - free image (author had a very full Saturday, so full my camera was never taken out at all)

  • $2 for a perennial chive plant.  Potted, it should yield produce for years;
  • $3.50 for a cilantro plant.  Not nearly as long lived as the chive, my hope it is start cutting within in one week of being transplanted to the pot and it should produce until July.  By that time I hope the seeds we planted will have sprung to life;
  • $4 for two huge leeks.  Chopped and bagged in small amounts, they will bring a hint of onion to and endless count of soups and egg dishes this winter;
  • $6 for a bag of spinach, another of lettuce and a handful of Swiss chard.  Some will be tossed into salads and eaten now, other diced steamed and frozen for winter; 
  • $3 for yet another bunch of asparagus.  I love chopping it up and tossing it with scrambled eggs; and
  • $5.50 for a pound of ground beef (steer, 100% grass fed, from a farm that is a 1 hour drive from my home).  It was $0.50 less than my normal source, Woodmans.
My devotion to farmers' market shopping has recently been reinforced by reading the book Culinary Intelligence: the art of eating health (and really well) by Peter Kaminsky.  I'll post more on the book once I finish it, but I can say that it has reminded me how fortunate I am to live in the middle of the Midwest.  Surrounded by fresh produce, dairy and meat products (that are usually organic) I feel blessed and compelled to turn them into my primary shopping for the season.  Doing so while feeding a nearly 4 and nearly 2 year old may be a challenge, but one I'm embracing this summer.  If you are in the Madison area and need to locate a market or even a farm, take a look at the REAP Food Group web site; a friend shared a link on facebook when I posted a query for a Friday evening market.  She found one, in Cambridge, that starts in June.  I hope to make that a more regular trip next month.

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