Friday, June 21, 2013

A Mid-Western Market, from This Homemade Life

Today's post comes Alison at This Homemade Life, mid-Western mama who enjoys the beauty found in simplicity.  Here blog is filled with love, great recipes, and vibrant pictures that capture LIFE.  Thank you Alison for sharing your take on going to the farmers' market with us!
Farmers' Market season.  Where I live, in the midwest, this generally runs from late April/early May until Mid-October.  As a family we anxiously await the growing season and all the wonderful produce and flavor that comes with it.  Visiting our downtown market is something we make time for each weekend.  It's just as much about spending time together as a family as it is about the food.

When talking to people about visiting the farmers' market each weekend, they often ask me what I get for my money.  Often, as I rattle of the list of goodies from our latest visit, they are amazed by what you can get for the money.  Eating seasonally doesn't have to be expensive.  Here are a few tips on how to get the most for your money.  
1.  Make the rounds
Take a stroll around, looking at what different farmers/vendors have to offer.  Find out what they're selling and for how much.  Why is their swiss chard more than the next vendors? 
2.  Strike up a conversation
There is nothing a farmer loves more than to tell you about their crops.  People that grow food are passionate about what they do.  Ask them questions.  Their enthusiasm is contagious.
3.  Organic vs. Conventional
At our market there isn't a noticeable price difference between organic and conventional.  This may not be the case everywhere.  If there is a price difference, decide what is more important to you...eating organic or supporting local food.

On our trip this past weekend I took $10 to see what that would give me.  Due to a late, chilly spring our market is really just getting started and this week the beauty of the produce was bountiful!
Here is what we got...
$.75 1 bunch (8) French Breakfast Radishes
$2.00 2 heads of spring garlic 
$2.00 2 bunches green onions (they were $1.00 each)
$3.00 1 pint of snap peas
$2.00 a bundle of rhubarb
Total $9.75

For another $5.00 I got a 1/2 lb of mixed salad greens (a favorite I just couldn't resist) taking the grand total to almost $15.  At this point of the growing season, this is not the total amount of produce my family of 5 consumes during the week.  As the season wears on we will spend more at the farmers' market and shop at the grocery store less.  A wonderful, flavorful trade off that makes the months of April-October some of the best eating months here in the midwest.
More time at the market, less time at the grocery store... I love that.  I would rather be hanging out the farmers' market than pushing a large cart through a crowded store any day!  And that price?  Excellent.  That's what the farmers' market is all about, folks!!!

Be sure to visit her using one of the links below to see more of what is going on her neck of the woods and try some of her mouth-watering recipes.  All of her pictures are so beautiful, you will want some of what she's got for SURE :)

1 comment:

  1. beautiful pictures and great tips for the farmer's market.


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