Yesterday morning I got up early and headed down to the Carrollton Farmer’s Market. I was hoping for mountains of produce, since it is the peak of the growing season here in NE Ohio. I was also on the hunt for a bushel or two of tomatoes to can. The sign promised: sweet corn, melons, tomatoes and more! How exciting.
I have a system for shopping at the market, first I walk around and look at all the booths trying to decide what I want, then I buy on my second round. I try to buy from smaller booths with less produce (these are usually the smaller farmer’s or individuals that do it as a hobby).
There were booths full of melons of all different sizes and colors, tomatoes in every color, shape and size as well. I always ask if they are home grown and chemical free (I have been to farmer’s markets where I have seen the same boxes of melons in the back of the trucks that you see at the big grocery store – beware of these booths. There are none of these at the Carrollton Market though)
I was surprised at the lack of zucchinis, prolific producers that they are, I think I bought the only 2 that I saw. Or perhaps my lack of zucchini growing skills was actually a product of the kind of summer we were having and had nothing to do with my lack of skill. The fresh fruit stand was particularly intriguing with baskets of apples, pears, plums and peaches.
So what made it into my reusable shopping bags on this trip to the market?
1 bushel of tomatoes for canning
1/2 bushel or roma tomatoes for roasting
1 bunch of carrots
5 purple & white peppers
2 pints of grape tomatoes (yellow & red)
2 bags of potatoes (1 new potatoes, 1 big baking)
1 quart of green beans
6 red onions
7 heirloom tomatoes
1 quart yellow tomatoes
2 doz. ears of sweet corn
1 large green striped zucchini
1 large yellow summer squash
1 peck of cooking apples
7 lbs of sausage (local naturally raised pork).
Looks like we’ll be getting our full share of veggies this week, and all of this only cost me $50.
Currently we have a bountiful table (and counter).
Tonight the tomatoes will be roasted and tomorrow they will be canned for delicious winter sauces. We enjoyed the corn last night for supper (the remainder was cut off the cob and frozen) and we had some sausage cooked up this morning with delicious local eggs on a homemade sourdough english muffins. What delicious local food did you buy at the farmer’s market for this holiday weekend?
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I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they’re feeling because that’s how I read the seed catalogs in January.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
Yesterday morning when I went out to look around, I noticed that many of the plants were drooping low with the weight of the rain from the last 2 days. We really needed rain, so I’m glad they’re bending to the ground heavy laden with water than with wilt from lack of it. The asparagus fern was particularly beautiful since each of it’s feathery branches was covered in tiny drops. What a lovely sight.
I got 250 gallons of water in my rain barrels from the last system that moved through. Can I get a Hip Hip Hooray?
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I realized I wanted to save the world. Then I realized I couldn’t save the world, but I could change my own garden.
Then I though that maybe, just maybe, my neighbors and all their friends might take up the cause. Maybe, just maybe, we could weave together a network of poison-free, bio diverse, nature-friendly gardens that would, in the end, make a difference.
And this has become my quest.
-Liz Primeau (Front Yard Gardens: Growing more than Grass)
We finally got some rain yesterday after many many days without. It was so dry here even my drought resistant plants were wilting & getting crispy. Thanks to what was left of a hurricane we got a full day of soaking rain yesterday.
My rain barrels collected a respectable amount of water, so I’m ready for the next dry spell!
Did you get some much-needed rain from this system?