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Friday Favorite: Farm Stands

May 10th, 2013

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for a farm stand. Whenever I see a sign like this, I slam on the brakes to see what they’ve got. Last Saturday, on my way between plant sales, I spotted this beautiful farm on a back road.
farm stand
Lucky me, I scored a few bags of spinach and very spicy tiny leaved salad mix. Mr Chiots and I especially love seeing these when we’re out traveling. It certainly makes adding local vegetable to your plate much easier wherever you are.
farm stand 2
farm stand 1
farm stand 3
I especially love little stands like this that work on the honor system. There’s something so comforting about knowing that there are still honest folks in the world and things like this still work.

Do you ever stop when you see signs like this while traveling?

Friday Favorite: Farmers Markets

April 19th, 2013

Yesterday was the first farmers market of the season (well, if you don’t count the ones that are open all year long). I drove up to Waterville, to their farmers market.
Waterville market 1
Waterville market 2
It was small, but had it all. Spinach, arugula, lots of cheese, oxtail, liver and a few other goodies made it into my basket. There was even a local ice cream truck. Mr Chiots wasn’t along, and it was rather chilly, so I skipped the cone.
Waterville market 3
Waterville market 4
Even though I grow a lot of my own produce, I still love to hit the local farmers markets. You can find varieties that do well in your area and often find new and interesting vegetables to try as well. I’m super excited that it’s finally farmers market season again.
Waterville market 5
Waterville market 6
I’m pretty excited that I have a lot of markets to choose from, there are probably 10 different farmers markets that I can attend within a half our drive from our home.

Has your local farmers market started up again?

Cultivate Simple 7: Going Local

November 19th, 2012

Sourcing food and products from local producers is good for the local economy and it makes you feel good. In this week’s show we discuss local eating and buying, how we got started, and the many benefits of doing so.

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Belfast Farmers Market

November 6th, 2012

This past Friday Mr Chiots and I headed over to Belfast, ME to hit the farmers market. It was amazingly well stocked with root vegetables, seafood, cheese, yogurt, baked goods, soap, and even water buffalo meat.

We grabbed a few items like goat milk yogurt, brussels sprouts, beets and a few scallops (yes there was seafood at the market). Mr Chiots snagged a big chewy triple ginger cookie which was made with real ingredients like butter, organic cane syrup, and fresh ginger. I’m really looking forward to trying a water buffalo steak next week, it’s such a unique item to see.

What’s the most interesting item you’ve spotted at your local farmers market?

Another Reason to go to the Farmers Market

March 22nd, 2012

I’m a big advocate of shopping locally, mainly because it’s good for both you and the local community. Even though I have a fairly large edible garden I still head to the local market a few times a month throughout the year. Besides purchasing eggs, cheese and milk there, I also wander the stands in search of new kinds of vegetables to try or to grow in my garden. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where the local farmers are branching out to sustain a year-round market, you might find yourself with a whole new world of vegetables to try to grow in your own garden.

Take this sprouting broccoli for example. I’ve tried growing it in my garden before, but I had a hard time finding specific cultivation information and thus was not successful in getting it produce. I was reading Tender“>’Tender’ by Nigel Slater the other evening and discovered how it needed to be cultivated in order to produce. I spent some time searching the internet for a few varieties that would survive my zone 5 winter and came across West Coast Seeds who sells a nice variety of sprouting broccoli. Essentially, you start sprouting broccoli in late summer and allow it to overwinter. In spring, around this time, it will start producing shoots of broccoli, not one large head, but small side sprouts.

Wouldn’t you know it, I went to Local Roots in Wooster, OH last week and one of the farmers was selling sprouting broccoli! You know I’m going to order some seeds for a few different varieties and I’ll be starting them in late summer to overwinter. There’s nothing I would love more than to be harvesting broccoli from my own garden right now – and I know for sure that it can be done in my area thanks to my friendly local farmer.

Have you ever heard of sprouting broccoli or grown it in your garden?

I cannot recommend this book more, it’s part gardening manual, part cookbook it really is quite a bargain for around $25. Nigel recommends specific varieties of vegetables to grow and cultivation information. The recipes are usually simple and any that I have tried are outstanding. After checking it out of the library several time I finally have a copy on my bookshelf.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.