Farmers Market!

Here’s a tip: If you’re planning an extended road trip like we’re on and think you’re going to avoid Wal-Mart and buy local everywhere, don’t leave in September. From Michigan. And head north-ish. 

In our romantic envisioning before leaving on this trip we saw ourselves driving down smooth back roads with the dappled sun shining through the canopy of trees.  We’d be singing along to the Beach Boys (in perfect 4-part harmony of course) but pause the CD to stop for fresh fruit and vegetables at small road-side stands.  Pushing our folded dollars through the small square hole cut into the top of a used coffee can, we’d pull away and wave happily to the farmer on his tractor out in the field, satisfied that we’d both be supporting the small local business and eating healthy in the process.

The reality?  Lots of family trips to Wal-Mart, pushing a cart, dodging other tired people doing the same, forgetting which town we were in because looking out from the inside they all look the same.  We’ve just been out of season for so much of the trip.

Now that we’re in California we’re finally getting to chance to stop and shop for fresh produce, both at roadside markets and small town farmer’s markets. This week we’ve purchased some local honey, blackberries, strawberries, apricots, peaches, green and yellow beans, onions, purple peppers, oranges, and green and yellow zucchini. We sampled beef jerky and fruit curds (which sold Miranda on spending $7.50 of her own money on some very tasty orange curds - so glad she shares!)

There’s more to say about our week-long stop in Chico but I thought I’d tantalize your eyes and taste buds with some photos from this morning’s farmers market.

Lots of fresh flowers.

Lots of fresh flowers.

Reptiles?

Reptiles?

This weekly market is busy!

This weekly market is busy!

Pie....

Pie....

Mini cactii

Mini cactii

How many you want?

How many you want?

They must have got up early

They must have got up early

Fresh bread as well

Fresh bread as well

Fresh carrots

Fresh carrots

Fun colors

Fun colors

Flowering mini-cactii

Flowering mini-cactii

5 Comments Farmers Market!

  1. Picture of PaulaPaulaJuly 02, 2011

    Beautiful photos, Mike! We’re just getting started here in northern Michigan. Currently enjoying those local strawberries. Yum!

  2. Picture of CrissaCrissaJuly 02, 2011

    I seldom visited the farmer’s market in Holland when we lived there. I’ve been trying to figure our why I so loved this morning’s trip to Chico’s market.

    I think one major difference is that so many different kinds of foods were ripe and available to purchase today—strawberries, peaches, onions, green beans, apricots, zucchini. In Holland, I’d never find so much variety at one time.

    One thing I was reminded of today, though, is that I haven’t experimented with much of the vegetable world - turnips, kale, radishes, odd looking squashes, etc. Besides missing out on some of the health benefits, and probably some yummy tastes, the vegetables are a whole lot cheaper to purchase than the fruits!

    I hope we still have opportunities this summer to stop at roadside stands, pass our money to the children manning the booths, and walk away with some fresh produce.

  3. Picture of BoyinkBoyinkJuly 03, 2011

    Thanks Paula - we had some great strawberry toppings here as well as a home-made strawberry vinaigrette salad dressing that I’ve tasked MsBoyink with re-creating.  I’m not a huge salad lover but the fruit-based dressings are always good.

  4. Picture of DeanDeanJuly 07, 2011

    Crissa, if you haven’t tried it yet: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/index.html type in the ingredient you have (i.e. squash) and you’ll come up with dozens of recipes.

    Oh, and love the pie pic. MMMMMMMMM pie. ;-)

  5. Picture of JennJennJuly 18, 2011

    Ha ha!  I’m a total foodie and belong to many food groups, co-ops, and a CSA here in CA. It’s almost ridiculous!  Recently, one of my friends asked me what I was going to do about our food on the road.  My reply?  “Get over myself and go to Wal-mart.”  :-D

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