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.