Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summertime

I did get quite a bit done on the pantry shelves today but I didn't finish the project so I want to get a little further along before I post about that. In the meantime, ya'll will have to endure tales of some of my other excursions. I took some time this morning to run down to the local farmer's market. I really want to grow most of my own foods at some point but until I finish the house and can devote a lot more time to gardening, I have to rely on outside sources. However, this does give me the opportunity to support our local farmers and economy. Something I feel is very important. In fact, I don't think most Alabamians realize just how blessed we are in the natural resources area. We can and do grow a wealth of wonderful produce here. I know this photo doesn't show much but there were loads of farmers here with a wide assortment of fruits and veggies. There is almost no reason to go to a regular grocery store for these items.

There is usually someone there selling homemade bread and homegrown flowers also. I know I don't have a tremendous number of Alabama readers (something that irritates me) but if you do live here, please get out and visit these markets. Especially if you live near me! The Blount county market is great. And they are open a couple of days during the week also. Our growing season is so long there is only a few months when these people are not selling and their produce is very fresh.
Edit: the Blount County market is located at the Agri-Business Center in downtown Oneonta.

I also like to get out and talk with some of the old farmer men. They are usually pretty funny. I don't mean silly, I mean they love to joke around and flirt with the women. They are just a hoot. I talked with a very nice Hispanic man from a nearby town who was selling a wonderful variety of veggies and fruit. I got the eggplant below from him. They are all very proud of the food they grow and love to tell you all about it. A lot of times you can even get recipes and all sorts of tips.
I also talked with another, very friendly farmer who told me that the organization that runs this market passed a ruling that all the produce must be grown in Blount county. I thought this was great.

This is my haul for today. A lot of people would say that it's too expensive to go and the grocery stores are cheaper, blah, blah, blah. I got that bowl of squash for $1. Can you get that at the grocery store? I don't think so. And they were probably picked this morning or yesterday evening instead of that old crap at the store that has been trucked halfway across the country. Now, I think normally that amount of squash would be $2 but I bought that from the friendly farmer and I think maybe he was just being nice. Allen always says I get stuff like that because I have boobs. I don't know about that; he was just being nice. The farmer I mean. At any rate, I enjoy going and meeting new people, it helps local people make a living and I get some wonderful fresh food. Now, you get out there and support your local farmers and help these markets grow!


*Janis Joplin

17 comments:

ErinFromIowa said...

The size of those blackberries is amazing!

mountainmelody said...

Ooh, I've never been and didn't know much about this. Thanks for the tip! Is it at the Agri-Business Center? (That name always makes me laugh!)

Floridacracker said...

Now THOSE are some blackberries!
You are so right about the farmers markets and I love that local produce rule.

We finally have a farmers market here in our county. It's new and I have yet to go, but you have inspired me.

Dorothy said...

Grocery store Squash here in my part of Oh. is going for .89 cents a pound.Cabbage .39cents a pound.So I hit the farmers market also . Got cabbage yesterday the size of basketballs,weighed between 9-11 pounds each, solid , fresh picked yest. morning $1.50 each , squash & zuc's 6 for a $1.oo. Dehydrater is now running 24 hours a day. Would love to have those berrys , am thinking jam for winter.

edifice rex said...

Hey Erin! yeah, they are huge and SO good!

Hey Melody! lol! yeah, it's at the Agri-Business center. open until 1:00 I think.

Hey FC! yea! I inspired somebody!

edifice rex said...

Hey Dorothy! yeah, I paid $1.50 for that cabbage too; it is huge! about the same for squash!

Ed said...

I think it must be the boobs because I rarely get things at the farmers market cheaper than the grocery store. But that doesn't stop me because as you said, the taste is so much better and I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for.

Up here in the urban jungle, they have a huge farmer's market with lots of art dealers and live entertainment. But my favorite is that they also have people selling hot food right off the grills, griddles, and gas stoves. We sometimes buy a baquette, a hunk of cheese and something to drink and make our selves comfortable in the shade and people watch for awhile. It just doesn't get any better.

edifice rex said...

Hey Ed! Ha! well, maybe the boobs help sometimes!
Birmingham has a big market like that with art and local bands; it's really nice and upscale.
I wish they would expand this one here a little to include nice crafts.

Anonymous said...

It just taste better and is fresher, boobs or not...
WE had some Chilton Co. peaches and they rival the Ga. peaches I got when I lived there. I love buying @ the Farmes market...and local farmer produce stands. I am growing stuff, but it is lagging a bit. Fresh tomatoes tomorrow.
tammy of lower al. ,

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Right on about going to local farmer's markets vs. grocery stores - cheaper, fresher and more fun to chat to folks who actually GREW the veggies they're selling. Grenville has been harvesting lots of veggies from our garden, so IF you're in the area...come on by. We are enjoying fresh veggies with every meal and why more folks don't grow veggies is a BIG mystery cause the local food stores here have such crap - no other way to put it.

Hayley said...

I love seeing these photos of Blount County! I was looking for my old friends from Alabama Power. Didn't find them. I loved working in Blount County. It is a beautiful place.
Do you know any of those Alabama Power folks? Ned Hyde is one of my favorite people there. Oh, him and Roy Posey!

Grenville T. Boyd said...

All i can say is Thanks for supporting your local Farmer. Your market made a good choice in limiting the produce to your county. I wish here in Accomack County (Va.) we could get organized and have a decent market in the middle of the county.
Like Beatrice said, we grow our own, give lots away, but it would be nice to have a market to buy other stuff (and not a flea market).

Beau said...

That's awesome... I'm hoping our home-grown veggies look half as good! Farmer's markets are cool. Unfortunately the ones in our county are getting ridiculous with regulations for liability insurance, permits, certifications... takes all the fun out of it and the small farmers just don't make it as much.

edifice rex said...

Hey Tammy! that's right; it does taste better and yeah, those Chilton county peaches are great!

Hey Hayley! yeah, I know Ned! he's a super nice guy. Don't know Roy but most everyone there is really nice and easy to work with.

Hey Grenville! yeah, having a market is great; I'm very thankful for ours.

Hey Beau! that's awful that they make it such a pain where you are for the farmers. What dopes.

edifice rex said...

Hey Beatrice! sorry, didn't mean to skip over you! yeah, the markets are great; I'm very thankful for ours.

Wendy said...

I love my farmer's market, and the "cookie lady" is always giving free stuff to my girls, because she thinks they're so awesome ... which they are ;).

Congrats on the great haul! And I have to agree with you that what you get from the farmer's market is nothing like what the grocery store offers. Even if the grocery store food is cheaper, that doesn't make it better. It's worth it, to me, to pay extra to support my local farmers.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

It will be a while before we have a farmer's market with local produce. For fresh green I need to go and pick young dandelion greens. I am sure there are a few wild blueberries around and I think the pick your own strawberry farm is open.