Category Archives: Farmer’s Markets

Market Colors

Market colors make a grey day bright again!

In spite of the cloudy, drizzly day today, the local farmers were out as usual on the street, sharing their food and their knowledge. I always learn something when I go to the market, and what’s better than that is that I often get to teach something as well. This grey day turned colorful as I walked around, talking to the farmers and other vendors, picking up my colorful bounty.

Today I was given a great way to cook up some kale leaves. I picked up the Russian Kale from Parke Creek Farm where she told me the differences between the varieties and some ways to cook them. I chose this variety because she described making kale chips with them by spritzing them with some olive oil and sprinkly with some sea salt, then baking in a low heat oven until crisp. Sounds like a great snack. I also picked up a colorful bunch of radishes in several different colors, along with some onions and arugula. This is my main stop for produce each time I visit the market. This week, though, I did pop over to get some fresh tomatoes as well. I grabbed the remaining handful of “seconds” (these are tomatoes that may be slightly bruised or are badly mishapen, but they still taste great and it gives me a chance to try a variety of tomatoes!) from their bin and went happily on my way to the cheese stand to pick up some fresh goat cheese.

Another favorite stop along the way is always Whitaker Grass Fed Beef where the farmers are always glad to see me. Today we chatted about family and how we eat. She is much better than I am with keeping processed foods out of her home, but I think I’m getting better. And I got to teach her something today. Yup! We talked about my Eye Roll Worthy Ranch Dressing and she seemed excited to try it. I hope she likes it as much as we do in our home. I picked up a couple packs of ground beef from her that I have not decided yet what to do with them, but I have a couple recipes in mind (one of them is a soup recipe I found when going through some old papers this morning).

A successful, colorful day at the market will end with a family favorite dinner of  Old Faithful, using pork chops from another local farmer. I am running low on pork in my freezer, so am glad that I have paid my deposit for this year’s order and look forward to filling up again in a couple months! The tomatoes and onions in the dinner will be from my market finds today, and I am going to use Jasmine rice, just for something a bit different. And as an added bonus, I have FRESH herbs growing in my garden that I get to use.

2 Comments

Filed under Farmer's Markets

Market Chatter

Saturday morning has quickly become one of my favorite times. It means a trip to the Farmer’s Market. A place where it seems everyone is happy, from the vendors to the visitors, kids and even the dogs. A friendly place where you can visit with anyone you happen upon. Even the lady with hair longer than mine seemed happy to talk about hair for a bit– My hair, for those who may not know, is down to my waist. This lady’s hair was about mid-thigh! I commented to my sister that I was jealous of the length of the lady’s hair, and she pondered “I wonder what kind of shampoo she uses?” And then asked her! Me? I would never have said a word, but my sister is not shy about those things. We had a fairly lengthy (pun kinda intended) discussion about tips for growing long hair before moving along to finish our shopping for our dinner salad.

This was my sister’s first trip to our market. She lives 4 hours away, and was in town just overnight, and today I was travelling with her, back to her home, along with my boy and girl children for their week at camp down “in her neck of the woods”. So, since she is kind enough to let us stay in her home overnight before sending the kiddos off to camp, I wanted to make a contribution for dinner. I knew I wanted to pick up some tomatoes, and needed to walk around a bit to see what else we might want to add. Although we only ended up picking up the lettuce and tomatoes from the market, it was a very enjoyable and worthwhile trip.

I always like to talk to the vendors I’m buying from. They are full of information and tips, and when they get to know you from stopping in regularly, they can even make recommendations for you. Today I was picking up some lettuce from one of my usual stops and she pointed out a speckled lettuce in the back of the display. Having turned me on to arugula previously, I trusted her and added it to my bag. (And, I have to say, we were very pleased with this decision!) And do you know what else she had today? She had a flyer for a local farm selling Raw Cow’s Milk!!! I’m thinking about getting a drop off site set up in my town if I can find enough people interested. It only takes 20 gallons every 2 weeks to get the drop off site set up. Just 1 gallon a week for 10 families! Let me know if you’re interested or have questions. The benefits of raw milk are amazing (click the link above for more information on raw milk). I’ll share more of my thoughts on raw milk and other real foods, but not tonight. No, tonight I am just rambling about my miscellaneous kind of day at the market.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Farmer's Markets, Journey to Real Food

A Healthy Addiction

Yes, I have an addiction. I’m calling it a healthy addiction, because I can’t think of a single thing wrong with being addicted to the local Farmer’s Markets!

Reasons I love the market:

  1. It has beautiful, vibrant colors in nearly every shade imaginable.
  2. I get to be outside on sunny days, and I don’t even mind it when the day isn’t so sunny. 😉
  3. It supports local farmers
  4. The customer service is great
  5. Even the kids find entertainment
  6. I always end up running into friends or people I haven’t seen in a long time, which makes me happy

Yesterday I spent some time with my girl-child (who was kind enough to be my photographer for the day) at the Kittitas County Farmer’s Market. My first experience at this market was just a few weeks ago, though it was not my first farmer’s market experience. After just 1 trip to this market, I was addicted! Immediate addiction! For all the reasons stated above and so many more that are impossible to describe with mere words. Pictures can help a little, but the thing that cannot be shared with words or with pictures is how being at the market feels… it’s a warm, inviting place, and I can’t believe I have waited this long to get there. (Perhaps because I already knew I would fast become addicted! 😉 )

My mission for this week was to get some duck eggs from Triton’s Farm and some tomatoes from Kittitas Valley Greenhouse, and I needed 1 more tomato plant from my favorite vendor, Lark Meadows (sorry, no website for them… but you’ll be hearing more about this place from me, because they are just amazing!). Arming my shoulder with shopping bags and my pockets with cash, I was ready to accomplish my mission of gathering fresh ingredients for the weeks’ meals.  And I must say: “Mission Accomplished”

Triton’s Farm had 1 dozen duck eggs left! We were lucky enough to get there in time for that last dozen… and decided on a couple goose eggs, as well. The family is excited to give those a try, and the chosen meal for those big ol’ eggs will be quiche (flavor yet to be decided…) If you’ve never seen a goose egg, well… here’s a picture of my bowl filled with duck & goose eggs. Can you guess which are which?! (You’ll hear more about the difference between duck eggs and chicken eggs in another post… and now we have goose eggs to add to our comparisons!)

Kittitas Valley Greenhouse always has a colorful array of tomatoes to choose from. Their “seconds” bin holds great deals for those who aren’t picky about the shape of the tomato or other imperfections, like scarring or soft spots. I’ve gotten tomatoes from that bin a couple times and am always extremely happy with the purchase. This time, however, I did not find what I wanted there, because I was looking for something specific and needed to be a little pickier. To go with grilled tacos yesterday, I needed some fresh salsa, and thought it would be fun to make it colorful! I picked up a lemon boy, a goliath, a green zebra and a cucumber, and we made a wonderful salsa, plus had some left for our salad this evening.

Lark Meadows found me smiling yet again as they had 1 more of the Long Keeper Tomato plants I was hoping to get. I also picked up some asian greens, leaf lettuce and fresh tarragon for salads and dressings this week. My girl child took the opportunity to snap many more pictures, as she found the plants interesting, and I think she was even more entranced with the beautiful tags for each plant (I am only guessing on that, due to the number of pictures she took, but I think it’s a pretty accurate assumption. 😉 ) I chatted with the girl there, who, by the way, has remembered me every time I have come by to see her, which makes me happy and she earned a loyal customer by smiling and always being helpful to this newbie gardener! She has said I can bring the kids out to the farm to see their goats and sheep, and I will definitely be taking her up on that, now that school is out for summer. I look forward to seeing what other fresh yumminess Lark Meadows will have in store for me this summer, and can hardly wait for the tomato & pepper plants I have bought from them to begin producing some fruit!

Though I didn’t visit them on this trip to the market, I do want to be sure to mention Whitaker Grassfed Beef! I bought a box of their beef on my first 2 trips to the market, and the next time I visit them, it will be for purchase of a larger amount. Freezer space is currently limited, but I am finding my way to the back of what we have to make room for healthier, grassfed beef! We have used several pounds of the ground beef and find it to be more flavorful and less greasy that grocery store meat. Also used has been a gorgeous chuck roast and stew meat that was made into my favorite busy day beef soup!

As I mentioned, my girl child was my photographer and she did a great job. You’ll find more pictures in the photo album on my Facebook page. Be sure to “Like” the page and get updates from That Cook Girl, including more pictures and links to helpful information. Oh… and how could I forget?! Next weekend the Roslyn Sunday Market opens! I hope to see you all there.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Farmer's Markets, Journey to Real Food