Wednesday, May 03, 2006

eating local

"Local? How local are we talking exactly? Not like 'backyard' local, right? You wouldn't eat a chicken with a name would you?"

Yesterday was pretty much a wash. Meeting in the morning with yogurt in the car on the way and a frozen Pad Thai at lunch from my freezer. But we did go to the Farmers Market last evening after I got home from work. Roots Farmers Market is a serious farmer's market. It is pretty much a complex of buildings. I would have taken pictures, but I feared looking like an idiot. Anyway, in addition to produce and baked goods, and dairy you can find everything under the sun. This market is only open on Tuesdays so it is an all day affair with multiple auctions going on at the same time. We checked out the small animal auction and I totally could have gone home with a goat. Tons of chickens, ducks, rabbits, pheasant, emu, doves, goats, and donkeys. I pointed out some adult versions of the kind of chickens we have and I think my husband was a little suprised at how big they would get. Especially the rooster. Did I mention I think I have a rooster? In the picture below, see that comb? It's getting a lot bigger and redder than the rest of the chickens and I distinctly heard the first juvenile warblings of a crow the other day. I wasn't planning on a rooster. The Buff Orpington roosters at the market were HUGE. Like the size of a beagle. I pointed and laughed nervously and said "Oh my, aren't they big?" and my husband just stared, imagining those big birds chasing after him as he mows the lawn.

Anyway, first I have to walk the whole market and price compare. Different vendors price things wildly apart and it always makes me mad when I buy something and see a stand in the next building where it is less than half of what I paid. My husband goes to eat, so he peruses the food stands, of which there are many.

So this is what I bought that was local:
- spinach
-spring mix
- spring onions
- pretzels

I also bought cheese. Apparently generic 'local' cheese, although at $8.99 a pound, those really aren't generic prices. The label made me laugh. Oh, I got snap peas also, although they must be from a greenhouse, cause I think it is too early for them. The farmer swore they were local though. Non-local things included three giant red bell peppers for $1!!! They are like $3.99 a pound at the store.

Today I had the cheese that I made on the non-local pita bread. For lunch I will have one of those salads with a hard-boiled local egg. Oh, and my dressing is local! Gazebo Room dressing, from a now-closed restaurant in Harrisburg that had awesome salad dressing and is now produced large scale, is made in Mechanicsburg....about 30 miles from me. Croutons are not local, and I will make my own once these are used up, but I already had them. I will probably eat that other salad for dinner. I should have my own lettuce in about two weeks. Woohoo. I could have bought a lot more. There were tons of preserved things and spices and baked goods (probably enough shoo-fly pie to cover an acre) and candy and junk food. I was tempted to buy potato chips but I resisted. It was hard. They had a big bag of dark chips from a maker in Lancaster City. Mmmmm....greasy homemade potato chips slightly burnt. The roasted peanuts smelled really good too...but not local. Oh, I also bought two heliotrope. That's another thing I love about the farmers market. Tons of flowers and plants cheap. They were large plants, already blooming for $1.88 each! I did mean to buy local horseradish, but I forgot. Next Tuesday maybe.


Blogger Liz said...

Ooooh.. small animal auction! That could be so dangerous for me.

You did great at the market... I would have been seriously tempted by those slightly burnt potato chips. Seriously tempted. :)

7:06 AM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

uh yeah, that was hard to walk away from the potato chips. Regular potato chips I rarely eat. But homemade ones that are dark.....I act like Homer Simpson and start drooling. And it was hard not to walk away with a few small animals. They had lots of ducks. I felt bad for them in their little cages. I should have bought them and sent them to Maine.

9:47 AM  

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