The Farmer's Market

Every Saturday from June through mid-October, there is a farmer's market in the Town of MT Laurel, where I live.   Farmers come from as far as Chilton County (where all the best peaches EVER come from),  and as close as just 1 mile down the street - Jones Valley Urban Farms, which is on the site of the MT Laurel Organic Garden.  I feel pretty blessed to have this right around the corner from my house.  I can make a cup of coffee, take a stroll, or ride my cruiser 2 blocks and come home with fresh veggies for the week - Best part?  I don't have to get in the car.

This morning, I made a haul!  I bought a "basket of salsa" from one of the farmers, which has all the ingredients to make a fresh salsa (and a recipe - but I think I'll add a few more peppers to mine to spice it up a bit).  From another farmer, I bought sweet onions.  They're on the small side, so I am sure they will be just wonderful.  From Caver's Farms, I scored a handful of beautiful peaches for a cobbler, the most precious little yellow squash and some pink eyed peas, lady peas, lima beans and a sweet little speckled butter bean mix.  Can't wait to try those over some tomatoes this week.  And speaking of tomatoes,  Mrs. Caver also pulled a box of big red tomatoes for me.  I plan to make some marinara and can it tomorrow for use over the winter when I crave that fresh tomato taste.

Here's my bounty ...

If you haven't visited your local farmer's market, you should (if you live in AL, you can check this Farm Locator and go visit your local farmers).  There are always neat little surprises to be had - like this  wonderful basket of veggies for a fresh salsa!  

Not only that, but if everyone took advantage of what's grown locally, think about the possibilities ... for starters, we'd be supporting our local, small farmers.  Not to mention the fuel savings - Did you know that each food item in a typical US meal has traveled and average of 1500 miles?  I live in the south ... those asparagus I get at the grocery store in July probably aren't grown locally, and it takes fuel and energy to grow those things (fertilizing, processing, packaging, warehousing and transporting) - far more energy than we receive in calories from the food, itself.

 I've picked up a book called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver about a family who left their "industrial-food pipeline for a rural life, vowing that, for one year, they would buy food from their neighbors, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it."  In it, she describes her family's journey, shares examples and discusses the realization that if "every US citizen ate just one meal a week composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we'd reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil a week".  WOW.  Think of the possibilities ... and it can start by supporting your local farmers.

Hope everyone has a fine weekend.


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