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Friday, July 29, 2016

Advantages of Buying Direct

Today I went to our local Farmer's Market on the north side of town.  It is one of those places where the farmers come in with either huge trucks to sell the truckload wholesale to local grocery stores, or small pick up trucks loaded with whatever is ready for market and set up a small truck farm underneath a tall metal shed. They generally have a small table for display purposes  (usually a sheet of plywood on top of two sawhorses)  and sell whatever they picked the night before or that morning, then drive back to the farm and do some serious late evening farming.

Or they operate like the young man I bought from today. His dad is the working farmer and he is the working salesman. They both get up at dawn to harvest everything that is ready to sell and the son makes the drive to the market, if not daily at least every other day, while his father stays and works the crops.  Judging by his assortment of fruits and vegetables they grow an amazing variety of crops on a small farm. I was not the first customer, in fact it was a little after noon when I got there, but he was ready to make a deal and head back home.

Nerd alert: Beware of a nerdy woman with a new digital scale!

I wound up with a bushel of silver queen corn for 18 dollars, (71 ears for anyone counting) 11.2 pounds of perfect peaches for 7 bucks,  13.85 pounds of beautiful squash for 10 dollars. 11.52 pounds of very ripe tomatoes for 8 dollars, 2 watermelons $3.50 (for both)  2 pounds of okra 6 bucks (not great but he only had one carton so I had no bargaining power and really wanted okra) 5.1 lb. green tomatoes for  5 dollars, and 14 large red and green peppers for 6 dollars.  In addition I got a bushel and a half of  lady peas for 30 dollars, including the price of shelling them.



I did not buy a basket of green apples  and now I am kicking myself, nor did I get any pears which I also should have bought.  I was looking for a large basket of jalapenos, cucumbers and pattypan squash, along with a large basket of zucchini, but could find none. Part of shopping the market here is being flexible and buying what is there when it is available, knowing that some things you want might not be around that day.

When I compare prices to the grocery store, I came out ahead on everything except  the okra and the lady peas.  They cost about the same, but even so I am getting  much fresher and better quality produce for my money.

Now begins the process of processing everything.  I was planning to go to a play tonight, but I think I will be shucking corn, blanching veggies and stuffing freezer bags instead.  Y'all have fun!

Tonights menu changed from the grilled chicken I had planned into a sautéed squash, okra, fried green tomatoes, bell pepper slices and corn on the cob meal.  What is the saying "Want to make God laugh? Make a plan!"

19 comments:

  1. Speaking of a nerdy woman with digital scales--one woman at market sold nothing that was not weighed and sold at store prices. I was shocked. She was someone I knew, a school teacher. They did not last long and finally moved to live with her parents.

    It sounds like you will be busy. Tomorrow, I was going to out market to get things to put up. But, my arm won't let me.

    Fresh vegetables for dinner is a winner.

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    1. Weighing by the pound is an odd way to sell from a truck farm. I have 2 farms I try to buy from on a regular basis and they rarely are at the Farmer's Market at the same time.
      The veggie dinner was pretty dang good!

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    2. I went to this market before she was there and after she moved away. She is the only person who has used scales.

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  2. Yummo.
    Our farmers' markets are often close to the price we pay in the stores. The quality isn't though. I love them. Though I am far too lazy to buy in the quanities you do.

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  3. I like to have things so we can have an "almost" taste of summer in the dead of winter, which is why I buy so much now. I really only like our markets through fall, then I rely on the freezer to keep us happy until spring.

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    1. That's awesome. I have never "processed" fresh veggies like that and we don't have a second freezer to the keep extra food if I did. I think you bought more fresh veggies in one day than I've bought in a year. I rely on those "steam-in-bag veggies. When they go on sale for a buck, I stock up. But I did stop by the farm stand the other day to get 6 ears of corn and a few peaches. One of the things I do miss about living up north is the fresh picked apples in the fall. I love me a good apple!

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    2. My in-laws took a trip to New England one fall and brought back bushels of apples. They stopped by our house on their drive home and left about a half of a bushel with us. They were the best apples I have ever eaten.

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  4. Mmm party pan squash-I'd have been disappointed but just discovered I like Okra, and corn recipes abound!

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    1. I have learned to roll with whatever is available. Next time the pickings will be entirely different. We have okra planted in the back yard, but it has just started bearing. I hope we get enough to have it at least once a week. BTW grilled okra is unbelievably tasty

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  5. Fried green tomatoes are yummy, especially at The Whistle Stop Cafe.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Come to Birmingham and I can take you to the original "Whistle Stop" that Fannie Flagg wrote about. It does go by a different name but the tracks are right outside the front door.

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  6. Come to my garden everything but peas too hot here to grow them well. Also we don't do okra in the Northwest. You have so much work ahead of you!

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    1. Oh I envy your garden ! We don't have much space for growing, so we squeeze in a little wherever we can plant.
      The work is done now and the kitchen is cleaned. I am getting ready for round 2 next week when I will begin canning. Tomatoes should be at their peak by then and hopefully we will have another round of green beans from our yard

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  7. Nothing better than fresh veggies just picked. You might pay the same or alittle more but the taste is unbelievable. Cheryl

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    1. I absolutely agree! Plus I got most of for a little less than I would pay at the grocery store.

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  8. God laughs at me a lot!!!!
    You got an amazing deal. We just paid $3 for 5 peaches and that is cheap by our standards. I'm not a fan of prepping food but prepping food that is so fresh would stop my complaining. Well maybe.

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  9. I did not say I was a cheerful prepper, but in the dead of winter (Yeah when it is 48 and sunny here) I do love the veggies!

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  10. My favorite winter vegetable is corn frozen from the summer. Yum. It all sounds good.

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    1. I love just about all of them, but corn on the cob in the dead of winter is beyond delicious

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