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Farmer's Market.

Over the weekend, my friend Batman and I went to a local farmer's market to scope out the offerings.  We went to a market in Rhode Island, and since I'm from RI, I know how teeny the state is.  You'd think that after growing up in a state that you can drive through in less than an hour, I'd have seen the majority of what's there.

I love seeing that there's so much more to see.  I like that my home state still has plenty of surprises in store for me.

I had no idea there were to many farms in Rhode Island.  The market was located in an artist's loft building near Providence, and an entire wing of the building was devoted to these farmers and their stands.  Ten different kinds of local eggs, bins and bins of fresh produce, and enough loose tea and cheeses and apples and fresh, hot cider to keep two (and a half?) girls entertained for hours.  

I cannot wait to eat soft cheeses again!

The spread of cheeses was amazing, and Batman sampled a few while I looked on in envy.  (BSparl, once you've escaped and I can hug you, I'm going to eat a whole wheel of brie.  Just as a warning.)

OMG bolus-worthy!

And the dessert selections were definitely bolus-worthy.  Chocolate coffee rolls, brownies, and pecan-encrusted orange rolls (I think that's what those shiny ones are) - all sitting out there, waiting to be gobbled up.  I think of of the cookies actually reached out to hit the bolus button on my pump, but I resisted.  (For once.)

I wasn't aware that these grew on stalks like this.  So now I'm stalking them.

Brussel sprouts grow on stalks - this was news to me!  

We rooted around for these.  HA HA HA.

These were garlic stems, I believe.  Honestly, I was overwhelmed by the amount of organic, locally grown options.  Chris and I used to get eggs from the Mr. Chicken Man (the IT guy in my old office who has a fleet of chickens at his house as part of his wife's business, and he'd bring local, fresh eggs in for us), and these eggs were so delicious.  Seriously better than the ones we'd buy at the store.  Getting eggs from Mr. Chicken Man made us want to buy locally as often as possible - simply because it was more delicious.  

Problem is, local and organic can be very expensive.  We can go to the grocery store and buy a pack of Ramen Noodle for $2.00 and it could last us weeks, but shopping only in the organic section could run us into financial ruin.  (Note:  I've never, in my life, had even a spoonful of Ramen Noodle.  My college roommates ate it - Chris has, too - but I've never tried it.  I feel like I missed out on a whole part of my college experience, by not eating the salty disaster that is Ramen.  End digression.)  These days, we're paying rapt attention to food labels and healthiest options, for BSparl's growing babyness, but I wish there was a cost-effective way to eat like this more often.  I'm sure my diabetes appreciates the lack of corn syrup and preservatives and all that crap.

But in any event, it was a great location for a little shutter-snapping.  :)


Kerri, once you get used to eating fresher, less processed food you start to think of more "commodity" food as being more expensive (in terms of health and well-being - not to mention sustainable farming practices.)

We're not perfect (I know for a fact that there is at least one package of ramen in the cupboard) but our attitude is that we would rather eat a little less of excellent food.

And now I'm off to the Farmer's Market because I am lucky enough to live in NYC and the market is open 4 days a week.

I am a major advocate for locally grown food and this post made me happy!

For my husband and I, fresh and local food is our hobby and our pastime. Cooking from-scratch -- together -- makes us happy. Eating well and avoiding processed foods brings us energy and joy. And, for us, that makes any extra cost well worth it.

We spend what money we have on gorgeous, plump cloves of Russian Red garlic. We splurge on farm fresh berries (blue, rasp, logan, straw, etc.) and, before eating, we wash soil and slugs off of our lettuce ('cause we like it just that fresh!).

Drop a line if you want recipes. I've got more flavour combinations than you can shake a stick at...and I love to share!

Wow, Philly's permanent farmer's market (Reading Terminal) is actually way cheaper than going to the grocery store! My Chris goes there after class every day to buy stuff for dinner. Usually we come out spending less than/around $10, but it's for 4 meals (dinner and then lunch the next day).

Time to move to Philly! ;)

Now that you're living in the Boston (ish) area you should check out Haymarket. Open every Friday & Saturday during daylight hours. Not sure how much fresh produce is available this time of year but its something to bear in mind for the spring/summer.

I just discovered a little market by us with organic stuff. Much better for me and yummier!

I must say, i do dig the Ramen. I know it's horrible but it's delish. Especially with a grilled cheese sandwich.

There aren't too many Farmers' Markets near us, but we're awash with organic delivery services. We get weekly fruit and veg deliveries, and can add other grocery items, meat and dairy produce too if we wish. Being that we're in the city, they come surprisingly little distance. The cost is also not that much greater than supermarket home delivery charges, but the quality is so much higher. It's definitely cost effective for us, but not sure if such an option exists for you guys.

You may also look at community supported agriculture groups (CSA)for about 28 a week you can get enough freash fruits and veggies to feed a family of 4 and you get the added advantage of harvesting yurself which can be a good family activity.
p/s: those Ramen noodles are really a poor mans food I am just sorry I had to give them up they got me thru college.

I burned myself out on Ramen in college. I can eat it occasionally now. It's not much to talk about other than it's quick and easy. Horribly, fatty, carby, and salty though...
Healthy is VERY expensive. It's so NOT fair!

I second the CSA idea! It's a great way to save money and feel good about where your money is going (to support a local farm). My college roommate had one in the Boston area, so I know there are good ones there. I had one last summer/fall here in Phila., and mine was fantastic, even despite the terrible growing season, with the late blight tomato problem and such.

oh man, I wish we had a market like that. I may have to take a drive down to RI for that some weekend. We have a couple of small 3-season farmer's markets that we visit, and the quality and taste is just incredible. One way we curb the cost is to buy things from the bulk section of Whole Foods (don't know if there's one near you) things like dried beans, lentils and brown rice really stretch a meal and fill you up- it takes a little thinking ahead (you have to soak dried beans overnight) but it helps save $$.
Just curious, why no cheese?

I want learn how to eat cleaner too! I just have to figure out where to start. When you figure it out please let me know. Maybe I can go into the organic soul food market:)

Oh, what gloriously beautiful cheese...

I'm kind of wondering why no cheese too. Something I need to know about as we approach the approval to conceive? I didn't know that about Brussel Sprouts either and my parents used to have them in our garden in upstate NY when I was a kid. Hmmmmm....something to try in my garden next year?

Brussel sprouts grow on stalks? I wouldn't believe it without the picture! :-)

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