As I re-read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable Miracle, a book I reread every couple of years, it re-dedicates me to live locally. We have the best Farmer’s Market I have ever shopped. They are open April through October on Wednesday afternoon and on Saturday mornings year round with more vendors. During winter, there are fewer vendors, but still some products are available including storage vegetables, eggs, meat, breads, and cheese. Each spring, I plant a garden and we have an orchard with 4 kinds of fruit trees and 3 kinds of cultivated berries, but other than tomato sauces, peppers canned and dried, tomatillos for salsas, and cucumbers for pickles, I don’t grow enough variety or quantity to supply us year round. This year, in support of the vendors, I decided to buy extras of items that can be blanched and frozen for winter use. This week was the first week of making these extra purchases and I came home with extra Sugar Snap Peas, celery, and carrots. The peas have been getting added to the freezer for a few weeks as I had extras and are coming to an end. The celery sliced for Mirepoix, the carrots sliced for soups and stews. Herbs are grown here in the garden to be dried and others in the Aerogarden for fresh use. Meats and poultry are available year round so don’t have to be stockpiled. One farm, in addition to beef and eggs, grows corn for meal, oats for oatmeal, and wheat for flour. Being able to watch my flour ground and bagged, unbromated whole wheat with bran is wonderful.
A bag was brought home, a loaf of artisan bread started last evening that was baked this morning. What doesn’t get used immediately will be frozen so there will be flour for bread this winter as well.
The finished bread is a little more dense than I had hoped, it was a new recipe that I will tweak in the future.
After putting the produce away and some frozen, dinner prepared using plenty of fresh vegetables from market and garden to make a salad, a little garden time was enjoyed. This week has been so wet, it was nice to be able to get in there, weed a little, pick berries, and pull the 34 heads of garlic to cure in today’s sun.
All but two are large and full and this should be enough to last us the year. The fall garlic seed needs to be ordered.
Soon there will be peas from our garden to enjoy and freeze. And the beans are beginning to have blossoms, the first zucchini is forming, tiny peppers and tomatoes are developing. The apple and Asian pear trees are heavy with fruit to be enjoyed raw or made into sauces later in the fall.
There was cheese purchased, Garlic Chive Chevre that was enjoyed on the salad, and a weekly treat of a bouquet of flowers from our friend’s farm.
Keep it close to home if you can, better for the environment, better for your health.