Sunday, January 11, 2009

Why I love local

Saturday morning I received a pleasant email surprise -- a note from the owner of a local farmstand telling me that she would be at a new little farmers' market that's running through the winter. Wow! One of my favorite Christmas presents was a woven basket from Ghana that will be just perfect for buying veggies from the farmers' market. I thought I'd have to wait until April to use it! And I was out of everything!

It didn't take me long to pack up the basket and the Munchkin and head a short ways across town to the little market. It was cute, cute, cute and next to a very promising bakery I also didn't know about. We first visited the farmer who sent the email to thank her. I asked if she'd brought the pears my husband adores and she said no, but she'd bring me some next week.

Second, I visited a larger booth to pick up some staples. The first thing I picked up were some large leeks. The college-age guy working the booth leaned over and whispered, "I'll give you a tip! The leeks are cheaper at the other booth, and they're organic!" Surprised, I put his leeks back and then bought probably more onions and potatoes than I'd planned just because he was so nice. As I walked away, he again pointed out what booth I should go to for the leeks.

On our way to get the leeks, I noticed eggs at a booth that also contained a row of knit stocking caps. Just that morning, I realized Munchkin had outgrown his knit hat -- it was hard to even keep it on his head! Feeling a little cold, I asked the lady if she had any hats Munchkin's size. She found one, but it didn't have ear flaps and it was kind of in "girl" colors. When I put it back, she offered to knit a hat for Munchkin in whatever color I'd like. She didn't even take my name, just said that the hat would be there next week. I was so delighted that I forgot to buy the eggs.

Finally, we went to the leek booth. Sure enough, the leeks were half the price and they looked great. I picked up broccoli and cabbage, too, as it looked like they didn't have a lot of business.

That was it -- just four booths. We'll be back next week to pick up the pears, the hat, the eggs and more veggies. I love buying locally. The fact that the food is fresher and tastes better is an added bonus.


Green Bean said...

Great post, Donna. Buying locally is so great for so many reasons. You make connections. Enjoy better for you and better tasting food. Get out in the fresh air. And feel alive.

Donna said...

Thanks, gb. It is all of those things!

kale for sale said...

I want to know how the basket worked? Was it big enough? Easy to carry? The baskets always look so pretty filled with the frilly greens of carrots or stalks of leeks coming out but are they efficient has always been my concern. And then again, not everything has to be efficient. Thanks for taking us to the market with you. Even the little ones can be the very best place to shop.

Donna said...

kale: I loved the basket! I have a large round-shaped basket with a handle and I was amazed how much I could put into it. For market use, it is wonderfully efficient. I still haven't figured out a place to keep it at home...