Thursday, November 08, 2007

Green City Winter Market - November 7, 2007

Did We Bump Into Each Other?

OK, first of all, the name thing. It's the Green City Winter Market but aint it still fall? I'll call it the Winter Market though. Now, what'd I think? Well, I think it was a lot like I expected. Genesis Growers and Growing Power, farms that are geared up for 3(plus) season farming had plenty to offer. Green Acres seemed there out of a sense of commitment. Nicholl's and Kinnickinick said the heck with it. Which all means it was good enough.

Really good, really; Vicki at Genesis had anything an eater could need this time of year. This was not a surplus stand. She was still a growin' away outside and had gorgeous broccoli (artfully displayed) and cauliflower to prove it as well as rutabagas, turnips, five or so kinda radishes and the usual squash, potatoes, onions. She also had a good range of herbs including parsley, oregano, thyme and mint. Growing Power was more geared towards their greenhouse crops, but the pea sprouts and sunflower sprouts were still especially tasty. I appreciated the big bag of mixed lettuces. If that was not enough to last us, we got chestnuts from Hillside Orchards (after really liking them at Vie) and celery and Japanese sweet potatoes from Green Acres.

Right now we are hardly in keeper mode. Between our fall Genesis Growers CSA and this market we won't go hungry for several more weeks. I will say that we did a great job of taking care of one of our big needs from last year, garlic. One week, Tomato Mountain made a deal with us and we took their on-hand inventory. We've put away a fair amount of potatoes, but I do not see a huge need here as I believe I can find local potatoes year-round. Same with apples, we have plenty now in the attic, but I believe we will be able to buy for several more months. On the other hand, local onions are harder to find as the months progress. We surely need to put more away. Remember, late fall and early winter are not hard times to eat local. It's the times the keeper stuff have run dry and the earliest crops are weeks away.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Are You Shopping Today?

Yes, I Have a Blog and I Can Use It

I actually had draft post up for days last week before one of the kidz shut the computer down. I know I've let you all down during these key moments of eating local, but I'm still here; still eating local. I'll be doing some shopping at the Green City Winter Market today. Hopefully you will be too.

One of the real limitations on eating local around here is the lack of winter markets. There is no reason, climatically or ecologically that we cannot have winter markets. First of all, farmers can be growing right now and on and on, harvesting cool weather crops and using greenhouses. Second of all, there are plenty of things that can be sold after their growth: potatoes, cabbage, onions, apples, etc., etc., etc. It should be easier for farmers (or related) to store keepers than consumers. I'd rather buy as I need than store myself. It can happen.

Our limited winter markets, however, are not thriving. Sarah Stengner told us at her localvore lunch that few people were attending the mid-week fall Green City Markets (hence one of my reasons for going today). I heard from one of the vendors at the first indoor Green City Market that lookers way outnumbered buyers. To a good extent, the farmers are no so keen on the idea either. It's a long season, and they are ready for a break. Many manage their inventory so that they have nothing left by November, now. For instance, by last week already, Nicholl's Farm had little left beyond apples and potatoes. Hardin Farms said they were about out of apples. It's an uphill battle when people are not shopping and farmers have noting to sell.

Eating local does not end with a one week challenge, nor does it end when most markets pack up. As more people commit to eating local year-round, the more incentives there will be for year-round markets.