Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fresh and Local

With all the sad events that our country has experienced over the past days I didn't feel like writing my blog at all. Like so many others I tried to understand what is happening, and I still don't understand. I'm just incredibly sad about the direction the US has been taking for quite some time. That's all I'll be saying here.

A place where I often feel community and where everybody is welcome is our farmers market. We are lucky to have two year-round farmers markets here with most of the booths selling organic food and most of them coming from our county. I love to support local businesses, and one of the best ways to do this is at the farmers market.

Again, this will be a very photo heavy post.

Walking along the booths feels like being in a candy store for me. The colors, the scent, the beautiful displays - how can you not like that? I love to see the seasonal fruit and vegetables. It is so easy to tell who is a local farmer and who is not. Usually I tend towards the local farmer, even though their produce doesn't look quite as crisp and clean. However, I do know where it comes from, and often we strike up a conversation.

Last Saturday a farmer and I were exchanging ideas what to cook using eggplants and how. It was so inspiring. Her eggplants were small and absolutely yummy looking - I knew that they would cook up fast and would just go well with my own home grown zucchini and a few tomatoes.

Talking of tomatoes... there were already the first tomatoes available, wonderful sweet and juicy Early Girls. They were so delicious in our Caprese that we had yesterday for dinner - one of my very favorite summer foods.

I saw beautiful greens, onions, squash and zucchini...

... as well as radishes and fresh garlic - the garlic really does it for me! I love garlic and use it generously!

There were peaches - oh, how do i love peaches! -, grapes (after all, this is wine country), blackberries, strawberries and blueberries, all of them delicious.

There are two bakers at the market, and I buy from both of them. Their bread is to die for. They use a lot of whole and/or ancient grain. One of the bakers likes to put fancy designs on top of the crust so that their bread looks even more tempting. I can never pass the bread booths without buying one or two loaves. They never keep long in our German household.

There is coffee, too, if you like - organic, fair trade, low acid coffee roasted here in Santa Rosa, freshly brewed right here at the booth. A pleasant break while you're shopping!

And of course there are flowers. What is a farmers market without flowers?

This is a very important part of summer that I love. When I work on Saturdays during the school year I cannot go to the farmers market (so I will have to bake my own bread again!). Having lived in Europe for 40 years where it is quite common to shop at the local farmers markets in all seasons, rain or shine,  I know that I will miss it - that's why I enjoy it the more at this time.

Tell me - do you often shop at the farmers market? Do you enjoy what they have to offer? Or are you perfectly happy with the supermarkets in your area?


Cheri said...

It all looks so yummy and so nicely displayed. But OH - the sunflowers! Be still my heart!

Elephant's Child said...

Current events cause hearts to hurt world wide I think.
I love the Farmer's Markets, and shop at ours often. The fruit and vegetables aren't as 'perfect' looking as those in supermarkets but the taste is incredible. And we often buy flowers from them too.
Thank you for this bright and delightful post. Heart balm.

Marie Smith said...

Beuutiful looking food and great photos. I was at our local market here in Summerside, PEI last night and bought some small organic new potatoes. Delicious!

Darla said...

Your beautiful photo's make me want to go to a farmer's market right now! Yes, we do shop at farmer's markets although sadly the two largest ones nearby seem more commercial every year with foods and flowers that I know are not in season here. My newest favorite stop is the little fruit and veggie roadside stand near our new place. Most if not all of what they have on offer is growing in the fields right behind the stand.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for these gorgeous photos! This is what I miss most about California. When I was there we shopped at the farmer's market every week, and oh, the variety, the flavors of really ripe fruits - yum! We do have a farmer's market here, and it's fun to visit, but the selection of produce is limited by the short growing season, and it's priced like designer clothing, way outside my budget. I want to support local farmers but I don't quite understand why buying directly from them costs 2 or 3 times as much as produce shipped here from Southern California, South America, or South Africa. There's something crazy-wrong about that!

windrock studio said...

Heavenly goodness! Gorgeous photos! You are so lucky to have these markets close by.

Felicia said...

Wow you have captured the veggies so beautifully.

Magic Love Crow said...

Gorgeous yummy photos!! I love farmers markets!!! I love garlic too! LOL!

denthe said...

Wow, so much yummy goodness .... I love buying from the farmer's market. It's a pity we don't have one close by. And those flowers .... I would buy them all :-)

Gail said...

I would be as happy as a pig in a mud wallow at this market.

Just picked some cabbage, tomatoes, yellow squash and cucumbers. Delicious.

I am very sad and ashamed of America's leaders.

Barb said...

What abundance. Those fruits and veggies are making my mouth water. I like those sunflower faces, too!

Tammie Lee said...

gorgeous as can be!
our growing season is so short, we do not have all those treats available yet.
Yes, i love supporting our farmers! Organic so important.

yum yum

Gunn said...

What a fantastic postings!