Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bookworm Challenge = Farmer's Market Woes!

We had one of the snowiest winters on record here in Michigan, so I really don't know why I am surprised... I went to the second week of the local Farmer's Market here and still, not a veggie to be found. There are a few hardy souls there, selling seedlings, flowers, honey and bread, but I am desperate for some produce for my local challenge. I have broken down and bought some organic apples, red potatoes and some peas from Trader Joe's. I didn't even want to look at the back of the package to find out how far they traveled, but some apples for the kid's lunch and some red potatoes with onion and peas on the grill for dinner were a lifesaver.


In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Barbara Kingsolver relies on her Farmer's Market for early produce like rhubarb, salad greens and maybe a few early peas. I guess this is feasible in Virginia or Kentucky - but what about serious, Northern cold weather states? I am feeling a little stuck today, so I am guessing it will be the famous "breakfast for dinner" routine again with local bacon and pancakes made from the buckwheat mix from the local mill. I have been inspired by all of the recipes and meal plans in the book, but Kingsolver's May meal plan is more like my mid-June meal plan! Maybe next week I will find a bunch of greens or a few early peas? If anyone has any ideas, I sure would be glad to hear them!

10 comments:

arduous said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. I'm reading the same book, and Kingsolver writes in AVM that if she lived in Quebec she might buy food from California in the wintertime. Try to stick to the continental US as much as possible, and give yourself a pat on the back for getting what you can local!

eco 'burban mom said...

That's funny, arduous, I just read the Quebec chapter and the part about California being "south america" was funny. I think I get bummed because so many other places in the US are warmer and taking full advantage of farmer's markets and gardens and we still aren't fully sure if it will or won't snow one last time here in Michigan! I appreciate the reminder to pat myself on the back!!

Green Bean said...

I agree with Arduous - you are trying and that is the big thing. Have you thought about joining One Local Summer? You cook one all local meal once a week all summer long and eats and pancakes would count! They are grouping it by region and you would be in a region with folks from the cold north. :) You might get some tips, find new resources and make some friends. I'm doing One Local Summer but I'm spoiled here in California.

eco 'burban mom said...

Update... made the pancakes with local, organic, free range eggs and the bacon from a farm only 100 miles from here. The kids loved it, especially the no veggies part! Why do I stress out so much?? That was easy and clean up was a breeze... I didn't even use a single paper towel! :o)

ruralaspirations said...

Hi. Your post made me think of a book I came across recently while surfing Amazon for organic gardening books. I'm not sure if you have room for this, but the author is in Maine and seems to be getting plenty of produce. The issue in my part of the world is not so much cold as lack of sunshine, so maybe you'll fare better!

eco 'burban mom said...

Thanks, Grean Bean. I signed up for One Local Summer. Shoot, one meal a week all local will be easy-peasy after all my headaches this month!

Rjs said...

I guess I'm not the only one. Here in Indiana we're facing delays too because of the weather.

http://going-green-mama.blogspot.com/2008/05/disappointing-news-from-my-csa.html

Going Crunchy said...

I hear ya! My farmers markets don't even open 'round here until the first weekend in June. Even local CSAs don't deliver before then for the most part.

There isn't mucb eating local in the Midwest. By the same token, I'm not in love with living here. It makes me remember why we all used to migrate for a reason.

virginiafoodie said...

Funny, I usually feel a little sorry for myself when I compare our local produce scene here in Washington DC to the folks in California. Of course, now I'm feeling guilty since we have year-round markets. It sounds like you are doing a great job-- and it will only get easier from now on!
I noticed that are a Michigander. I am from northern Michigan originally (Mackinaw City).

eco 'burban mom said...

Yes, Going Crunchy, I am totally with you... eating local in the midwest is MORE than a challenge, it's down right stressful!! And, same here - no CSAs until june and nothing edible at the markets until end of the month!!

VirginiaFoodie - I love Mackinaw and the UP, basically anywhere here but suburbia. My parents have a place in Leland (near the top of the pinky - I know you will get that "mitten" reference) and I also like to head up to the Pictured Rocks lakeshore!