Monday, November 12, 2012

Hi-Tech Market Prep

It's amazing how advanced most of the farmer's we connect with are in regards to technology and marketing.  Almost every farmer has an email distribution list that they send out weekly to let you know what they'll have and their price list.  Why would you want to do that? 
Here's a few reasons to get on a farmer's tech side:
  • You can make a list and stick to it-just like in a modern grocery store
  • You can set a budget
  • You'll have time to research the produce or cuts of meat that you don't know
  • You'll know which markets a farmer is going to visit
  • You can find other ways to get local produce besides a farmer's market
  • You will often getinteresting stories about life on the farm and seasonal changes
  • You will often get recipe links and ideas for produce that is in season now
I currently follow about 5 individual farmer's lists.  I've only subscribed to the farms that I use most consistently and/or who's operations I've visited.  That keeps my focus where it's important for me-helping my friends and eating with the seasons.  But they are all so different and interesting.  My friend Esta Cohen just lists what's in stock.  The email might have a few blurbs about what's going on but for a full update on farm life, you need to TALK to Esta (you really should, she's got the brightest blue eyes and a grin that's contagious).  My friend Beth from Wild Onion Farms will give you a little glimpse into what's coming down the bend and then tell you just how easy it is to get all her great treats.  She ends with a link to a recipe.  My family farmers at Edible Earthscapes often put their info on Facebook.  I get daily bits of love an inspriation from them-and I also get to know when the edamame is in!

Know what else is handy?  The farmer's markets usually have facebook pages and websites where the market manager will post goings-on.  This weekend, the Western Wake Farmer's Market had live music and face painting.  If you look closely you'll also notice the ring of yellow icing from The Sweet T fabulous flavor du jour around my little one's mouth. 
My kids have gone from protesting loudly about visiting the market to jumping out in all kinds of weather.  Most of the smaller markets offer some kind of draw-whether it's local hand-crafts, entertainment, samples or a holiday centered themes. 
If nothing else, you'll have a great time OUTSIDE for an hour or so and you can feel smug.  Farmer's markets know what everyone else is realizing-we crave community and they want to connect!

Finally, here's the market haul this week:
  • 1 tatsoi bunch
  • 2 spinach bunches
  • 2 carrot bunches with stems
  • 3 GIANT sweet potatoes (thanksgiving sweet potato casserole!)
  • 2 big bell peppers
  • 4 kohlrabi
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 6 chicken legs
  • 1 pack of sweet italian sausage
It doesn't sound like much but the cooler wouldn't really close....


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