Farmers Market 09.24.11

This week I had the opportunity to volunteer at my local farmers’ market. I have written before about my CSA membership with Victory Farms and how I aim to visit their stand at the South of the James market or Byrd House market weekly. This Saturday was the first time I was able to experience the farm stand from the other side of the table and I loved it!

It was a dreary, rainy Saturday morning but a lot of people came out to get their fresh, local produce. It was crazy to see how quickly everything flew off the tables and into people’s baskets. It really reinforced for me the importance of getting to those markets bright and early to get the best of the bounty. My favorite part about working the market stand was answering food preparation questions. So many people asked how to prepare the veggies we were selling and I was delighted to offer suggestions and tell stories about my experiences. . . go figure! I was also able to go shopping during a lull in the action and I brought home a great selection of fresh food.

  • Basil
  • Salad mix
  • Poblano peppers
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Arugula
  • Watermelon radishes
  • Lacinato kale

How awesome are these watermelon radishes? They are seriously so pretty, inside and out.

I also picked up this one eggplant because I simply had to. I buy Chinese eggplants often, but I have never seen anything like this.

We have had a lot of rain here lately and on one rainy night last week I decided to rent the movie Monsoon Wedding per the suggestion of a close friend of mine, Rachael Ray. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I highly recommend that you pick it up. It was wonderful. If you have seen it, then you are probably familiar with a certain wedding planner who has an affinity for marigolds. This character is stringing marigold garlands throughout the film, and he has an odd habit of spontaneously chomping down on a single delicate marigold flower and slowly chewing it while he thinks. I noticed a similar occurrence when I glanced over at a Victory Farms employee who was staring into the rainy distance and eating a whole bright red Carmen pepper, biting from bottom to stem. I love how much these people enjoy their veggies. It’s fantastic!

After making suggestions to market-goers all morning on Saturday, I find myself in a bit of a quandary of my own. I bought a bushel of apples last weekend to split with two coworkers and I can’t decide what to do with my share.

There were 115 apples in this box, which left me with 38 apples for myself. I have eaten a few but I still have almost 15 pounds of apples in my fridge, waiting for inspiration to strike. Do I make pies, applesauce, apple juice, apple butter, or something else? I think I will freeze some for apple cinnamon smoothies but I still need suggestions on the best use of my huge stash. Please leave a comment if you have a good recipe or idea.

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