Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday, August 25: Day 25

The markets were a bit subdued today as farmers figure out how much has been lost to the floods. Several of the usual folks were not there, maybe that was on their schedule, maybe not. Richard de Wilde of Harmony Valley Farm looked haggard and sad, other farmers were expressing their relief that their crops and animals were okay.

I found out today that our wonderful peanuts are being grown by Silvan and Avis Disch THANK YOU!!!!

We purchased a wonderful array of things today, the apples are really starting to come in while corn is beginning to wane. Fall raspberries are showing up, we are hoping to go pick at our favorite raspberry farm on Monday.

Breakfast was the last of our bread (Scott comes home tomorrow, thank goodness) with cider and milk. Lunch was eggs with cheese curds, salsa, carrots and the first of the season's pears. Dinner was a thrown together number by me that was fabulous! I made a cheesy flatbread with some leftover dough and then I made broccoli romanesco. The crazy crucifer is delicious raw but tonight I sauteed it in butter, garlic, chicken stock and salt. Evie kept exclaiming, "MMMMM! This bite was even better than the last one!!" She and I both dearly love anything from the cruciferous family. The whole meal took maybe 15 minutes to make (having preheated the oven) that's a keeper!

Last day of remote posts from Massachusetts. . .

. . . and it was a good one. As is the case in so many places, Saturday means Farmers' Market in Maynard, MA. There is no question that by our usual standards it is tiny—just a few vendors. But those who do show up can have so much impact on what you eat. Here is an overview:

We were there more for research than to shop, but we did get a few things. Balance Rock Farm has a wide selection of meat and dairy: beef, pork, chicken, milk, cheese (cow's milk and goat), plus eggs and butter. A real find! We bought some bacon, sausage, and eggs. We also visited Applefield Farm for some veggies and fruit: tomatoes, melon, and onion. They have a great selection of produce, including these:

I was thrilled that the Maynard Farmers' market, small though it is, could provide so much. And it is interesting to note that both of the vendors we bought from employ organic methods but don't feel they can justify the cost of organic certification.

We brought that goodness back home and made up some pizzas. Here are two:

The foreground is a pizza caprese: olive oil (not local, of course) with heirloom tomatoes, mozzerella, and basil. The background is local potatoes, local caramelized onions, local rosemary, and imported proscuitto (it was left over from something else) and parmesan cheese. Not shown was a tomato and cheese pie with the local sausage we bought at the market.

So as my trip comes to an end, I am in a position to draw some conclusions. Local food is available, even here in the east-coast suburbs. Maybe not quite as many things as we've been accustomed to in the bountiful midwest, but if you want to, you really can buy a considerable portion of your food from local producers, which is pretty cool. Most of the farms in these areas are being coveted by real estate developers and are potentially worth millions of dollars as building lots. So if you like looking at farms near where you live, find out what you can buy to help support them and keep those farmers on the land. Otherwise you may find that beautiful pasture will someday soon contain a crop of McMansions.

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