Saturday, July 5, 2008

a day at the local farmers market

i spent the day sitting in with my friends from shades of green farm today at the bastrop 1832 farmers market. it was a good day. they needed an extra hand, i was available and figured why not. it's a good way to learn how the farmer's market works, meet the folks involved and see for myself if this is something i want to work towards. i know i could, the step would be more about making a choice rather than wondering if i were able. i foresee some big choices ahead and not easy ones. but that's a whole other entry and one that i need more pondering time with.

i arrived around 9:30am with fresh melon honey goat's milk yogurt smoothies for all. i figured a good cool breakfast type treat was in order. this would be my first time on the farm side of the stand. we began with the set up. slowly people began passing through doing much of what i do when i'm at the market. there is the once over check the whole place out then the getting down to business one on one chats with the various farmers at market.

sometimes the conversation leads to a sell and sometimes the conversation is simply about how you might raise or grow your goods and details about the goods - a bit of an educational type conversation.

there are a whole lot that people are beginning to become more knowledgeable about the foods they eat and they are curious about things like "do you cook an organic chicken differently than a conventional chicken?" or wonder "just how does one cook a whole chicken?" admitting that they've only ever cooked the breasts or the thighs but never a whole bird. if this sounds like you, never fear, all of these questions are valid and have been asked by more than one person in a single day.

i found it terribly interesting to see just how many folks want to learn how to do these things like cooking a whole chicken or working with organic meats versus conventionally raised meats. i also enjoyed watching people as they saw actual pictures of the birds offered for sale (pre-processed of course). lot's of folks have no idea what their food looks like before it's food. i understand that. lots of folks do not have access to a farm and so their relationship to food is naturally different. the best part is that i saw true curiosity today by various ages and generations; to me, that is hopeful.

i've got to tell you folks, there are a lot of really good people in the world and if you're ever in wonder about where to possibly find these folk, i suggest you start by checking in with your local farmers market. the hard working farmers and the supportive friendly shoppers are just good folk. there was much good energy at the market today. i was witness to excellent conversation and a general good will shared by all. i saw deals cut between farmer and buyer when maybe one was short a dollar. either the dollar was forgiven or a promise of coming by next week to cover the debt or to return the change was made. it was a simple but important act of trust and faith displayed in everyday life.

it got hot today but there again, the good gods of the universe were kind enough to provide us with a pretty healthy breeze and at several moments gusts of cool-ish wind. i had a good time.

now the market is all packed up and the farmers are heading home. i was offered a chicken for today's efforts but kindly took a rain check for another day when i was more in need. aside from that, i did not feel that my just sitting and helping set up and break down really deserved such a fine payment. i'll help out more in the future and when i feel more deserved, accept the offer of a fine dinner bird.

my friends sue and jules at shades of green farm raise red freedom ranger birds. they are a slower growing bird, large in size are able to get about quite well on their own when close to full size. they are a strong foraging bird which works well on the shades of green farm since all of the birds are raised free range. they feed them organically from day one which means that their diet consists of the organic feed and whatever bugs and such they forage for themselves out in the fields. sue and jules have their birds processed in with u.s.d.a. standards so you know that the end product is of very high quality and has been thoughtfully prepared. as far as taste goes, i find them mighty mighty fine.

sue and jules don't ship their birds cross country. they believe in the importance of the local movement and so do i. but that should not stop you from finding your own fresh birds and getting to know where your food is coming from.

how can you find fresh goodness near you? well you could type your zip code into the eat local banner i have at the top right hand side of this blog where it says "eat local you can do it" or you can do a search at local harvest and/or eat wild.

check it out, you may be surprised to find out just how close a farmer may be to you.

hey hey hey!
5pm and we got 20 minutes of rain - oh my
not heavy but anything helps
first rain in i can't tell you how long

i was out in the rain desperately setting up the two newest rain barrels. that task was planned for tomorrow but the rain came today so i had to take action right away, did not want to waste a precious drop. i had yet to build the platforms for the barrels but i needed a quick solution. for now, i've got the barrels balanced on a couple of stacked tires. seems to be working ok and it gets the barrels at a pretty good height. who knows, maybe the stacked tires will be the permanent solution. time will tell.

the rain has passed...

sir, could we please have some more?

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