I had decided that Saturday I was going to my local Farmers’ Market because I wanted my veggies to be from somewhere close to my location.
It took me around 15 minutes to find a parking spot, and then fight the “in” crowd that takes this opportunity to be seen buying the cool veggies and show the rest of us that they are cool by just being there. I know because, I have played the same little game before. Ron used to call them “pretty people” because you will see everyone looking just right for this fine enterprise everyone goes to on Saturday mornings.
Fine and dandy. Finally I get to the stall where they had the red bell peppers and the sweet potatoes. I see the sign “$1 each” and I thought, wow, that’s a bargain compared to the ones from Mexico I have been buying at the big W store. Then my peripheral vision caught the smaller print under the price, — “From Canada.”
I had a moment to think what was I going to do. I thought, well, Canada is cold and nice so how much manure these veggies could have been exposed to. For that price and the way they looked, at the market, I just put two in a bag and proceeded to get my sweet potatoes. All of them looked like constipated potatoes. How does a constipated potato look like? Like the ones I just bought this morning. You can tell the poor things struggled to make it out of the ground. Exactly! Hope they taste better than they look.
Then went to my regular supermarket, because I thought, ok, we are an international village, so I got some asparagus from Peru, some lettuce from California, plantains from Guatemala, and some mushrooms from “product of USA.” Go figure!
So…my local farmers’ market has gone international. What happened to John and Jane the farmers? I need to start a search, because somehow I thought I was doing my body good by trying to buy local, but local means that any product that goes through Customs qualifies as “local.”
So…it was today…1 October, 2011…the first day of October…temperatures only mid 80’s…another beautiful day in the neighborhood…with my peppers from Canada.
Your Happy Contessa
“If you want your dinner, don’t look where is coming from.” Contessa’s interpretation of a Chinese Proverb from Olden Times.
8 thoughts on “From Canada with love…directly to my Farmers’ Market in Florida…”
Very few veggies are grown in FL except in the winter. This is because of the cold weather up North and the prices for the farmer are higher in the winter without the Northern competition. The folks from the “farmer’s market”, got to the huge truck load commercial markets and buy in quantities just like the major chains like Public. If you go around the back of Public, you will see the same boxes. There is a price advantage and maybe a one day freshness advantage and a much better chance of the “organic” being faked due to the huge price difference and lack of inspection. Get to know the Florida seasons and the quality and prices will be best. I bought strawberries 52 weeks a year at the B and B and there was a direct correlation between price and quality. The higher the quality, the lower the price. Fresh strawberries from Plant City were unbelievable and cheap. Hydroponic strawberries from CA in July were pretty, but tasteless. It is all about educating yourself about the market. Peppers are not grown here in October and those nice folks at the farmers markets are not farmers.
Wow, what an educational tour. Thanks Lindsay…you are right, I have to learn about the seasonal veggies grown here in Florida. I know strawberries and oranges are at the beginning of the year, and corn during Spring. Thanks again,
Does your part of Florida have a Community Supported Agriculture program? That seems like a reliable way to get seasonal produce from local farms. But I think you have to pony up a few hundred dollars in advance, for produce for a certain number of months – and you get more weekly produce delivered to you than 1 person could eat. Maybe you could split the costs and the goods with a neighbor?
I am going to fnd out where community gardens are located and see if an arrangement can be worked out. Great suggestion. Merci!
Fresh produce follows the right temperature zone. It starts in the South and works it’s way North as it gets too hot. (Hence October Canadian peppers), then it switches to the Southern hemisphere.. Altitude also plays a factor too. Grapes from the Andes will be in season the winter here, when the US grape are dormant from snow, Those cantaloupes from Colorado with the Listeria were shipped all over the US where cantaloupes were out of season (like Florida). I am sure that many were sold in local farmers markets out of the back of pickups like Ma and Pop had just picked them. Aquiculture is a big multinational business now..
I love cantaloupes, but have put a temporary stop to consuming them. Every time I take a bite of any vegetable, I am thinking if this is my last supper. That’s awful, but is reality. Thanks again for the info.
Fresh, organic and unbelievably sweet – I spent the last several days tasting apples at several “farmers markets” but they all were less than expected. And then i reminded myself why I go to NH, and I headed to my favorite orchard. I came home with 2 bags of delicious, crisp, tart, juicy apples that would bring a smile to a curmudgeon. I will relish every bite for as long as they last. I wish the NC apples were as good. But the farmers market gives me blessings with every visit and I can get whatever I need fresh.
One fresh treat that awaited us at Farmway in Bradford, VT was fresh, baked spiced apple donuts. No grease layering your move after a bite as you get in some of the chains. If you did not want the fresh coffee, then the hot apple cider made from a variety of apples chased away the chilly, rainy weather. It was fall, I was home, and I felt good.
New word in my vocabulary, curmudgeon, thanks Raylene. I could have used in one of my postings. Have it ready to use soon. Yes, being in New England makes all the difference. You get the real deals up there. I can only imagine all the fresh breads, all the produce from local farms, it sounds a bit Utopian. I am sure it was. Glad you had a great experience. Welcome back to North Carolina!