Farmer’s Market + A Little Bit Of Catchup

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind it seems! I don’t have enough hours in the day it seems. Oh well, things are only going to get busier when garden season really gets going. Again, crummy cell phone photos for most of these.

Here is what I purchased from the winter co-op market on March 21:

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  • 2 lb. carrots (Somerset Farms)
  • 1.4 lb. beef shanks (Peace and Plenty Farms)
  • 2 bunches of spring onion (ECO in Raleigh)
  • 3.11 lb. mild sausage (from a farmer in Gates Co., White Oak Hill I think?)
  • 2.5 lb. butter
  • 1 mini sweet potato loaf (Donna’s Desserts)
  • 1 bag dark chocolate granola (Yellow Dog Bread Co.)
I forgot to take a picture with the doors closed showing off the pretty blue trim.
I forgot to take a picture with the doors closed showing off the pretty blue trim.

My boyfriend finished our chicken coop this weekend! I love it. We picked up 4 chickens on Saturday – 2 Rhode Island Red hens, 1 Rhode Island Red rooster, and 1 barnyard mix hen (our favorite) but we are already wanting to trade one of the RIR hens and the rooster so we can diversify our flock more.

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Our favorite.
Our favorite.

We had a cold freeze this past Saturday, complete with snow flurries, but everything that has been budding out looks fine right now. I picked up a Kumquat this past weekend (I have a weakness for citrus) along with two lavenders and two rosemary plants to go around our coop. My boyfriend has said that I can get a fruit tree to go out by the coop as well, just one, so I’m looking for a good self-pollinating one (maybe a plum). I’ve already gotten a blueberry to plant at the boyfriend’s as well and get to find an apple tree to replace the one at mom’s that didn’t survive the winter.

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I picked my first spears of asparagus last week – there are about ½ dozen hanging out in my fridge waiting to be made *probably* into a tasty breakfast quiche in a few weeks. I may go ahead and blanche/freeze the ones I already have so they won’t go bad before I get around to it.

The last winter co-op market for the season is this upcoming Saturday. Fresh lamb will be offered, I’m excited about that.

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I had deer for the first time this past weekend (in the form of burgers and tenderloin). It was tasty – I think that has a lot to do with the chef!

I left Belle home the weekend. I came back to find that she had been absolutely spoiled (AND allowed on the couch).
I left Belle home the weekend. I came back to find that she had been absolutely spoiled (AND allowed on the couch).
My boyfriend bought flowers for me this weekend. :)
My boyfriend bought flowers for me this weekend. 🙂

Winter Coop Purchases (Week Three)

My order list for this week’s Farmer’s Market was low on fresh produce. There was plenty offered, but I still had a drawer full of the vegetables from the previous markets.

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I purchased:

  • 1/2 Gallon Whole Milk (Maple View Farm)
  • 1/2 Gallon Low Fat Milk (Maple View Farm – for my boyfriend’s house)
  • 4 lb. turnips (Somerset Farms – mom likes to eat them raw and I used some for roasting)
  • 1 lb. mild pork sausage (from some place in Gates Co., the same people I purchased the pork chops from – had this Sunday morning, delicious!)
  • A slice of 10 layer chocolate cake (Donna’s Dessert – this was a last minute pick-up as I was hungry that morning. It tasted much better than I anticipated, similar almost to my granny’s 16 layer chocolate cake)

My friend was on call this weekend so we couldn’t stray far from the house so he took me to look at this old graveyard we’d noticed before and then we stopped to an old farm for him to load up some wood.

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Saturday night, I ended up breading the pork chops that I picked up from the last market and baking them along with some vegetables – sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, butternut squash, plus an onion and an apple that I picked up from a produce stand nearby. This was a delicious supper and we finished it off with the chocolate lava cakes I picked up from Trader Joe’s which were topped off with vanilla ice cream.

Speaking of Saturday night, my boyfriend renting us some movies (he uses an antenna just like I do, so we usually rent a movie or two): “Fury”, “Young Ones”, and  “This Is Where I Leave You”. I enjoyed “Fury” – he didn’t. Neither of us enjoyed “Young Ones”, and we both loved “This Is Where I Leave You.”

I planted a bunch of seeds last Tuesday – Amish Paste tomato, Early Girl tomato, Better Boy tomato,  Rosa Bianca eggplants, Cisineros Grande tomatillo, and Cossack Pineapple ground cherry. The first one, a tomatillo, sprouted on Sunday and as of this morning, it looked like half of all the total seeds that I planted have some sign of germination. I expect some casualties, but if all germinated, I will have 144 plants to possibly sell, trade, or grow myself. I haven’t started any seeds yet for my own personal use really – that will come near the beginning of March.

Look at the lovely little lemon I picked from my Sambo lemon tree on Sunday.
Look at the lovely little lemon I picked from my Sambo lemon tree on Sunday.

Winter Co-Op Purchases (Week One)

Each Winter, the local Farmer’s Market (that I did not visit nearly enough this past year) has a Winter Co-Op. The lady in charge of the market sends out an e-mail with what’s available and the cost of each item. You e-mail her back, placing your order and then on Saturday, you go to pick up your order. Super simple and honestly, it appeals to the lazy side of me just to get my goodies to go, especially when the pick up location is now less than a mile away. I know, that means I’m missing out on the spirit of community that is invoked when people gather, but sometimes it’s just nice to grab and go. For the first week, I ordered:

  • 2 lb. of Sweet Potatoes (from Somerset Farm)
  • 3 lb. of Black & Daikon Radishes (from Somerset Farm)
  • 1 loaf of Challah (from Yellow Dog Bread Company)
  • ½ gallon Chocolate Milk (from Maple View Farm)

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I have a bad habit of buying produce from the market and letting it go bad before I can do anything with it, so I ordered my items with an idea in my mind of what I would create.

The chocolate milk is almost gone – but the creamy deliciousness is the perfect treat for when I get home from work. The challah will be wrapped and frozen until the time has arrived for it to become either bread pudding or a delicious breakfast casserole. The sweet potatoes will be turned in to fries, per the request of a friend. Originally, I was going to dehydrate the radishes into chips, but I think I will pickle the daikon radishes and turn the black radish in to a chip. Or I might turn the daikon raidhes into fries as well. I haven’t quite decided, but these suckers are HUGE so I might be able to do both.

Suggestions?

The next market is two weeks away, I think, but I would like to order lamb. The lamb is from Somerset Farm, a place where I’ve visited before, so I know that the lamb are humanely and happily raised.

I’ve been reading my way through Jane Goodall’s Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating. Though I’ve heard the points raised in the book many times (about GMO’s, and the praises of organic foods), I think the book has really hit home this time and I plan to take a look at the way I eat and what I am eating.