Wednesday, June 9, 2010
This was a great day. We got up on the last somewhat cool Saturday morning of the season with a mission: to drive to a neighboring town to meet our CSA lady at the farmers market and pick up our veggie share. With us was a cooler full of eggs and cheese to deliver. We were wheeling and dealing.
The farmers market was small, but one of the better ones I've seen. Most of the vendors were selling actual produce and preserves that they had actually produced themselves (a rarity around here, believe it or not). We had a nice chat with Marilyn and met some new people. We traded eggs, cheese and cash for compost tea, sweet potato slips and more cash. The cash from the eggs bought us some delicious apricot preserves, and some vegetables we'd been dying for - a few ripe tomatoes and sweet peppers. We left the market with a beautiful haul of fresh vegetables, herbs and preserves, two jugs of compost tea and sweet potato vines to plant in our own garden. Our total cash outlay was five dollars.
On the way home, we stopped at a u-pick orchard that Marilyn had told me about a few weeks before. Ken and Lara Halverson grow beautiful fruit as well as a nice selection of vegetables to pick yourself. If you're pressed for time, you can stop by and pick up items they've already harvested, but I recommend going for the full experience here. Trust me, those berries will taste sweeter if your hands are sticky from collecting them. We met Ken and Lara, and with nine dozen eggs still in our cooler, made an almost even swap - all of our eggs for about four pounds each of blackberries and peaches. Ken was gracious enough to give us some pointers about where to get blackberry canes of our own to start.
We ate a ridiculous amount of fresh fruit over the first three or four days, a little bit went into the freezer for later, and some of the berries went into a deep-dish blackberry pie (divine!). It was the most delicious fruit I think we've ever eaten. It was delicious in its own right, of course, but I think it was also satisfying because of the way it was obtained. We supported a small, local grower, picked the fruit ourselves, and made a connection with new people. If you live in Dallas-Fort Worth, pay them a visit, and be sure to eat a few berries in the car on your way home.