Sunday, May 29, 2011

Farmer’s Market: Opening Day

I've been waiting for opening day of the Fishers Farmer's Market for a while.  I thought it was because I desperately wanted some local honey.  But once we got there Saturday morning, I realized it was more than that. 

I really like our Farmer's Market.  I like that there are the same vendors who come back year after year.  I like that the Market is it's own little community.  I like the diversity of products offered- from the many produce options to homemade pastries, from crafty soaps to homemade hot sauces. 

I love the locally grown flowers.  If I ever get serious this year about our landscaping, I might turn to my Farmer's Market to find flowers to fill those spaces.  Look at how beautiful these are!

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I was very excited that the baker of yummy treats was back this year.  Last year, Christy disocvered them for me when she bought me a jalapeno brownie.  It was divine.  This year, I met the husband and wife owners when I stopped and raved about that brownie.  I had shopped there a few times last year- my kids adore the gingerbread men and sugar cookies and I have a hard time resisting the biscotti.  I look forward to having a treat from Sugar 4 each week that we are able to attend the market this summer!

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And of course, a Farmer's Market has to have produce.  It's why we go to the Market!  Locally grown food is a huge and important part of a healthy diet, in my opinion.  Eating food grown on a nearby farm or a local garden means less transporation, less processing and handling.  You can buy food at the Farmer's Market that was just picked that morning!  I love the option of buying food that was picked and driven 30 minutes to my town versus picked and then driven 3 days from California, held in a warehouse for a day to be moved to another truck, and then transported to my grocery store so I get the produce 5 days or more after it was harvested.

Eat local!

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The most popular Indiana grown offering at the start of the season is always asparagus!

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I'm also a fan of Pete's Pastries.  I tried them for the first time last year and these are seriously some of the best danishes I've ever had. 

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Royer Meats is a local farmer and I actually bought 1/4 cow them back when Teagan was first born.  It was a great time saver to always have that beef in the chest freezer and it's something I keep meaning to do again but just haven't sunk the money into that cost.  I do continue to buy from Royer.  They offer a variety of meat and also bring farm fresh eggs.

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What was it we came for?  HONEY!  I'm a huge fan of consuming locally grown honey.  And it was at the honey booth that I realized how much the Market is about the people.  These vendors come back year after year and they've gotten to know their customers and she spoke of the vendors being a family.  And she's right.  I think about my friend Flartus and her and Miss Chef's market adventures where they live.  So much of their time at their Market is all about the vendors, the people, the connections.  That's the really cool thing about shopping at your local Farmer's Market regularly instead of always going to the big chain grocery store. 

I also learned that my honey is sold at a little health / vitamin shop year round right in my little town so I know we won't have to go without at all next year!

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Another vendor we buy from repeatedly is Sandy's Homemade.  Delicious jams, butters, pickles, beets, and a fantastic variety of salsas.  From black bean and corn to finely chopped to pineapple to raspberry to peach to a new and super hot habanero salsa.  I love the jalapeno mustard and the raspberry jalapeno jam.  Teagan tried that raspberry jalapeno jam and really liked it!

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I always start my visit to the Market with a stop for a cup of coffee.  If it's a chilly morning, I take a cup of hot java with some Sugar In The Raw in it.  If it's a warm summer morning, I adore the iced mocha.  I found out that Harvest Cafe Coffee Roasters offers some fundraising opportunities and I'm going to have a conversation with the guy about Christy and I doing a fundraising for Team In Training!

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I didn't have a chance to try these hot sauce but they are on my list for must buy on our next trip.  This is a new vendor at our market and I'm very excited about them.

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And part of why I'm excited is because this is Captain Jim and his wife.  They make the hot sauces.  And don't the just look like they should be at the Market selling homemade hot sauce?  Captain Jim was even wearing a chili pepper earring and they arrived at the Market in a VW Bus.  These are so my people!!! 

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Also next on my shopping list is some maple syrup.  I love real maple syrup and am eager to have some at home again.  Might even inspire me to make pancakes or waffles sometime.  I didn't take a lot of pictures at this booth.  The farmer who was selling is Amish or Mennonite and gave me permission to take pictures of the products as long as I didn't take a picture of him.  I snapped a shot of the syrup- mostly to remind myself to buy some next time- but felt like continuing to snap photos would have been rude.  However, I have purchased produce from him before and definitely will be again!

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It was a quick trip yesterday morning because we had somewhere we had to be at a certain time that morning.  I look forward to going in a couple of weeks when I will have more time and money to spend.

My tips for going to the Farmer's Market:

Bring cash.  You don't know who takes credit cards and you don't want to miss out on anything by not having the easiest form of payment!

Talk to people.  The vendors at a Farmer's Market at part of your community!  They are friendly and eager to sell to you.  Chat and ask questions.  If you don't know what a vegetable is, ask!  Ask how to prepare it.  You can learn a lot from the people who grew it or made it.

Bring shopping bags.  I suggest bringing a few if you can.  Bring an insulated bag for cold items.  Bring a bag just for produce and a bag for other items that might be heavier. 

Just go!  It doesn't matter if you've never been to a Farmer's Market before.  It doesn't matter if you don't go to the one down the street.  Just go and check it out! 


Unknown Mami

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18 comments:

Call Me Cate said...

We'll be going to our Farmer's market later today. We're so spoiled with ours that I often find myself taking it for granted, which just isn't cool. Ours is open seven days a week, year round, and vendors come from the entire state. This means HUGE variety and so many options!

Unfortunately, ours is so huge and so crowded that it loses some sense of knowing the vendors. The one that we did get to know fairly well has shut down the business (goat farmers - providing goat meat, milk, cheese, flavored cheese logs/spreads, and even ice cream!) after the death of their son last fall. Heartbreaking.

But yes, fresh tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, and greens are on my list for today. Can't wait!

Flartus said...

Yay for farmers' markets! Thanks for the shout-out. You'd never know it from my blog lately, but we did have a great time at our market yesterday, too. And you're absolutely right; half the time we go just to socialize. It's so great to be recognized by the people who raised & butchered your Thanksgiving turkey.

We're through asparagus season down here...we're in peach and strawberry season now! Great pictures; I love the rhubarb shot.

Anonymous said...

Where were tomatoes, peppers and apples grown in Indiana at this time of year?

Mellodee said...

Well, now I want some biscuits with honey, or pancakes with maple syrup, or a BLT with those beautiful tomatoes, ooooh,jalepeno raspberry jam sounds delicious!

Ummmm, gotta go, anybody know where there might be a Farmers' Market open on Sundays? :)

(Great photos)

Katherine said...

I love our farmer's market. Ours actually opened several weeks ago, but I didn't make it out until last week. I was looking forward to asparagus and rhubarb, but by the time I made it out there, they were gone. But we had lovely hot house tomatoes and fresh spinach! And those are great tips. I always make sure I have cash. It's easier, faster, and most of our vendors don't take credit.

soulbrush said...

what a feast for the eyes too. how I love all of this,as I am a vegetarian and this food is just heaven to me, all of it.

C. Beth said...

LOVE the photos...those fresh colors are beautiful.

Karen Peterson said...

I love all the colors. Just beautiful!

I'm a big fan of farmer's markets. Unfortunately, most of our local produce is grown on commercial farms these days, so our farmer's markets are quite a bit different than what you get in the midwest.

Rebecca said...

I really want to go to a Farmers Market...off to google to see if one is nearby.

Nita Davis said...

WOW, I just ate and now I am hungry again....LOL
Fantastic photos and such a wonderful post. I am going to have to visit our local farmers market.

grace said...

I love farmer markets as well. We have a lot of individual road side veggie places and I like them too. I go to the Bee farm and buy my honey which is only 5.00 for 5 lbs for wildflower honey and my all time favorite of their home made peanut butter for $6.00 for 5 lbs.
I loved you photo, thanks for sharing them.

Lizzy said...

Hi, Liz,

I'm another Indy blogger...and I found your blog through Jennifer of Sugar 4...who I just met tonight and sampled some of her fabulous brownies! Your photos are gorgeous...nice to find you~

Unknown Mami said...

I love Farmer's Markets! I am so blessed to line in a place that has them year round. I love the offerings, I love the sense of community, I love that it is good to buy locally, I love being able to taste samples. They really are wonderful.

myrelish said...

YUM - what a delicious post.
I haven't managed to make it to the market in far too long but I do get my fruit and vege delivered from a local produce co-op. The fruit and vege is awesome but I do miss the people that make the market so amazing.

carol anne said...

Beautiful pics.

Tracy said...

Just fyi... Indy has a farmers market year round. We kept our local honey supply up through the winter at the Indy Winter Farmers Market. Normally, we go to the farmers market every single week, in the winter we only go once a month. The husband of the Fishers market honey vendor runs the booth at the winter market, and he loves talking to kids about being a beekeeper. :) Another honey-tip: buy the larger glass jars. Then you can get them refilled for a slight discount.

Keetha Broyles said...

"Eternal Lizdom" Oh, I DO just love that and the sense of humor it shows!

The farmer's market looks great - - - and from now on, I don't want ANYONE to make my hot sauce unless they look like Cap'n Jim!!!

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

I'm with C Beth, love the photos, colors.