Redmond farmers market

Made to my favorite local farmers market here in Redmond, WA. There is a great selection of different vendors which helps keep the prices very competitive.

We left with our typical wares, kettle corn and apples, but also picked up some sugar peas in the pod, basil plant pears, and a tamale to go for my wife

My oldest daughter also convinced me to buy her a Hawaiian ice…

Opening day at the farmers market 2013

Today was the first day for farmer’s markets to open in my area. Still a bit early for many vegetables but plenty of cold season crops to choose from (kale, asparagus, green onions, etc)

I left with some onions and apples…kids left with some honey, lavender soap, and kettle corn.

If you haven’t made to your farmer’s market it is a great time to find on in your area and give it a visit. Not only are you supporting your community farmers but also getting so great fresh produce.

Opening day at the local farmers market

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In my area today was the first day for our local farmers market.  As you can  see from the picture above I picked up some asparagus, spinach, lettuce and a few yams.  Well I also picked up some kettle corn for the kids and some fresh flowers for my wife…I did pass on some leeks, Swiss chard, bak choy (plenty growing in my garden) as well as radishes and rutabaga which I do not personally care for.

Now before you head out to your local farmers market you might find the selection somewhat limited compared to your local grocery store, so don’t expect to see raspberries or tomatoes during these first week (unless you live much more south than me)  What you will find is great local organic produce with the only thing fresher is picking them out of your own garden.

If I have you sold on running down to your local farmers market but no idea where to find it, just go here and enter your zip code to see where your closest farmers market is, you may also notice as I did there are also some pretty close farmers markets open during the weekdays which I may need to visit to get my fix of fresh veggies in the middle of the week.

Easy Ways to Eat Local

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Whether you want to eat local just to know where your food comes from, to support your local farmers, or possibly an environmental perspective of promoting organic farming or going for a challenge of a 100 mile diet, here is a guest post to help you out.

Eating local has tons of benefits. Fresh food, less environmental damage, preserving farm land, supporting local economy, the list goes on and on. So how can you go local in your meal planning? Here are some easy ways that you can give your environment (and your stomach) a little boost.

Join a CSA

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a program which allows individuals to support a farming operation by giving money to farmers upfront in exchange for a weekly box of food. Find CSA farmers on the Local Harvest website. The website also provides information on how to find a CSA program that will best suit you and your families needs. If you live by yourself, split the food with a neighbor or friend.

Preserve Local Food for the Winter

Make a jelly or jam, pickle vegetables, make some applesauce. These are just a few ways that you can preserve your local food for the winter. Go to the National Center for Food Preservation website to learn how to preserve food.

Go to a Farmers’ Market

Rather than going through a “middle man,” like a supermarket, go straight to the source. Farmers’ markets allow you to buy directly from the person who has grown your food. This is also a great way to get involved in your community. Find a farmers’ market near you on the USDA website.

Build a Backyard Garden

Do you have a green thumb? If you haven’t already, you should consider building a fruit and/or vegetable garden in your backyard. Do some research to find some plants that thrive in your region. If you’re less than confidant about your gardening skills, start small with a windowsill herb garden.

So there you have it — several ways to integrate some local eats into your diet. Once you start eating local, you will feel not only closer to your food, but to your community too.

James Kim is a writer for foodonthetable.com.  Food on the Table is a company that provides online budget meal planning services.  Their goal is to help families eat better and save money.

Doing recon at the local farmers market

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Your mission, should you decide to accept it is to infiltrate a local farmers market to gain intelligence to help aid your personal garden.

Sure, the farmers market is a great place to find some fresh food you can’t or didn’t have time/space to grow in your garden.  It is also a great place to get seeds/starts for your garden.  It is also a great resource to figure out how various fruits/vegetables grow in your area.

Even if you are growing everything you want/need in your own garden a quick stop at your farmers market can help you check out your competition and see for example in my case, “hey their garlic grew just as bad as mine this year.”

This is also a good time to try out new fruits and vegetables you are thinking of growing next year.  There is nothing worse than growing a bed full of arugula and figure out at that point you hate the stuff.  If you are lucky enough you might even get a meal and some seeds to plant with next year depending on you seed saving ability.

Now as always you don’t want to blow your cover while doing surveillance, so make sure you have a good cover store.  In my case I used a few people known as “my wife and daughters” to appear less conspicuous.  You can even use techniques of taking a picture of your “daughter” to get some recon picture of their products for further analysis.

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In the end it looks like my little spy helpers had a good time and we even contributed a little to the local farmers economy and got the secret ingredient to CVG Black Bean and Corn Salsa Recipe (ok, it was corn).

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This post will self destruct in 10 seconds (sorry had to say it)

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