So begins the farmers market experiment. I went to the Main Street market, which runs (during warm weather) from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesdays (during cooler weather, 4-5). I bought quite a haul for less than $40.00….I’m pretty proud of myself. I also handed out my cards to all of the farmers/producers that I bought items from and told them about my experiment. Everyone was extremely friendly and enthusiastic. Here’s what I got:
My first stop was Fall Creek Farms. There I got 4 red potatoes (4/$1.00), a bunch of broccoli ($2.50), a bag of spinach ($3.00), 3 leeks ($1/each), and a head of Chinese cabbage ($2.50). I am considering looking into their herd share program so that I can try raw milk…haven’t made up my mind yet. The link is for a goat’s milk herd share, but there is a cow’s milk herdshare program as well. The link just explains how it works.
As I was walking away from the Fall Creek Farms tent, I heard my sister-in-law yelling for me. She was at the Tant Hill Farm tent sharing my farmers market project with them. Mark and Gina Tant were incredibly friendly and so excited to talk to me about my project. And they gave me their last two bags of thyme for free! I never turn down free (good) stuff! I would have purchased something from them but it looked like they were sold out!
Next was Riverview Farms Milling. They had polenta, grits, corn flour, corn meal, and eggs. I picked up a bag of cornmeal ($5.00).
After picking up my cornmeal, I headed to the tent of Hoe Hop Valley Farm. They sell hot dogs from forest fed pigs, which are made at Link 41. Unfortunately, they were out, so I will try again next week. They were super-friendly! They don’t have a website so I can’t link to them.
I was making my way around the circle, so I stopped at the Link 41 tent. I have purchased their bacon before, and it is amazing. I bought a pound-well, .95 lb. ($9.50 and so worth it).
Finally, I headed in the direction of Sequatchie Cove Farm. They have two separate tables: one where they sell meat, eggs, etc., and one where they sell the cheese from Sequatchie Cove Creamery. I sampled the three cheeses that they had on the cheese table and settled on a wedge of Cumberland, a melting cheese, for $4.75. I asked if it was good for pizza and was told that it was amazing on pizza….which is perfect since I had already decided to use the leeks and potatoes that I got from Fall Creek Farms to make my favorite potato-leek pizza. I decided to hold off on buying any beef until the St. Alban’s Market on Saturday, but bought a pork shoulder from Sequatchie Cove. The shoulder was $4.50/lb. but the lady miscalculated (and I had too many things running through my brain to notice) and charged me $7 for two pounds. She realized it after my sister-in-law also asked for a roast the same size, but wouldn’t take the $2.00 difference from me.
So….I got out for under $40.00. I still need some things from the grocery store, but I thought that was quite a trip. For dinner tonight we had Link 41 bacon sandwiches on homemade whole wheat bread with lettuce from Fall Creek Farms (purchased last week) and homemade chips. I have a meal plan brewing, and I plan to post it tomorrow. Really quick, here are my “ground rules”.
1) If I can buy it locally, I will buy it locally. However, I am not rewriting Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and have no plans to quit buying anything that cannot be bought here.
2) I will use up items in my fridge or pantry before buying new, local versions. This isn’t about wasting my money.
3) For the time being, I will only post about dinner and maybe weekend breakfasts. I haven’t figured out the lunch thing completely…packing my lunch is enough of a pain right now! Once summer break comes (27 more days of school!), though, I may do a full three-meal-a-day plan. We shall see.
I hope you’ll continue to follow me through this experiment!
*Oh, an aside! I am now on the planning committee for Food Revolution Day Chattanooga, an event taking place on May 19th-yea! This is connected to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and there are events going on all over the world that day. We are still in preliminary planning stages, so I will post more as information becomes available. For now, you can check out the website and you can also follow Food Revolution Chattanooga on Twitter.