Saturday, April 28, 2012

First Farmers Market of the Season

We have been CSA members for 2 years now but unfortunately ours is taking a break this year. The rising cost of fuel and farming supplies has hit them hard, along with some illnesses so it was time  for them to re-evaluate their business.  They are still growing their delicious fruits and veggies but are instead going to have Saturday Markets at the farm and Pick Your Own days.  I am excited to take the girls to see where our veggies have come from these past couple of years, and to let them pick some of their own foods.
Since I am a firm believer in supporting my local farmers and eating organic whenever possible, we researched a few other CSA's in the area.  We found one and almost signed up but changed out mind at the last minute.  The pickup location was at one of our local farmers markets and we thought if we had to be there every week anyway, we might as well pick and choose what we want then.  In May there will be 4 we can visit between Wednesday and Sunday. They all happen to be at our favorite locations around town and that will offer even more variety.  
Yesterday one of them opened up for the first time this season so my Mom, my oldest daughter, and I headed over there in the morning to see what goodies we could find.  

 Since it is still April there aren't a lot of vendors out there yet.  As we get into May there will be many more.

My helpful shopper was on a mission: She wanted to find the special dog treats we used to get for our beloved Golden Retriever, Fenway.  She thought that Bruin, our new dog, would love them too.  

Found what we were looking for!  We bought Bruin a box of peanut butter treats- and he loves them!

Our next stop was at the Virginia Gourmet booth.  We found some really interesting goodies here!  All of those pastas shown are flavored and totally dairy free!  Most of their sauces are dairy free too!  They really seem to cater to people with food allergies, or those that lead a Vegan lifestyle.  We spent quite a bit of time here taste-testing and chatting with the owners.

I found this new and interesting little treat there:

  I am going to make this into a dessert pasta salad with raspberries and chocolate sauce- yum!

I also found picked up this bottle of Merlot Vinegar:

We got to taste this and it is amazing!  I foresee some very tasty salads in our future!  They also have a Chardonnay vinegar that I will probably get next week.

Of course my little helper found a few goodies for herself too. She loved this carbonated fruit juice - Fruit 66, so much that the owners took a picture of her drinking it to put on their Facebook page.  They made her feel very grownup!  (We also walked away with more than one can of this- it's great for kids or adults)

We  hit up the produce vendors last.  I was very excited to see my favorite farm from last year's market.  They always such a great variety, and their produce is so fresh. 

We spent some time chatting with the owner about CSA's, his business, and other farmers markets he is helping to start up.

During our conversation he was chatting with Cat and she told him that tomatoes were her absolute favorite food.  So he gave her this pint of gorgeous tomatoes as a gift.  I've never seen a child so excited about free tomatoes before- but that's my girl!

And who could pass these beauties up?  They were picked that morning, still had the dirt on them from the field.  These babies are going into my strawberry pie very shortly!

After a very successful trip we walked away with: zucchini, tomatoes, white potatoes, 2 pints of strawberries, chocolate fettuccine, Merlot Vinegar, Fruit 66 drinks for the kids, and special treats for Bruin.   Not a whole lot this time around, but we didn't need any greens this time since I am growing my own.  

Do you visit your local farmer's market for get your summer fruits and veggies from a CSA?


  1. so fun! i wanted to go to the farmer's market this morning, but it was storming so we ate breakfast in bed and read until lunchtime. so nice! last summer we did a local CSA, but since i'm graduating from grad school and applying for jobs, we decided not to do the CSA since we won't be here all summer (hopefully, at least). can't wait to do one again! :)

    1. We almost didn't make it to ours- it was storming in the morning. But luckily the rain stopped so we could go. I do miss our CSA but it's fun to take the girls and let them pick out fruits and veggies for the week. My favorite market is right on the water in the historic district where we live. It's HUGE! This summer we are going to take our boat over to it a few times since we can tie up right at the market. I cannot wait to do that!