I went to the Tuesday Farmer’s Market today. I don’t go every Tuesday, but I’ve been a fair bit this summer. It’s one thing to see what’s considered “seasonal” at a grocery store like the one where I work and another to see what’s *locally* in season. There is some cross-over, but I have noticed through the course of the summer that the “season” for most things is stretched out quite a bit at the store by shipping things in, like blueberries from Mexico six or seven weeks before the first ones are available here. But the things at the market are beautiful, at least if not more beautiful and diverse than the products at the store. Today I found something at the market which I have never seen anywhere else: fresh, locally grown GINGER, the root still attached to the stem and leaves. Even the leaves smell spicy and exotically like the root. I misread the sign initially, and I thought they were $12 each. Turns out they were $12 per pound. I bought two small stemmed ones, and they were only $2.25. Really that isn’t much more than what I usually spend for ginger. But these roots are lovely and white, still moist from the ground, and with the top layer of the ginger tinged mauve before it starts branching and leafing. The farmer I bought it from noted that the leaves aren’t much good for eating, since they’re so fibrous. But he also told me that they make great tea and soup. There was a lot of other great variety. I found little purple onions that looked like shallots at 10 for a dollar. That was a good deal. And a stand was selling nothing but mushrooms: shitaakes and chantarelles for only $4/pint. But I forgot to go back and get them, I was so distracted by the ginger! I hope they are there next week. There was a lot more that I would have liked to stock up with. But I have a confession to make: we haven’t been fully appreciative of the produce we have had lately, and too much went to the compost bin without becoming part of a meal. So today I was careful.
I keep re-realizing is that I’m not much of an in-season cook, and I’m also not skilled at food preservation. A lot of things I only know how to use one or two ways. Take zucchini for example. I know zucchini bread can be awesome. I’ve never made any myself, but my mom always made some in the summer, and I’ve had some from other people that is generally good. And I know it can be good in pasta sauce, so a couple of weeks ago I grated some up and used it to thicken my home-made chunky sauce. Last week Ann brought in a gigantic zucchini from the garden, and I still have one from the Farmer’s Market. I know only so much can go into pasta sauces, and I can only envision making 2 or 3 loaves of zucchini bread. So I guess it’s time to get into some research about what to do with the rest.
One other note: at the laundromat today, I picked up Green Living. It’s been a long time since I really looked at it, or any other of the many publications now in existence with such similar values and goals to what I’m working toward. It was refreshing, got my imagination and inspiration going a bit more… made me want to compile things and take notes and write responses. So I need to keep in mind how important it is to keep that kind of input coming. Been thinking about purchasing Orion for awhile now, since Kara seems to like it, so I think I’ll do that at work this week.
Thanks for reading!