Today’s farmers market was still busy but the crowds were noticeably less festive. People seemed sleepy and quiet yet the produce was vibrant and bountiful. I saw the remains of summer in sweet corn, tomatoes, peaches and summer squash. There were signs of fall with stalls filled with apples, pumpkins, celery and dark leafy greens, too. Two seasons are converging into one. Now is the time when farmers markets offer a greater variety of produce, meats, cheeses and packaged food to rival an average grocery store’s selection of food picked unripe and shipped from afar. I believe that eating healthy, colorful, great tasting food in season, brought to market within a day of being picked, by a farmer you know and trust, is worth all the effort and upfront cost it takes to buy it. Every dollar you give directly to a local farmer or fisher for the excellent food they harvest is likely to stay local while preserving healthy food production close to home. Marion Nestle, longtime good food advocate, scholar, and author of Food Politics (among others) has said, “Everything about food is political and food choices are a great way to start exercising democratic rights: vote with your fork!”
It’s just passed summer but barely fall and the markets are winding down. I know there are local farms who produce food throughout the year, and some farmers markets will remain open year-round. In Seattle, even if you don’t eat local everyday, you can incorporate local food easily into your diet throughout the year. There are many good resources but I personally like the Puget Sound Farm Guide published annually by Cascade Harvest Coalition. You can find it online at pugetsoundfresh.org. From the dairy farms of Whatcom, fish and shellfish in the Sound, so many vegetable and fruit crops from Northwestern Washington, and grains, wine, and stone fruits of Eastern Washington, there is plenty of locally grown food that we could and should enjoy. Too bad orange juice, coffee, lemons, limes, olives and chocolate aren’t local or I’d be an excellent example of a locavore. Still, I look to organic and fair and direct trade when I purchase these items. It is important to eat local when you can and what you can.
This week’s CSA share is pretty good but not very abundant. Maureen said they forgot my fruit share, so it looks a little small compared to previous weeks. They promised to make-up for this week’s loss, even though I’m quite happy taking a break since I’m still eating last week’s pears.
- 1 bunch Radish
- half dozen Eggs
- Summer Squash (crookneck and pattypan)
- Bunch Carrots (large)
- Lemon Cucumbers
- 1 lb Purple Potatoes
- 1 head Green Cabbage
- 1 crown Broccoli