Farmers Market Finds: Early Season

100% of these dogs know this food will be delicious!

I decided against subscribing to a CSA this year primarily because my previous farmer halted delivery to Seattle, and the two of us won’t be eating at home enough to justify 20 weekly shares of fresh produce this summer. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to forfeit the opportunity to buy what I can, when I can, the most delicious and satisfying foods of the season, directly from local farms. Thankfully there are lots of “farm direct food” options in Seattle. The Wallingford Farmers Market, located just 12 blocks (walkable) from my house, is a small market but has some excellent vendors. I know several of Wallingford’s vendors because of my work at Northwest Agriculture Business Center, and the Puget Sound Food Hub– the latter being a business that provides marketing, aggregation and distribution for local farms to commercial and institutional buyers, including preschools in low-income neighborhoods in South Seattle. I know that purchasing local food supports local farms, increases our region’s food security, protects the environment, creates jobs and boosts the local economy. Plus, I can find greater varieties of vegetables, fruits, livestock breeds atypical in the commodity market and highly prized for flavor, not whether or not it holds up in cold storage.

Here are today’s treasures:

  • sweet pea blossoms
  • pasture raised chicken (leg and thigh)
  • pasture raised pork butt shoulder
  • pasture raised pork bratwurst sausage
  • pasture raised, chicken eggs
  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • green garlic
  • garlic scapes
  • parsley
  • radishes
  • butter head lettuce
  • loose leaf spinach
  • broccolini
  • savoy cabbage

This summer I will be posting sporadically- not weekly. I will include photos of my dogs with each local food find. Sometimes, I will post recipes or information about a particular variety or breed that I think is worth mentioning. As usual, I will do my best not to preach or make anyone feel inept.  I have been working in food systems for almost 15 years, I know more about the issues related to local food economy, access, climate change than I will ever discuss on this blog.

I am bored with “foodies” and recoil at the “food police” that alienate others because of what they eat (being the “food police” is a lonely existence…just ask Gwyneth). Readers, I will not beat you over the head with “what you ought to do or else”…rather, I invite you all to smell, touch and taste your food. Care a little more about soil, water, climate, animals, farming…and did I mention taste? Purchase (as much as you can) your summer groceries from local farms, prepare simple meals or plates (a bowl of fresh cherries is excellent!) and then invite your family and friends to your table, share food together and enjoy. That’s it!

I wish it was easier to share with you a sun-ripened strawberry or tomato that has never experienced the chill of a refrigerator, the unrivaled flavor and composition of a pasture-raised farm egg, the rosy (not white!), nutty flesh of roasted pasture raised-heritage breed pork, a tender butter head lettuce salad that melts in the mouth – to me, these are life-affirming taste experiences that I want for everyone- not just for those who can afford to eat at fancy restaurants or shop at farmers markets. Between this blog and the work that I do professionally, I hope to contribute to a better tasting, healthier world for all eaters.

Enjoy the summer and don’t sweat the small stuff.

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