The Farmer’s Market …

August 18, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Well, skipping forward, a lot has happened in the last several months. We’ve moved, started a new job, started a new part time job, bought a house, moved again … and I REALLY hope life is about to settle down.

So I shall now proclaim to you a new era in the world of cheap grocery shopping that even Michael Pollan would approve of. (Yes, I ended a sentence with a preposition. So shoot me.)

I present to you … the farmer’s market!

We are blessed to have landed in an area of the country which is capable of growing just about anything, vegetable-wise. And where animals of all kinds both survive and thrive. So there are an abundance of farmer’s markets in the Dayton, Ohio area. I’m certain that our favorite is not, by far, the biggest, the cheapest, etc. But that’s okay. It has a certain sort of charm and we like it. Every Saturday, R and I head over to the National City 2nd Street Market in downtown Dayton. The market, similar in idea to Cleveland’s famous West Side Market, is essentially a gathering place for people of all creeds, colors, and ideas to get together, get along, and get some AMAZING food. At a really good price.

Our typical visit on Saturday mornings goes like this. Around 10 o’clock, we hit the ATM, withdraw only the cash we’ll need, and drive the 25 minutes to the market, with at least a good idea of what we want or need for the week ahead. Planning doesn’t always work out, but so far it hasn’t let us down too badly. Anyhow, once we arrive at the market, there’s a quick stop at Caffeine for some organic fair-trade coffee (brewed, not ground), then it’s off to visit Sabine at Crepe Boheme for the rest of breakfast. (Incidentally, those who haven’t had a real french crepe – you are missing out.) After our crepe is done, we head down to the “dining area” for some live music and a bit of people watching.

Next, it’s down to business. We usually check out the adoptable pets at the Humane Society, watch Jon Graham make some pottery for a few minutes, then head over to KJB Farms for fresh pork, chicken, lamb, and eggs. After that it’s down the aisle to Hydro-Growers and Wick’s Rabbits for some hydroponically grown veggies (best tomatoes ever!) and rabbit brats. We might also stop off at Garber Farm for other locally grown veggies. Next, it’s E.A.T. Food for Life for fresh beef and real milk. Along the way, there’s possibly a stop at the Spice Rack for amish specialties and bulk foods, as well as spices. Next is Blue Jacket Dairy for fresh cheese (try the quark!) and then Pastafinity for fresh, handmade pasta. Usually, that’s it, although there are some other really great vendors, like Rahn’s Artisan Bread, All Mixed Up, and Dohner’s Maple Camp. Our last stop on the way out is a visit to The Flower Man for a couple bunches of fresh flowers to decorate the mantel.

What’s the best thing about the farmer’s market? Getting to know the people who supply your food and supporting their efforts. Oh … and saving a lot of money. Generally when we leave, we walk out of the market with MORE than enough fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, eggs, and dairy for a whole week and have spent around $30. Now THAT’S a food revolution.

(Incidentally, I tried to give credit to every company we normally shop, but there are many many more worthwhile vendors. And if you happen to find a website for any vendors that I somehow missed, please let me know!)

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