April 27, 2008 § Leave a comment
Having grown up on an organic farm, I have a unique appreciation for the time and effort that is taken to grow and produce the glorious food that is made available at the Lane County Farmer’s Market. My family farm is nestled in the Oregon Coast Range, and we experienced much more rain than the Willamette Valley gets, and thus a shorter growing season. So when I attend the Eugene farmer’s market in the early spring and see such a wide variety of fresh produce offered, I am a bit in awe. This weekend I made a visit, camera in hand, with the goal of capturing the fresh bounty that we are so privileged to have access to.
As expected, there were many starts offered for those interested in making their own backyard garden. There were the more mundane cabbage and chard, onions, peas, and basil, to peppers, tomatoes, artichokes, and the new one to me, yacon (Bolivian sun root). After reading about it at Seeds of Change, it makes me want to pick up a start next week — the description of melony flesh from a root crop has my attention!
Some different items were also available, including goose eggs in the “proxy” booth (for smaller vendors who don’t have enough products to have a booth).
Three bakeries, Provisions, Eugene City Bakery, and Hideaway Bakery offered fresh, organic, locally made breads. And to make themselves irresistible, most offered samples… needless to say, I had to pick up something, so I opted for the poppy-seed brioche rolls from Provisions; which, at $1 each, seemed to be a steal.
There were many options to choose from however, with sourdoughs and nut or olive breads, seeds or no seeds, white or wheat. A splendid selection to spoil any good “foodie” and localvore.
(Left: Provisions brioche rolls; Right: Eugene City Bakery’s bread baskets).
As for the actual produce available, there were beautiful heads of lettuce, bunches of mustard greens, chard, kale, leeks, green garlic, basil, and carrots. Fresh baby bok choy, new potatoes, and spring lettuce mix and bagged baby spinach were also available. And really, how could you resist a few of these items with their wholesome goodness and natural beauty?
To finish off a great day — temperatures in the 70s — we visited our friends and enjoyed a great dinner of homegrown chicken served with the Groundworks Organics bagged baby greens mix (including bok choy, beet greens, and baby lettuces).
April 26, 2008 § Leave a comment
After a few cold weeks and a lot of prep work on the beds, the spring garden is in the ground. Right now I have planted:
They’ve managed to survive the unseasonably cold spring so far, and I have to assume we’re through the worst of it. I’m expecting a late June harvest on some of this stuff. This is my first “spring” garden ever — so we’ll see how it goes.
April 24, 2008 § 1 Comment
Why eat local?
1. Guaranteed better food — fresh, in season, no unripe food shipped across the country.
2. Support the local economy — and local farms in Oregon.
3. Help reduce reliance on fossil fuels (for shipping food around the world and fertilizing with petroleum-based products).
4. Eat healthy — organic plants have more antioxidants than conventionally raised plants that had to fight off pests without chemicals.
I’m no expert, just a guy with a backyard garden that’s read a bunch of Michael Pollan. But some likeminded folks and I are going to document our experience getting involved with our food chain.