Down on the Farm(stand)

Ok friends, things are about to get a little more intense. Or hardcore. Whatever you want to call it. Last post, we looked at buying American-produced food at the grocery store. I can guarantee that you (yes, YOU!) probably have food in your fridge from somewhere here in America. Howgreatisthat? The grocery store is an excellent place to start because it’s pretty much unavoidable. Well-now that you have that under your belt, let’s take another leap of faith into the American economy. Next stop, the farm stand!

Farm stands and farmer’s markets are about as local as you can get. The people selling you the food are most likely the people that actually grew it–so you’re probably talking to the actual person who put the sweat equity into your dinner (or snack). The food is fresher, more visually appealing, and normally cultivated in a more eco-friendly manner than something mass-produced. Don’t you care more about something if you have to work hard for it?

“Oh, that looks SO fun, but there aren’t any farmer’s markets around me!” you might say. Think so? Try again. Do a google search and you may be surprised at what turns up! Being out in the open, fresh air is invigorating. Your kids will love running free and wandering from stand to stand, inspecting the visual feast of fresh vegetables, yeasty warm breads, clean and pure handmade soaps, and hormone free meats.  It’s a nice family adventure and it sure beats the flickering yellow fluorescent lights and dull hum of the regular grocery store complete with stale air. Now I’m not saying that the grocery store is bad and I don’t make it to a farmer’s market every week by ANY means! What I am saying, though, is that it’s a good time. Satisfying. All the fun of the farm without the bugs and cow poo. Knowing you’re enjoying yourself WHILE crossing off part of your to-do list? Fabulous.

Portland has an INCREDIBLE farmer’s market. It’s great to walk around in and there’s a huge variety of things there. They actually function TWICE a week instead of just on weekends, so if you need something for a wonderful wednesday dinner (or just something fresh) you can skip on down to Monument square and wander around.  For more info go to http://www.portlandmainefarmersmarket.org/ OR check out their facebook page!

In Bridgton, there’s a farmer’s market EVERY saturday during the summer. This picture with the green bins is what you’re likely to see there. They have seedlings for your garden, fresh, crisp veggies, hand milled soaps, even locally spun alpaca yarn *heavenforusknitters*! The prices are good, too. The last time I was there I got 2 pounds of rhubarb for about $3.00! Pretty comparable to the supermarket.

Another local spot to hit is Reinhard’s Farm Stand on Kimball Corner road here in Naples. It’s a little bit up from the greenhouses, and worth the drive (which isn’t that bad from 302 to begin with). A cute little stand that works off the honor system.

The prices are simply incredible. Summer squash, for example, is .50 a pound! Compare that to Hannaford’s SALE price of 1.99 and you have a 1.49 savings on every pound you buy. Their corn is fresher than anything I’ve bought anywhere else, and their green beans are HUGE. A quick suggestion- look up a curried zucchini soup recipe and get two pounds of veggies for a dollar, fry up some grilled cheeses and kick back knowing you just fed your family dinner for less than 2.00 a person! I’d tell you all their prices but I think you should go look for yourself…

Do you think farm stands are worth the effort? Have a favorite farm-stand food based recipe? I’d LOVE to hear your responses!

 

Good job finding the giveaway entry requirements!

Leave a comment on the yarn giveaway page stating ONE area of your purchasing that you’d like to be more conscientious with in buying American. Then, name one store you think you could do that at.

For Example:

I would like my children to be playing with American made toys. I know Treehouse Toys in Portland carries things made in the US.

Extra entries for reposting a link on facebook! On Thursday the 18th I will have Rebekah choose a name out of a hat (because honestly, that’s way more fun than a random number generator but just as fair) and the winner can choose to either have a skein of yarn, or a pair of fingerless mitts! Good luck!

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