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Sunday, September 12, 2010

South Padre Island Farmer's Market Again...'cause it's worth a repeat

I haven't been to the Farmer's Market since early July so I decided I had been in withdrawal long enough.  This lazy Sunday morning I made myself get up and head over in hopes of finding some delicious produce to help me in my endeavor to eat at home a little more this week.  I try not to walk in with more than $20, because I have found that my eyes shop for much more than I can eat in a week's time.  This week, I had $38 in my pocketbook...and I spent every single penny.  The main reason for that is the addition of Buckeye Farms to the vendor lineup since I was last there.  I saw someone's photo last week on the Facebook page for SPI Farmer's Market and I was thrilled to see some grass-fed meat product being sold.  I used to buy pasture grazed beef and bison at the Farmer's Market in Austin so I was eager to try it out.  I got 2 nice size Cornish Game Hens and that took most of the "over $20" part of my budget!  If it is as good as it looks, it will be worth every penny.

I stopped and grabbed a dozen eggs from the Bayview Veggie stand because I usually am too late to get eggs.  I then saw that the folks at Buckeye Farms (the second to last stall I hit before leaving) had eggs as well.  I strolled down to Acacia Farm's booth next because I knew they would have what I wanted.  There I picked up some scalloped squash, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, a big bunch of fragrant basil, and some sweet baby carrots.  I love their produce and am always happy with whatever I get from them.  I wish I gotten some corn and a melon...but I made myself stop!

Next I strolled over to the Rivers Edge Nursery & Farm tables.  They had stuff I'd never seen before!  I sampled a piece of Dragon Fruit, and then bought a piece to take home...and I also picked up a Star Fruit and a completely unknown item called a Sugar Apple.  They told me to let it ripen up a bit and then cut it in half, scoop out the inside and "suck around the seeds".  It sounded like a lot of work...but I've found that the ugliest fruit is sometimes most delicious.  Central Market in Austin has a wide variety of odd fruits so I got into the habit of trying unusual items there.  I would never have bought the Dragon Fruit had I not tried it...and once it was cut, I realized I'd seen it before - just hadn't known what it was!  Here's a bit of a closeup of those stranger fruits - the pink one is the Dragon, the middle is the Star (really fairly common now), and the green bumpy thing is the Sugar Apple.

My last stop of the day - and my last $5 was the little stand that I'm embarrassed to say I didn't notice the was to the left of the Bayview Veggies stand...Annie's maybe?  Gosh I don't know - and the vendor was so sweet.  (inserting this note 9/14/2010 - her name is Alice!)  I had so many baked products to look at - breads, cookies, scones, and these crackers that kept drawing my eyes.  So, I went for them.  I will be stopping at her stand again, let me tell you!  Those are some good crackers.  The seeds and whole grains are visible....they are crunchy...they were different shapes - scalloped, heart, and circles are what I noticed.  I had some for lunch with my salad and they were very filling, as well as nutty and tasty.

A group of four ladies were coming in as I made my way back to my car and they asked me what I got - so I was showing them my bag, weighing my arm down.  They asked, hopefully, are the prices good?  I had to say "no, it's not really about cheap prices - considering the quality, however, it is money well spent - you know where the products came from and you can see the people who grew them - it's worth the price."

My Mom is the same way - she thinks Farmer's Markets should be the cheapest place to get veggies.  I told her she could likely get most of it cheaper at her HEB but the quality and freshness would not be even remotely comparable.  I don't mind paying a bit more for good quality food.  Local farmers are America's true gold and if we don't support them - they can't keep doing what they are doing!

5 – OMG – that was outstanding! I can’t wait to go back :-)StumbleUpon

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