Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A pause from summer travels to enjoy the bounty of summer in Ohio.

I travel a lot in the summer, living in my tent for two or more weeks at a time. I'm glad to be home for a few days before my next adventure, so I thought I would post about today's market experience.

I traveled to Pearl Alley Farmer's Market in downtown Columbus, Ohio. It's not one of the major markets in town, so I was uncertain what I would find. Boy, was I surprised.

I almost bought more than I could carry. Here's the haul, with prices if I remember them:

edamame (quart) $3
summer squash (yellow, zucchini, and patty-pan)
green beans (quart) $2.50
corn (6 ears) $2.75
sweet onions
red potatoes
blackberries (quart) $5
strawberries (astonishing! quart) $4
the mother of all cantaloupes (HUGE!) $3.50
peaches (4 large) $5

The prices do run a tad bit higher than grocery store sales, but the produce was all local, and harvested within the last 24 hours. I spent about $40, and half of that was the fruit. Nowadays I go to the grocery store once a week and spend less than twenty bucks. I'd guess that 85-90% of the food I currently consume comes from local farmer's markets. The glaring exceptions are cereal, oils, dairy, grains, beans, and the occasional prepared food. I'll be switching to local milk and butter when I return from my travels in mid-august. I've found local corn meal and soft wheat flour, but not bread flour, rice, lentils or beans. (I know that some of those things simply don't grow in Ohio. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled though.)