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Weekly Local Booty - Farmer's Market and First CSA Share - May 16, 2009

Posted May 16 2009 10:10pm
The weather in Mid-Missouri has been typically unstable for the past few days - oh, and of course the rain just keeps 'a comin'. Yesterday it was in the 80s and really humid. We spent the evening getting flash floods in our parking lot and this morning it was in the 50s on my way to market. And windy, though that is something I am just going to have to get used to. Needless to say, even with Missouri's moody weather patterns, my trip to the farmer's market this morning was a resounding success, though I missed having Brett with me. He is taking his finals today (on a Saturday, doesn't that suck?), so I was on my own, but I managed all right. I've got a bit of a shoulder cramp after carrying it all home, but I survived. We also got our first CSA share this week!

I think he will be excited to come home to the beautiful local dinner I have planned. It will also be our "One Local Summer" entry for the week - nothing special, but super tasty and almost all local - pesto pasta with fresh tomatoes, garlicky roasted asparagus, and a simple local salad. The only things in the meal that will not be local is the olive oil in the pesto and some of the ingredients in the dressing - though the dressing is locally made.

Anyway, enough of my incessant yammering check out our grub!

Here is our first CSA of the year:

Starting from the bottom right: fresh oregano, two bunches of asparagus (Danjo Farms has the best asparagus we have ever had), spring onions, fresh salad greens, and radishes.

Here is the weekly farmer's market haul. This cost around $80. More than I usually spend at market by a long shot, but I wanted to get tomato starts and we needed to stock up on some of the more expensive things we get like honey.

Starting from the bottom right: 2 bunches of spring onions, a bunch of garlic chives, 2 cucumbers, 4 big 'ol tomatoes, 1/2 lb. oyster mushrooms (I love this new purveyor, I will have to make sure to note the name of the stand next weekend, they have the best oyster mushrooms we've ever had. We got some over the winter from the Root Cellar, but they don't hold a candle to these.), 2 bunches of baby garlic, a dozen eggs, 2 bunches of sweet basil, asparagus, Moneymaker tomato starts, Country Goodies hot chow chow, Tigerella tomato starts, strawberries (!!!!!), Bonne Femme Honey Farms alfalfa honey, Thai basil, cilantro, and spinach.

Whew! What a list! We have a lot of good grub to work with this week. I was already planning the menu on my walk home from market. I love getting whatever is freshest and figuring out how to make it shine from there.

We got some really awesome things this week, and a lot of them, so I thought I would photograph individually some of my favorite finds of the week.

This has to be one of the most gorgeous bunches of oyster mushrooms I have ever seen.

Strawberries! I got to market pretty early this morning - it opens at 8:00 and I got there a little after 8:30 and this was the last container of strawberries the purveyor had, and the one other purveyor with strawberries had two or three containers left. The broccoli had already been cleaned out!

Thai basil! I haven't quite decided what I am going to do with all of this yet, but I have wanted to try it for a couple of years and I have saved a bunch of recipes that call for it in hopes that I would eventually find it. I had no idea it was as pretty as it is.

Four Tigerella tomato starts. We got these from Danjo Farms - the farm we get our CSA through. Dan sells all sorts of varieties of open pollinated heirloom tomatoes; it was really hard to choose. We've had a bit of trouble with our tomato starts from seed this year - they are growing, but not as quickly as we had hoped they would, so we wanted to get a few mature tomato plants so that we will have solid production. We hope our tomato seedlings continue to grow; we can't wait to put them in the ground.

Four Moneymaker tomato starts - these should be good slicers which is one of our favorite ways to have tomatoes, raw with just a bit of salt. I don't even want to venture a guess as to how many pounds of tomatoes we ate like that last year.

So these are eight of our who knows how many tomato plants. We are hoping to have about a dozen or more tomato plants and half a dozen tomatillo plants, if they will ever grow that is.

A week or so ago, I transplanted all our pepper starts into containers on the porch. As of right now, we have about 20 pepper plants, and I imagine a few will make their way into the fold before all is said and done. We have a planter box of acorn squash on the porch, chard, spinach, kale, and basil will also be staying on the porch, and we have some beans, squash, cukes, peas, and tomato starts waiting to go in the community garden.

I don't know if anyone remembers the cayenne plant we had started from seed late last fall, but it survived and managed to thrive in our apartment and it has one full sized pepper on it already, two baby ones, and tons of blooms. We transplanted it into the container we had our broccoli in last year and hope it will get HUGE.

Anyway, if it ever decides to stay dry for more than a day around here, we can get down to the community garden and get to work. It is starting to look like we may have to just have to get stuff in rain or shine. Ugh.

Have a great weekend everyone!

'Til next time.
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