Hooray for Farmer’s Markets! Last year my parents joined the Cotton Mill Farmer’s Market in Carrollton, Ga as a way to get their products out to more people, and I must say that I love going out to say hello so I can browse all the lovely (local!) produce. It’s not a huge Market, but all the major food groups are represented: meats, dairy, fruits and veggies, and greens. There are some great people involved who really love their crafts, and it makes for a fun shopping experience when the farmer is clearly dying to tell you all about their products and methods. Buying local isn’t something that’s for everyone – sometimes it’s just not practical. The prices are higher than most conventional grocery stores; most Markets are open only one or two days a week, limiting your ability to get groceries at the drop of a hat; selection is limited to what’s in season, and there aren’t many exotic items (tahini in Georgia? I think not). But there are many advantages, chief of which is that the quality of the products is generally much higher. Because the produce isn’t being hauled from the other side of the continent, it’s usually perfectly ripe and ready to eat – and usually naturally grown or organic. Also, buying from local farmers and artisans is a great way to put money back into your community. I’ll be honest here – I buy the majority of my groceries from Publix, but during the spring and summer I try to get as much of my produce as I can from the local producers. I like knowing that my food was grown less than an hour from where I live, and I like that it’s been grown by folks who have a love for farming. Because more people are becoming concerned about the quality of the food we eat, more and more Farmer’s Markets are popping up in cities and towns all across the country, and if you’ve never been to one, I encourage you to check one out. If nothing else, you’ll probably find a friendly farmer ready to talk your ear off about something.
Ohmygoodness. Do I have the best husband or what? I showed you all my birthday surprise last week – as if flowers, chocolates, and a sparkly surprise (I didn’t show you, but take my work for it, it’s lovely) aren’t the best thing a girl could ask for on her birthday, I got this in the mail a couple of days ago. I told you how I’ve been feeling so inspired lately; well, now I have an outlet for all those creative juices bubbling about. I’ve been contemplating buying one of these bad boys for a while now, but I’ve been dragging my feet since I know absolutely nothing about sewing (unless watching 12 seasons of Project Runway counts as experience? No? Oh well). Well no more excuses! I’ve got my eye on a beginners sewing class at the Atlanta Sewing Center, and hopefully I’ll be making Tim Gunn proud in no time.
In other news: I’ll be heading out to my parents’ farm tomorrow to lend a hand – and I’m taking volunteers. Anyone interested in hard labor with few immediate benefits, but extremely enticing long term rewards including, but not limited to increased muscle tone, access to high quality grass-fed meats and abundant fresh air, and the likelihood that you’ll fall asleep immediately upon becoming horizontal is welcome to join me. Oh, and did I mention the breathtaking views of Alabama farm country? There’s no place like home!
That’s me feeding greedy guts there a couple of years ago – I love being on the farm, and especially when there are adorable critters like that to visit with. Here’s hoping for good weather tomorrow so I can get some pictures of this year’s new additions – lambs and pigs were born recently, so photo opportunities abound if we can get some decent sunlight.