Tuesday, July 3, 2012

SFC East Farmer's Market

A new Tuesday Farmer's Market opened this Spring on the East side of Austin close to my house.  The farmer's market is run by the Sustainable Food Center of Austin, a non-profit with the goal of promoting healthy eating and connecting people to locally produced food.  I have become a regular customer getting fresh veggies, fruit, eggs, bread, pesto sauce, and occasionally a cool drink.  I'm happy the East Farmer's Market gives me the opportunity to purchase quality food. 

Going to the weekly market has made me more aware of the growing seasons.  For example, I think of eating salads in the summer, but lettuce is a cool weather plant...a summer salad isn't based on lettuce, but cucumbers, corn, or tomatoes.  There are many simple recipes I can make that taste great with the fresh ingredients that I get at the Farmer's Market.  

I enjoy the fair-like atmosphere of the Farmer's Market; I imagine it is a little like what markets might have been years ago, but thankfully with health regulations.  It is fun to see all the colors and variety of foods displayed; I get to know the farmers; and I can ask them questions about my own garden (such as, 'Why aren't my watermelon flowers pollinating?').  The personal contacts we have at the Market means that everyone helps everyone else out when they can.  The farmers from Simmons Family Farms set aside eggs for me, while the guy at Johnson Backyard Farms gave me a break when I was a dollar short and I paid him back the next week.  The lady from RRR Farms emailed me a pie crust recipe, and the guy from Engel Farms usually throws in an extra peach or tomato to make sure I'm getting a good basket.   It's fun, we're all friends...unlike the usual shopping cart race.  I'm thankful for farmers that grow and provide healthy food, and the SFC East Farmer's Market where I buy it. 

Food Tasting Table, each vendor donates some items for people to try.

There are about 10 vendors at the Market

I get eggs from Simmons Family Farm.
I don't have to look at the eggs; I know they will be good.

There are several types of chilies in season.


Johnson's Backyard Farm has a variety of peppers, too.

Johnson's Backyard Farm

Engel Farms always has super peaches.

Funny money.  I never have cash,
but you can buy and use tokens to get food.

RRR Farm's table with squash, melons, eggs, and a guest book. 

A hot or iced drink for the trip home.