Saturday, March 20, 2010

What You Get For Your Money: Late Winter Farmer's Market Edition

Today I went armed with $30 to the Farmer's Market. I ended up only spending $17 as we have a bunch of apples leftover from last week's grocery trip and I decided to resist bread, cheeses and other non-produce deliciousness for reasons of my waistline. :)

What did I get for $17?
5 sweet potatoes, 1 large bag (probably at least 1lb) of mixed salad greens, 1 small bag of arugula, 3 leeks and 4 parsnips. With this haul (plus things from my pantry), I plan to make Leek and Bacon Frittata served with mixed greens in a lemony vinaigrette, Spring Pesto (made using arugula instead of basil) over pasta, and maybe roasted sweet potatoes and parsnips to go with grilled chicken if the weather continues to be nice.

This will be enough produce for us for dinner for the week.

What else was there at the market?
There was, of course, the non-produce vendors...lots of meat, cheese, baked good, soap, prepared foods, coffee, etc. purveyors. The produce was mostly root vegetables (potatoes, turnips, radishes, beets, etc) and storage fruits (like apples and pears) with some lettuces and leafy greens thrown in. There were also seedlings available...including basil and tomatoes.

Why are people selling basil and tomatoes now? At least put a warning label on them! While the air temperature may be a balmy 75*F today, that's not going to last and the soil temperature isn't that warm. You plop a tomato in temperatures that are just now coaxing daffodils to bloom, the plant is going to go all "What is THIS?!?" on you. Planting before the soil and air temperatures cooperate isn't going to give you an early harvest. If anything, it might inhibit the plant's overall growth, according to a horticulturalist on the local news last night. I don't blame the people that are buying these plants; they are probably just over-eager, very excited new gardeners. I blame the people selling these plants too early and without any mention that they need to be kept inside.

1 comment:

  1. I live in CO and plan on putting my tomato plants out this week. You have to check out walls of water! It's basically a simple green house and it allows me to put my tomato seedlings out in mid-March instead of May 10th! Awesome jump start since I get impatient for tomatoes!