To Market to Market

Farmer’s Market optimization

The word agriculture translates to: “Field” + “Cultivation”

Call me crazy but field cultivation sounds SO dull. When I think of agriculture I think of beautiful animals plowing through the land, breaking apart soil and creating new homes for seeds to grow. Agriculture is sprouting plants that will someday fill stomachs and sustain our lives. But mainly, I think of hard working farmers toiling in fields from dawn to dusk. Brillat-Savarin the father of gastronomy (Frenchie, obviously) said “The universe would be nothing were it not for life, and all that lives must be fed.”.

Of course he is right. But what we feed our stomachs, and our animal’s stomachs, matters! Not to be super quotey but – Michael Pollan planted a seed that has grown into a HUGE farm in my mind: “you are what you eat and you are what you eat eats too.” The food we consume matters, not only for our bodies but also for the farms. Voting with our forks goes beyond what our stomach wants. Take these 7 tid bits with you during the next grocery run and we can begin to make the shift to a truly a sustainable plate:

1) Meat for dinner? Again? Why— I choose 1-2 meals per week where I have meat be the star. Reason 1) $$$$ meat is expensive. 2) To me, quality is more important than quantity, I make sure the meat that ends up in my market tote is from a farmer I trust, and desperately want to support! Also gotta give ye olde veggies a chance to shine!

2) Buy for the week – (easier said than done, I know), but I try to do my buying once a week and the staples once a month. For me this habit began when I started living on my own, realizing just how much I was wasting. I began to buy less each week knowing that I can always buy more the following market day. It worked! Less $ wasted and less veggies wasted!

3) Find the market! I urge everyone with the ability to get to the markets and experiment with those ingredients (I understand in rural areas this may not be possible!)

4) Obviously don’t shop on an empty stomach. Over purchasing is my claim to fame.

5) Bring a reusable bag & baggies for wrapping all the goods up & toting them home safely!

6) Think outside the box. Get some of those items that intimidate you – for me beets were those root veggies that I lOVED when prepared for me but initially shied away from buying fresh. Turns out they are easy to cook and create a wonderful juice. They are now my go to when I’m feeling uninspired! Ha!

7) Value added-Invest in that cheese. I love cheese. I love it I love it I love it and I will absolutely be the one spending $15 on a nice raw aged cheddah. But since I am not spending much on meat/ fish products I validate splurging with other bi-products that make me a happy gal.

That’s it for now! Enjoy your market time!

Snail blazin’

April showers bring May flowers… and snails

Last week I got all excited about supporting a particular local farmer at the Union Square Market. This guy had all the plants for building up my home garden. I got a dozen different plants ranging from tomatoes (which I don’t like- I know, weird- they are for tomato sauce) to spinach and bush beans (which I really really like).

I planted those suckers in the beds and gave em a goodnight kiss (I did no such thing) My own ruffage in my own backyard! Proud plant mother moment.
I couldn’t help but gawk at how many slugs/snails were blazing around my humble Brooklyn Backyard… So cute, so not offensive, I was even thinking this was a win- at least there was life back here! After all… Slow Foods mascot is the snail, it had to be a good omen! Right?

No
No No
NO


They ate my baby spinach! They noshed on my Montpelier bush beans! They didn’t touch my tomatoes (figures- the one I would volunteer as tribute, they leave alone, continuous eye roll)

So I called my mom.
Turns out her grandmother used to put cheap beer in empty tuna fish cans and the slugs would blaze on over to this amazing drink (slugs love beer) but end up passing away in their slow drunk sluggy dreams. My roomie’s mom also confirmed this “let them drink beer” technique, so all the moms have voted and feeding beer to slugs wins.

Another, more snail loving course of action is to hand pluck all of the snails (before they get to the beer)and bring them to the abandoned backyard adjacent to yours. 🙂

But the beer works… if you dont have the luxury of an abandoned backyard to use at your leisure

Bottom line is, these critters like cool damp places, so ofcourse my overgrown backyard was a haven for the little cuties. Spring is their prime season. So cleanin up the beds, weeding out the unwanted plants and giving your garden more sunlight should dry up the land nicely. Dryer conditions= no more snails!

P.S. I planted Marigolds near the half eaten baby plants. Their natural chemical wards off most pests, which is absolutely what we want.

Happy Gardening!