4/17/09

Saving Local Economy One Bite At a Time

Yesterday Annie and I walked to Penn Quarter Farmer's Market after work. It's a rather little market, but a fun place to visit on Thursdays from 3 to 7 pm.

I love seeing the fresh produce, flowers and crafts sold at farmer's markets, but rarely actually buy anything there. Instead, I keep on thinking how I can buy things at a grocery store for cheaper. The quality, of course, is not the same!

And so, yesterday I decided to actually spend some money, buy locally produced food and help out our local economy.

(click on collage to see the pictures better)
The first things I saw was Blue Ridge Dairy Co. stand advertising fresh mozzarella: 2 containers for $10. I have no clue if that's a lot of money or not, but I wanted to buy it! I decided to walk around the market and then come back. Imagine my sadness when I realized there were no tomatoes in the market! Turns out, tomatoes are not in season till June. Alas, unless I went to the store after the farmer's market, I would not be able to make Caprese salad (tomatoes, mozzarella and basil).

[Check out two recipes I made earlier that are similar to Caprese Salad: TMC tower and Insalata Caprese Cousin.]

Back to the farmer's market. I ended up buying two containers of fresh mozzarella from the Blue Ridge Dairy Co. but did not want that to be my only contribution to the local economy.

After a bit of thinking, I also bought fresh arugula from Endless Summer Harvest, sourdough bread (can't remember the name of the bakery), and lamb sausage from Springfield Farms. The guy working at the lamb stand asked if I wanted plain/mundane sausage or spicy. Duh: of course I could not be the girl who wanted plain/mundane, so I bought spicy! Did you know it is required by law to sell meat frozen? Luckily, the sausage defrosted in no time once I came home.

All in all, I spent just under $30. Check back later to see what I made with all my purchases. And please check out DC Examiner to see my 5 ways to use fresh mozzarella article.

7 comments:

Tonja (tonjatoi@hotmail.com) said...

We went to our local Farmers Market here is southern AZ last Thursday for the first time and like you I kept thinking the prices were high but the quality could not be beat. There were samples of almost everything and the people were awesome to talk with. We picked up organic lamb chops (they were wonderful), hummis, two types of salsa, a watermelon, and an applie pie. Shared an eggplant parm sandwich while we were there Delish... We ran out of cash or we would have bought more.

Heavenly Housewife said...

Farmers markets can be pricey sometimes, but it would be a shame not to enjoy them. I love getting little food treats that you cant get anywhere else. What is life without a goodie here and there? :D

mary said...

I'm glad you bought some arugula from endless harvest - it's so much better than anything you buy at the grocery store - even whole foods.

Sophie said...

I love going to the markets in Brussels! There is such a variety of local & not so local ingredients!
We have some good eh excellent farmers markets here!
I only buy local & in season ingredients!

But sometimes I buy my exotic food at the Southern food market in Brussels on sundays! Here I can buy mango's etc. It is not pricy & it is lovely to discover more unusual ingredients!

the wicked noodle said...

I have some of Blue Ridge Dairy's fresh ricotta in my fridge right now! I used some of it to make a honey ricotta cheesecake that's cooling - can't wait to try it! I bought mine at the Leesburg market, which was small but still had enough goodies to make it fun. I'm going to try the honey yogurt next week!

gail said...

Sounds delicious! And really, the cost is high in the short term... but seems like an inexpensive way to keep things going once you think about the big picture.

Fun trip :)

BlueToYou said...

i love shopping at farmer's markets. makes me feel so martha stewarty :)