Slow Food Upstate Earth Market (December 14, 2013)
Oh, the weather outside was frightful but we braved the cold rain along with a handful of other damp patrons, and the intrepid farmers, to stock up on fresh produce. The winter months make it more difficult to maintain a sizable portion of fresh vegetables with each meal. We're fortunate to have a few reliable local farmers producing roots and greens.
The tents on NoMa Square were collecting water as the rain began to increase it's unrelenting pace. This trip, the whole family joined me because we had other plans in town. We made it from the car to the Gibson Farms tent quickly enough but we wouldn't complete this visit to the market with many dry patches on our clothes.
After purchasing some meat, my search for fresh vegetables brought me to Bio-Way Farm for a basket full of sweet potatoes. Next, a visit with Daniel Parson, at the Parson Produce tent, netted us a large squash, turnips, and a beautiful fractal-patterned Romanesco cauliflower. The squash and turnips will be great roasted together and I have plans for the turnip greens.
Around the corner I gathered cube steak from Walker Century Farms while the children sampled delectable maple pecan chocolates from Night Owl Chocolate in the tent next door. Also on hand were Bob Chance Pottery, where I recently purchased a custom butter bell, Brother Moon Bread, and Appalachian Organics.
Center stage, at the Slow Food Upstate tent, I was happy to find Nat Bradford collecting donations in exchange for watermelon rind pickles. This summer I bought a fresh Bradford watermelon and made my first fermented watermelon rind pickles. Nat explained the pickles they had at the market are extra special because they were made with a family recipe that had never been shared before and are sure to be delicious. I was pleased to help Watermelons for Water with their program of using Bradford watermelons as a sustainable source of clean water in areas where finding clean water sources and securing them for use is difficult and costly.
By now, our fingers were starting to ache from the cold but we'd accomplished what we set out to do. There would be more real, local food for the table and our tummies for the coming weeks. Which is a good thing because I'm serving our last sweet potato to my husband for lunch.