Tagsanimation art baking beans beef berries body products breakfast breastfeeding capture california chicken christmas cleanse crochet dog farmers market farm life flowers fruits gluten-free halloween health herbs honey Hulda Clark ice cream kitchen accessories knitting maine marriage meal parenting poetry pregnancy recipes san francisco seeds sewing sorbet thanksgiving travel vegetables vegetarian yupapotamus ranch zapper
Tag Archives: farmers market
On the corner from where we live there is a strawberry field, with a little strawberry stand in front of it. Team Yupapotamus Ranch headed over there for Capture California Adventure # 194: Strawberry Fields Forever. And to get a flat of these juicy just-picked-this-morning strawberries. One of the perks of buying directly from the farmers.
When I was in the Philippines, I got a chance to check out the farmers market at Centris Station in Quezon City with my Mom. It is bigger than any of the farmers markets I’ve ever been to in the United States. From where the taxi dropped us off there were many stalls selling clothing and home items before we got to the cooked food and then to the produce and raw meats. Several of the produce stalls advertise certified organic fruit and vegetables. There was raw honey from Tagaytay and honeycomb in chunks brought in from Benguet. We had a field day shopping.
What threw me off a bit was my Mom’s aggressive haggling style. I remember going to the wet market with my Mom as a child, but at that time I didn’t notice the finer points of market interaction. My senses were too immersed in the busy and noisy market, agog at the tables of meat being fed into metal grinders, old ladies cleaning fish on thick chopping blocks, colorful fruits and vegetables piled high.
Now at Centris Station, my Mom haggled with every vendor she had contact with. She asked for a lower price, eyed products suspiciously, as if it wasn’t as good a quality as the value it was being quoted. If she didn’t get a lower price, she would ask that she get more than what was weighed. It made me cringe. Yet, it made me wonder if this was how it was supposed to be.
I remember shopping in Thailand and the vendor being taken aback by me paying the first price she quoted. That “You’re supposed to haggle” scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian comes to mind.
I don’t get to flex my haggling muscles too often. Grocery stores and mall shops sell products with pre-set prices on stickers or printed on packaging. Want a bargain? You need a coupon, or sign up for membership for future discounts. There is very little need to interact with any of the staff. In fact, some grocery stores now have self-checkout. Just blip the items and deal with the machine.
I love the farmers market experience because I find interacting with farmers and vendors pleasant. I enjoy hearing about where the food comes from and the process of making it. I enjoy getting a free taste of the products. I like how freshly picked locally grown food is. I like handing my money directly to the people who grew my food, instead of funneling it through a faceless corporation.
After a while I become a suki, a loyal customer. Once they learn my patterns and my favorites, they start setting aside the best pickings for me, giving me good deals, even freebies. Like coupons and clearance sales, the discounts I get are initiated by the vendor. I never haggle. If I can’t afford it, I don’t buy it.
I feel weird haggling for a lower price because it makes me feel as if I am insulting them. I know how difficult it is to keep a family farm going, and how very little money they make compared to how much work is involved. Of course I love getting a bargain, who doesn’t? But I don’t like feeling like I pulled one over another. Because I’m fostering a relationship with people I will be buying my food from repeatedly, I like to feel a mutual appreciation between buyer and seller, instead of feeling like one of us is being lowballed.
Maybe there is a more savvy way to haggle that I’m not aware of. Do you haggle? Why or why not? How do you do it?
Vacation comes, school is out
Summer ends, year in, year out.
I can’t believe the summer went by so fast. This summer marks Malaya’s first theatre production. My baby girl is all grown up and onstage! Here is a video (a little over 13 minutes) of their summer camp production of “How Does Your Garden Groove?” by Michael and Jill Gallina. She played Pea # 2. And the sweetest pea in the garden, she is.
For the past week, I have been squeezing half a lemon into hot water first thing in the morning. This, I sipped slowly to wake my senses up and get my body’s digestive juices going. I picked up this little tip from Kimberly Snyder‘s book, The Beauty Detox Solution: Eat Your Way to Radiant Skin, Renewed Energy and the Body You’ve Always Wanted.
I learned a lot about the digestive system, i.e. how to arrange the order and combination of foods to reap maximum nutrition, among many other incredible pieces of information. According to the author, this would translate to energy, radiant skin and our best body. It’s easy to believe her. Not only is she a clinical nutritionist, she also looks fabulous! Unlike books with hired models on the cover, this one has the author herself posing with an apple. I’ll have what she’s having!
Yesterday afternoon I went to our weekly local farmers market and announced to my favorite produce lady, “I’m turning over a new leaf!” She was really happy that I was piling up the greens into my basket.
This morning I took a deep breath and made my first Glowing Green Smoothie from all that fresh fruit and vegetables I bought the day before. I probably should have stuck to the original recipe, but I was feeling really motivated, so instead of Romaine lettuce, I jumped in and put in Swiss chard, a heartier bunch, but not bitter at all. What went into my Glowing Green Smoothie today was: Swiss chard, spinach, celery, cilantro, peach, nectarine, blueberries, banana and the juice of half a lemon.
I could only finish half of this glass, but I’ll keep having it for breakfast within the next few days until I’ve finished it all. It wasn’t bad. It is mid-afternoon and I have a lot of energy. No sign of sluggishness I usually encounter after lunch. This is going to be a beautiful day!
Our local farmers market is back! The Coastside Farmers Market at Rockaway Beach in Pacifica, California is the best source of locally grown produce from May through November. Today was the first farmers market day of the year.
It was great to see my favorite vendors again. There’s the Indian food stall, the only seller who accepts credit card payments. He also offered to give me cash back today, because everyone else at the farmers market takes cash only. Santiago has the sweetest fruit! He charms me with his rhymes and adds free fruit to my bag after what I selected has been weighed and paid for. Manang and Manong are organic farmers from Fresno who gives my daughter fruit in exchange for a Filipino song.
I was also glad to see something new: springtime fresh local honey from nearby Montara, and the coveted honeycomb (my husband’s favorite!) from San Mateo. Honey grown locally is the answer to springtime pollen allergy. Honey from far away just does not have the same elements as what we are surrounded with, and therefore cannot do its job of providing our immune system with the key to dealing with the pollen in our environment.
Sometimes we have eggs at the farmers market, but sometimes we don’t. Today we had some farm fresh eggs from free range chickens fed only organic feed and rainwater in Half Moon Bay.
I mentioned to the farmer lady that my daughter’s kindergarten class kept eggs in an incubator and they recently hatched! The farmer lady gave my daughter a lesson about chickens and eggs: Did you know that you can tell what color eggs a chicken will lay by looking at the color of its ears? Fascinating, isn’t it?
There are so many reasons to buy our food from the Farmers Market. We support locally grown food that has a smaller carbon footprint than those grown and transported from far away. We support our local farmers and put the money straight into their hands instead of funneling it through large faceless corporations. We support family farms and organic farmers. We get to talk to the people who grow our food, and learn firsthand from them about where our food comes from.
Most of all, when we sit at the dinner table with our families, bless the food we are about to eat and bless the hands that made them, we can visualize the very people we are blessing before we enjoy the food they grew for us.
Sometimes I find myself in a rut, buying the same fruits and vegetables week by week. Not only is this boring to eat, it also provides a limited range of vitamins and minerals for me and my family. It might be easier to take a multivitamin pill, but so much more effective and enjoyable to eat nutritious foods. So I did some research on essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need to be healthy, as well as the best food sources for these.
Vitamin A promotes vision in dim light, mucous membranes, bones, teeth and skin. Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, spinach, butternut squash, cantaloupe, mangoes, apricots, broccoli, watermelon, tuna.
Thiamin keeps carbohydrate metabolism and nervous system in good condition. Pasta, peanuts, legumes, watermelon, oranges, brown rice, oatmeal, eggs.
Riboflavin takes care of the skin, and fat / protein / carbohydrate metabolism. Milk, avocadoes, tangerines, prunes, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, salmon, turkey.
Niacin promotes effective use of oxygen by our cells, fat / protein / carbohydrate metabolism, and the nervous system. Peanut butter, legumes, soybeans, whole-grain cereals, broccoli, asparagus, baked potatoes, fish.
Vitamin B6 is for protein metabolism. Soybeans, avocadoes, lima beans, bananas, cauliflower, green peppers, potatoes, spinach, raisins, fish.
Folate is the same as folic acid, which is good for red blood cell tissue growth and repair. Legumes, mushrooms, oranges, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe, tuna.
Vitamin B12 promotes new tissue growth, red blood cells, the nervous system and the skin. Eggs, salmon, swordfish, tuna, clams, crab, mussels, oysters.
Biotin metabolizes fat, protein and carbohydrates. Peanut butter, oatmeal, nuts, cauliflower, legumes, eggs.
Pantothenic Acid aids in the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Whole-grain cereals, mushrooms, avocadoes, broccoli, peanuts, cashews, lentils, soybeans, eggs, fish.
Vitamin C builds collagen, healthy gums, teeth and blood vessels. Oranges, grapefruit, bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, spinach, cabbage, melons, broccoli, kiwi, raspberries, blueberries.
Vitamin D is good for calcium absorption, bones and teeth. Sunlight, cereals, eggs, milk, butter, tuna and salmon.
Vitamin E protects cells from damage. Nut and vegetable oils, mangoes, blackberries, apples, broccoli, peanuts, spinach.
Vitamin K prevents blood clotting. Spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, parsley, carrots, avocadoes, tomatoes, eggs, dairy.
Calcium builds strong bones and teeth, muscles and nerves, and prevents blood from clotting. Broccoli, green beans, almonds, turnip greens, orange juice, milk, cheese, yogurt, salmon and sardines with bones.
Chloride aids in digestion. It works with sodium to maintain fluid balance. Salt.
Chromium assists in metabolism of carbohydrates. Whole grains, broccoli, grape juice, orange juice, black pepper.
Copper is good for the blood cells and connective tissues. Nuts, cherries, cocoa, mushrooms, gelatin, legumes, oysters, shellfish, fish, eggs.
Flouride protects the tooth enamel. Tea, fish.
Iodine promotes thyroid function. Spinach, iodized salt, lobster, shrimp, oysters, milk.
Iron brings oxygen in blood and is good for metabolizing energy. Asparagus, spinach, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, tofu, clams.
Magnesium protects the bones, nerve and muscle function. Molasses, nuts, spinach, pumpkin seeds, baked potatoes, broccoli, bananas, seafood, dairy.
Manganese is good for the bones, connective tissues and fat / carbohydrate metabolism. Nuts, legumes, tea, dried fruits, spinach, green leafy vegetables.
Molybdenum helps in nitrogen metabolism. Legumes, whole-grain cereals, dairy.
Phosphorus metabolizes energy. It works with Calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Cereals, fish, eggs, dairy.
Potassium keeps acids balanced. It also works with Sodium to maintain fluid balance. Baked potatoes, avocadoes, dried fruit, yogurt, cantaloupe, spinach, bananas, mushrooms, tomatoes.
Selenium works with Vitamin E to protect cells and body tissue. Whole grain cereals, mushrooms, Brazil nuts, dairy, fish and shellfish.
Sodium keeps the fluid balanced and the nervous system in good condition. Salt, soy sauce, seasonings.
Zinc aids in wound healing, growth, appetite and sperm production. Lima beans, legumes, nuts, oysters, seafood, dairy.