I’ve been trying for the past year or so to really attempt to buy local as much as possible.
Market in Winter
When I buy local I support local farmers.
I get fresh, yummy produce (the grocery stores can’t compare.)
I can get fresh, local, milk from a woman-owned dairy!
I can get FRESH eggs! (I’d still like a few chickens.)
I get to chat with my favorite farmers and neighbors while picking up my goods. (And in the summer the kids love the samples!)
I can take all my own bags and don’t even have to most of the time.
I get fresh milk (most of the time.)
Our local organic farmer’s market has online ordering which is awesome for a busy mom!
I don’t spend as much on junk at the grocery store because I plan and only get what I need (especially when I order online.)
I don’t have things going bad in the fridge because I don’t use them fast enough.
Sometimes, when I pre-order from our local organic farmer’s market online I don’t get what I think I’m ordering. (Example: I ordered “Cracked Pecans” thinking they would be well, cracked shelled pecans. I got a bag of the shells and the pecans, not picked through. Quite strange.)
On occasion, if I pre-order online I don’t get the freshest things. (Milk has been almost sour twice and apples were so gross I couldn’t make a pie even.) *Now, if I just get it from the farmer’s I can choose my own, but in the winter online ordering is sooo much easier.
I spend about $1 more per gallon for milk than at the grocery store, $1 more for a dozen eggs, (but they are much better!)
I can’t always get everything I want at the market, but I’m learning to compromise.
In the summer, if I don’t watch out I can spend WAY too much money.
Goodies from this summer’s market
My goals for this year:
This spring I’m going to try and plant more in my tiny, shady, garden. I want to get lettuces and spinach in early because I always forget!
Also I want to utilize container gardens more so I can take advantage of the sun on my deck. Worked great for my basils last year and some tomatoes.
I want to make more homemade bread and buy virtually no store bought bread. If I can co-op with my mom we can both benefit. (Anyone else?)
I want to put away more of my herbs, and try to make more things from them. (Shampoo, soap?)
Keep up buying at the market and only going to the grocery store for a few things.
My mom has a lovely garden and I’m trying to convince her to register to sell at the organic market this year for extra income. I need to help her in her garden more!
Mom’s Summer Bounty
(She brought these for us!)
*Thanks to Jen at 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven for featuring me this week in her “Homemaker Monday” carnival! I’m so tickled! 🙂 If you haven’t visited her site, check it out here!
Today is market day. I’m hoping I can get little dude awake so I can get there before all the good things are gone! We have missed the past three or four weeks due to rain or sickness so I’m anxious for some fresh veggies!
I’m also going to try a new recipe for making laundry detergent a friend gave me. I think it’s the recipe the Dugger’s use (and they should know laundry!)
Here it is:
You can use Fels-Naptha bar soap in the homemade soap recipes, Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk’s Hardwater Sastile, or Zote bars. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps. I found everything at Kroger’s. It cost approx. $2 (for the liquid which is approx 180 loads for a top load machine – 5/8 cup per load – makes 10 gallons)
*And I usually use All Free & Clear which is around $3.50 for 32 loads (on sale!) That’s $.10 per load and the recipe is about $.02 per load! Wow! Hope it works.
Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap 4 cups hot tap water 1 Fels- Naptha soap Bar 1 Cup Washing Soda 1/2 Cup Borax
-grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda, and borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons -Top Load Machine – 5/8 cup per load (approx 180 loads) -Front Load Machines – 1/4 cup per load (approx 640 loads)
I’ll post progress and results later.
**Update! I just went to grind up the Fels Naptha soap bar and I am so sick. It has so much perfume in it! Wish I’d realized that before. Glad I didn’t start with it! I am going to go get a different soap to use (unscented!) Dr. Bronner’s bar soap maybe?
I scored big at the market yesterday. Awesome yellow round zucchs, baby ‘tatos, turnips, beautiful green beans, garlic and onions. I am really enjoying having a farmer’s market that is closer to home and all organic!
I made stuffed squash out of the lovely globe zucchini’s. I didn’t realize they were zuch’s, thought they were some sort of yellow squash- delish!
I used 4 yellow globe zucchini (steamed in the microwave for 8 minutes)
Cut off the tops and scoop out the insides and put in a bowl. I smashed these and drained a bit. Add to this all the below:
Cooked germinated brown rice (I LOVE DHC brand but trying to find a local source) which I also threw in some barley grains that I had about a 1/4 cup left
Sauteed chopped onions and garlic
Some cooked lentils (I used Massor Gota- think they are red, but might be orange. My new favorite lentils!)
A bit of tomato juice or sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
About 1/2 cup of grated parmesean cheese
Stuff the squash with this mix and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until it looks done! Yummy!
Mom and I went to the NLR Farmer’s Market this morning. I always spend too much money at markets. Seems like the money slips away. I have a new term for this- “Farmer’s Market Frenzy.” Everything always looks so good- hard to resist!
Some of my gatherings(eggs and cheese not included)
Breakfast I made (Chilaquiles) – All local and fresh! YUM.
I also managed to score some beautiful azaleas from the Argenta CDC. Great price for the size. I am redoing some flower beds and probably need more than the four I bought.
It was so nice that the rain gave us a reprieve. The air must be about 95% water right now. I actually love that if it doesn’t get any warmer. Feels like you’re swimming- almost!
I had to add this picture of the back of my baby’s head last night at the Travs game. You can see how humid it was! See the storms clouds above the field?
Yesterday mom and I went to see “I Love You, Man.” Dumb, funny, and probably what I needed after the worst temper tantrum any of my kids have ever had (Jac, luckily in the privacy of my van.) My nerves were pretty shot. We were dittering (is that a word?) about how excited we were the Farmer’s Market was opening today and how we were going when we woke up. Well… I emailed a good friend whom I know loves fresh produce as much as I do and she said “It’s open?” Uh oh. I could have sworn that the NLR Times said it was open starting in April… I looked on the websites for the NLR and LR markets and found: NLR market opens April 18th LR market opens in May! ARGH! And us all dressed up (well, dressed anyway) with no where to go at 7am. I will have to make do with Kroger until then, or get busy and get our garden growing. (I do have my herbs out!) Trying the Basils in a pot this year since I have no sun anywhere else. Maybe it will manage to grow.