Lately, I’ve been thinking more about eating seasonally and locally. In a perfect world, everything I eat would be in season and grown in the area. It would be supporting small, local farms and result in better meals. Realistically, I’m not going to be able to do this 100% right of the bat. It’s going to have to start in small steps and maybe one day I could be considered a locavore.
My first step on this path is to explore the local area and see what is available. I guess I started back in October when I spent 2 days driving around visiting farms during New Leaf Market’s farm tour (I promise I’ll post about that soon with pictures). Today, I decided to check out another avenue of eating locally, the Lake Ella Growers’ Market. This market runs every Wednesday from 3 pm until dusk at Lake Ella near Black Dog Cafe. It’s important to note that it is called a growers market. From what I’ve read, everyone that sells here actually has to have grown what they are selling. At other markets around, it seems that some merchants purchase the produce wholesale just to resell it. From what I saw today, it does look like everything was grown by the merchants. Because of the season, there were many different greens available. I recall bok choy, green onions, and swiss chard among others. These are types of produce that I am not very familiar with cooking. I also saw radishes and a few tomatoes. There was also a creamery there selling butter and cheese, as well as other merchants selling honey and oyster mushrooms. I ended up only buying some sourdough bread from a local baker. Hopefully, visiting this market will become a more regular occurrence for me and I can talk to the local farmers and learn more about what is available and how to use it when cooking.
I’ll will keep you all updated as to what is available and in season as I return to the market in the coming months. I imagine there will be more vendors and great variety as the wether starts to warm up. If you are interested in finding out more about what is in season, this map breaks it down by state.
I also plan to visit the other markets around town, and I will let you know my thoughts on them when I do. I know there is one in Market Square, one in Southwood,and the Downtown Marketplace will start up again soon.