I know I said I would post “tomorrow” about all the cool stuff I found at the Farmers’ Market, but then life sort of got in the way and now it’s five days later and well…here I am again. I still have not ironed out all the details of the berry re-seller, but I am prepared to ask a lot of questions next time I am there. I am still aghast.
But how about some good news? As we rummaged through the Farmers’ Market I managed to find an information booth where I asked if they had any “organic” farmers vending this year. I was informed that in order to use the term “organic” the farmers must be certified (I knew that), and that’s just a helluva lot of paperwork and added cost, so our hometown farmers who choose to go the way of healthier produce prefer to be called plain-ol’ “pesticide-free.” Fair enough. So I began asking vendors if they were pesticide-free.
I only had to ask two, actually. The first one was pleasantly truthful when he said, “Honestly, ma’am, we will use pesticides to control pests when we have to. So far this year, we haven’t had to use any because it’s so early in the season. But the minute we see a bug, we’re breaking out the pesticide.” I told him that I genuinely appreciated his honesty. He replied by reassuring me that the pesticides he uses are “nothing you can’t wash off!!” I smiled and thanked him again as I left his booth.
Yes, you can wash residue off of the produce, but it has already been chemically altered with harmful ingredients that will stay in your system and fry your sons’ sperm….you
know, worst-case-scenario-and-all. But no, I didn’t say all of that to him. I simply smiled, said “I understand,” and walked past the Driscoll’s re-seller to the next produce booth.
It was at this next booth that I found my favorite vendor – PPP Farms. I casually leaned in, smiled to the lady behind the table, and asked quite discreetly, as if it were some big secret, “Pardon me, but do you mind telling me if you use pesticides on your produce?”
“NOT ONE OUNCE. Never have. Never will. My husband here, [points at the man sitting beside her] he won’t even use weed killer in the grass! Has the boys whack the weeds with the weed-eater. No, ma’am, we just aren’t using any of that nasty stuff!”
How much do I love her?!! This wonderful lady just happened to be selling tomatoes, corn and watermelon – all of which I was happy to purchase. I spent $8 on three tomatoes, three ears of corn and a small-ish watermelon which we STILL have not consumed in its entirety. The watermelon was the sweetest one I’ve ever bought.
Aside from the veggie success, I am also happy to report that I found the longhorn beef vendor – W. H. Longhorn Ranch from east Texas. As the seller explained to me, Longhorn beef is VERY lean, much like venison, and requires a different technique for cooking. All the animals belong to her son, and she takes orders until she has an entire animal spoken for before sending it to slaughter. I ordered a roast and two pounds of ground beef. I am really excited about trying the meat to see if it will be a good substitute for the regular meats at our grocery stores, since we can’t get much in the way of natural, no-hormone, no-antibiotic, grass-fed beef in the meat cases around here.
So there it is, folks: my victories at the Farmer’s Market. I can’t wait to go back. If you’re local to my area, you ought to check out these two vendors. I know they’ll be glad to see you.