3.24.2009

Local Bounty

I imagine I was quite the sight riding my bike home from the farmer's market the other day. My backpack was bulging with 7 pounds of oranges and 3 pounds of apples. The basket attached to the front of my bike was overflowing with flowering kale and carrot tops. I couldn't have been happier.

In the book The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan refers to a theory regarding the brain from Steven Pinker's book, How the Mind Works:

"...evolution has endowed the human brain with two (formerly) unrelated faculties: its superior problem-solving abilities and an internal system of chemical rewards, such that when a person does something especially useful or heroic the brain is washed in chemicals that make it feel good."

Well, my great brain has just figured out an easy, inexpensive and legal way to get high: riding my bike to the farmer's market and coming home with a load of fresh, local food. It is an act both useful and heroic.

local bounty, week 3

I get no kick from champagne.
Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all.
But I get a kick out of you.


Yes, I get a serious kick from all these locally grown goodies. The cabbage was divine - I never knew cabbage could be so sweet. So sweet, in fact, that a small piece left on a plate next to the sink was covered with ants when I went to do the dishes. The fifty cents worth of whole walnuts I brought home provided quite the entertainment for Aidan, and a tasty snack for me. The kale that has started to flower will be a lovely addition to my green smoothies this week. And the sweet potatoes? I think they will become fries, served alongside a pot of red beans and rice.

This week at the market I discussed time travel with an organic farmer, learned how to select an orange (go for the oranges that are heavy relative to their size), smelled a jar of freshly ground garam masala, and passed up the first of the asparagus to come to market this year - at five dollars per pound, it was slightly out of my budget.

Speaking of my budget, I think I'm going to shave a little from our grocery store budget and boost our farmer's market allotment by ten dollars. Stefani's comment on my last farmer's market post really struck a chord with me:

"I just feel like with times so tight, I want to hand my money to real people, you know?"

Yes, I know. I get a kick out of handing my money over to the real people who grow my real food. And I can't wait to see what I bring home next Saturday - hopefully my bounty will include some asparagus. It would look so pretty sticking out of my bike basket.

30 comments:

  1. Ah, this is lovely, my friend! What better to invest in than your local economy and your health.

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  2. Ah, biking it to the farmer's market... takes me back to my university days at Davis. Loving your produce photos and philosophical posts Molly! It's funny, those chemical "reactions" you mention are something I very much believe in, and personally see as evidence of a "creator"... I'm curious why Pinker believes those chemical rewards are a more recent development in our human psyche? Just different world views I suppose... Anyway, have a beautiful day. Believe it or not, I'm still dealing with sickies here (and so relying on lots of walks, good music, and hanging laundry on the clothesline under a shining sun to bring me those chemical rewards!).

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  3. I just couldn't let this one pass, Molly..the ability to appreciate those beautiful feelings is a direct plan from our wonderful Creator..and we need to thank him for the gift! Grandma in No Calif

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  4. i completely agree grandma and sarah! i do believe there are more meanings to the word "evolution" than darwin's theories, and i use the word in terms of learning and growing over a period of time. i'm extremely grateful that we're so brilliantly wired! ~molly

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  5. Now that is quite a bounty!!! It feels so wonderful to leave the farmer's mkt with all kinds of goodies!

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  6. Hmmm... I wonder what time you will be headed back home on Saturday. This could make for some great pictures! ;)

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  7. Local vegetables are magic, pure and simple. We are lucky enough to get them delivered to our house once a week all year long. I look forward to every thursday and seeing the big box of veggies sitting on my front step.

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  8. Seeing your pictures and hearing your stories of the market remind me of when my Grandma used to take us to the one in Auburn. I loved it, my favorite time was when strawberries were in season and she would buy huge, huge flats of them and then get some honey sticks. It was all so beautiful.

    I love that you are supporting such a beautiful town and beautiful people! You Go Girl!

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  9. I am so jealous that your farmer's market is up and running. Ours doesn't open up until the end of April. What a wonderful haul!

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  10. I cannot wait for the summer farmers market to start back up. 3ish weeks...

    Yours sounds divine, though. You have a spice vendor? That would be so great. And less expensive than ours. 50 cents for walnuts! ahh.

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  11. Can't wait for our farmer's market to open! I think our shallots and leeks are ready to pick. Not sure about the beets, need to do some research!

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  12. We bike to the farmer's market too! I love love love it. There's nothing better than feeling connected - to the earth, and to your local community.

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  13. When last we met I was saying that I was going to attend our Farmers Market on Thursday, peshaw - they are not open yet, I guess that is what I get for living where it is still cold. UGH

    I love the thought about giving to those that are real, YES!

    I am full blown 100% raw since Thursday, and I am LOVING it. I have my first meeting with the Weston Price Foundation on the 31st so looking forward to that. Have you looked up your chapter???

    Great stuff Molly, keep it coming!

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  14. That is so beautiful. I will be getting more of my produce from our farmer's market this year because we are moving and so I won't be able to start my garden in time. I'll have to try a few things in containers, although I haven't had much luck with anything but herbs in containers in the past. We'll see! Enjoy all that goodness!

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  15. Ah, I love this post! All that goodness and a bike to boot!

    Thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to your next Farmers Market visit!

    And... maybe a bike/basket photo? :)

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  16. HAve you read any of Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Mineral? I thought of that book immediately when reading your post. I am reading now but it is very apt for Nth Americans in terms of seasonal produce etc.

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  17. Molly, I love the image of you wobbling along... laden with your riches... beaming from all of your interactions with your real people growing your real food! Hurray for you! Bravo!

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  18. What a bounty! There really is nothing like fresh, organic food to feed your soul!

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  19. asparagus is awesome blanched.....i really love it!

    yeah! farmer's markets rock!
    ~karen2

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  20. Loved this post :) and real foods? GOTTA love that!

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  21. I'm riding to the dentist this morning...not quite as fun as riding to the farmer's market but that's not until tomorrow

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  22. This sounds so nice! I can't wait until our local farmers' market opens again.

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  23. My high is definitely riding my bike to the farmers market and then trying to ride all the way back up hill without spilling apples and berries everywhere. You are making me just itch for farmer's market season.

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  24. Yep...real people. I like dealing with real people who can tell you how and where it grows. Can tell you about the weather and about life. No one better to talk about life with than a farmer.

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  25. You know what image came to mind?

    http://www.thefarmguide.com/bigfoodnotlawns.html

    :) Our farmer's market doesn't start up until May, and we won't have near that selection until June... Enjoy!

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  26. I'm reading Michael Pollan's 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' now. Very good... everyone should know where their food is coming from.

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  27. molly, this is fantastic. I blog for our local farmers' market and our season is just beginning. Can I share a link on their blog to your post? And, while I'm here, can you resend me you address? I owe you something. :)

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  28. Molly, I met him (Pollan)! At that dinner. We even sat next to him and I didn't make too much of a fool out of myself. :) He inspired me to start a farm blog. I'll be including your dill dressing in the recipes when our dill comes in. www.crystalorganicfarm.wordpress.com I haven't told many people yet as I'm having trouble with the video thing. But I did share a lot about Michael Pollan.

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  29. oh my, I NEED to get up there to the farmers market, I am so jealous that you have one year round! hopefully I can get it together, seems like the end of the school year is the busiest time of year.....

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  30. it's sounds like you have a great market. i wish we were close enough to one to ride our bikes.
    i'm loving these pictures of your weekly treasure!

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