Farms and Markets.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth restating: the kids and I are wild for farm markets. We are making a transition to mostly seasonal, local produce, and we’ve been all around our area scoping out the local goods. There are several farms in the area that I have frequented for a number of years (Solebury Orchards, Styer’s, Tanner’s), but I have been striving to branch out and explore less familiar markets to see what they have to offer. So Saturday morning we headed out to the Wrightstown Farmers Market!

I had actually been here once before with my mother last summer, and I remembered it being small but well-stocked. We were not disappointed.

Rows and rows of fresh fruits and veggies. The lettuce and greens were so fresh-looking and deep in color, and the red onions looked like they had just been pulled from the ground. I couldn’t resist picking up a few bunches.

This is the Blooming Glen stand, which seemed to be the most popular. I was actually standing in line when I took this picture. They had a wider selection of better-known produce than the other stands (onions, lettuce, squash, etc).

They also had some heirloom tomatoes that looked like art, but I wasn’t so thrilled about the 3.99/lb pricetag. I opted for a bunch of basil.

While waiting in line, I scoped out the neighboring stalls. The tent right next to Blooming Glen was Mainly Mushrooms, a local mushroom farm in Doylestown.

Ah! So many different kinds of mushrooms! I have had a giant mushroom aversion for most of my life, but recently I have been making an effort to give mushrooms a fair shot and earn themselves a spot on my plate. So far, so good- it’s really the texture that bothers me, so it’s all about the right mushrooms in the right dishes. Gravies and soups seem to work well, as do portobello “burgers.” I passed on the mushrooms on Saturday because I was afraid of Jack’s little hands and what they would do to a basket of delicate oyster mushrooms, but I am hoping to take a peek the next time I am with someone.

We grabbed a loaf of fresh, grainy bread from Great Harvest and made our last stop- Milk House!

Something about this farm really has me hooked. I love the abundance of tomatoes- they grow 63 different varieties of tomatoes. I have been making salads with fresh basil, balsamic, and handfuls of different cherry tomatoes. Since it is per pound, and all of the cherries are the same price, you can mix and match your pints and get a really beautiful selection. They also stock a lot of lesser-known items- ornamental and fairytale eggplants, ground cherries (my latest obsession), and red russian kale can all be found at Milk House.

It was a lot of fun for Jack and Carolyn to be outside while I shopped instead of sitting in a cart being pushed up and down aisles. Incidentally, it was also a lot easier for me. Jack hung out with a book…

…while Carolyn and I browsed. Jack even helped me pick out some fresh zucchini!

These zucchinis were enormous and cheap, not to mention ORGANIC. Never buying zucchini at the grocery store again…

There were so many other tents that we didn’t get a chance to visit- handmade soaps, honey, jams, dairy, and farm-raised meats. I daresay a person could do most of their weekly grocery shopping right in the market!

True story: this canopy was blown away by the wind, rolled across the hood of a nearby car, and landed feet from mine. Eeep! The woman in the other car looked UPSET.

Unfortunately, I did not get to take a picture of our total market haul. Jack dislocated his elbow (read: nursemaid’s elbow) sometime between getting out of the car and getting to the front porch, so we zipped off to the ER. Apparently it happens all the time, but that didn’t stop me from picturing Jack in a full arm cast. The Dr. popped it back into place, and that was that. I guess, as his mother, it’s my job to worry. He, on the other hand, seems unconcerned.

I wasn’t really in a picture-taking mood by the time we got home.

This is what a small-average farm stop usually looks like for us:

Two sugary-sweet mini cantaloupes, three peaches, a bunch of basil, a pint of ground cherries, a quart of purple wax beans, two quarts of cherry tomatoes, and a dozen eggs. Yes, EGGS! Luis loves eggs, and so we have been stocking our fridge with a dozen eggs from Milk House each week.

Confession: I have definitely eaten one or two fried eggs since we started buying them. For me, my stance on eggs is purely ethical. I know that some people see egg consumption as a reinforcing of the idea that animals are here for our use, but I don’t subscribe to that belief. I don’t have anything against eggs- I just don’t like how we produce them. At Milk House, I can actually go through the hen houses and meet the very chickens that my eggs are coming from, and that makes all the difference to me. Plus they’re so pretty– green, white, brown, all different shapes and sizes- just how eggs should be.

We also bought the most amazing watermelon I have ever experienced (because it was a flavor experience):

The total cost for all of this was $31.50, which for locally grown organic produce and a dozen eggs, is totally worth it to me. We have cut our spending in a lot of other areas o make room for better food, and it has been a welcome adjustment.

Food should really make you feel good, and not just because it tastes good, but because it is good, in every possible way. Shopping ethically, locally, and healthfully, for us, is a priority as well as a journey.

A sublime experience, indeed.


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