Sunday, June 29, 2008

Alpharetta Farmer's Market

In our attempt to find decent produce we can actually afford, we've been keeping a weather eye on the local farmer's markets. Roswell open one up in May right around the corner from us in Riverside Park. But when we went there, there was absolutely no produce. There were fresh flowers, a local bakery, local honey and crafts, but no actual produce. That's sort of insane, in my opinion. The excuse given was that with weather and gas prices being what they are right now, the growers were waiting until they had big loads before they started coming.

So this weekend, we made a trip over to the Alpharetta Farmer's Market. We'd made a quick visit there about a month ago and had seen a tiny amount of produce in, so we assumed that by now there would be a great selection. We weren't wrong.

We got a pound of cucumbers, a green bell pepper, a big head of broccoli, corn on the cob, a pound of peaches, garlic bulbs and a half pound of something called Dragon Tongue beans. We also bought a seedless watermelon and a spice mix from a local spice shop. All this was less than thirty dollars. Considering how short on fresh produce we've been lately because of how much it costs at the grocery store, I think we got a pretty good deal.

I'm particularly interested in the Dragon Tongue beans.

We bought those from Hanson Farm in Cumming, Georgia. They also had a beautiful variety of heirloom tomatoes and other veggies. They are supposed to taste quite a bit like string beans and I plan to sauté these just like I would a green bean.

We hope to start shopping at the Roswell Farmer's Market soon. After all, it's practically within walking distance for us. We'd love to support this market so that it thrives and grows. But scarcity of produce is a killer. I think part of what's preventing it from growing is Roswell's stipulation that all vendors must be from within 100 miles of the market. While I'm all for local food, I'm not sure how many potential vendors there might be in that radius who aren't already committed to being in Alpharetta Saturday mornings.

I'd also like to see one or both of the markets start offering a CSA box program. I think having guaranteed buyers like that would help encourage them to bring their produce to market earlier in the season. Of course, I'm new to the economics of sustainable farming, so I could be completely wrong. It would be nice to know if it's being considered though.


Ani Cheval said...

Hmm, the dragon tongue beans look neat. Since green beans are my favorite food, I'd be all over those.

I really need to get back in the habit of attending my local Farmer's Market. Since I'm no longer being strict about buying organic, I can shop more of the stalls there. Unfortunately, over half of our Dallas FM is nothing more than local food dealers, so you still get to buy Dole pineapples and such.

Jennifer Liang said...

I've decided I'd rather buy local than organic, if possible. But if I can't get local, then organic.

Natalie said...

That looks awesome. I need to stop at some of our veggie stands. I need peas.