I live in southern Florida. Things are reversed here. People have been hibernating in air conditioning all summer, but are now emerging from their homes, blinking at the sunlight. News of an approaching cool front has everyone excited. The local growing season is just starting. And our local Green Market opened last Saturday.
David and I had only been to our Green Market a couple of times since moving here two and a half years ago. Partly because it’s only open for 6 months of the year, partly because we tend to be rather sloth-like on Saturday mornings, and usually aren’t up and around by the 1pm closing time. But this year is different. I have been very excited for the opening, since I have vowed to make an effort to eat more seasonally and locally. So last week, David and I rode our bikes to the downtown park where the market is held every Saturday.
We were a little surprised at the offerings. Our market is fairly small, about 30 vendors, tops, and it was mostly sandwiches, breads, flowers, bonsai trees, and clothing. Hmmm. There were a few “ingredient” vendors, and of these, only one was a local Florida grower and distributor. The rest were from out of state. Many were organic, but still imported. Hmmm. So we had a little bit of a moral dilemma, and decided to just buy zucchini from the local farmer. Last week.
This week, for a number of reasons, including having to stare our unfortunate lack of immortality square in the face, we changed our minds. We are planning to buy as much of our produce as possible at the Green Market. First priority is with the local (but not organic) grower/distributor. Then we mosey over to the vendor that sells the well-traveled organic goodies from Wisconsin, to pick up winter squash. We are trying to balance the environment with our health, without breaking the bank. So far, financially, it’s working out. I bought bananas (from Costa Rica), grapes (California), zucchini (grown just down the road), and acorn squash (Wisconsin), and didn’t pay one penny more than if I’d been at Walmart. Some of the money will stay here in the area, some will go elsewhere, but at least it’s not going through as many middle-men.
So, in case you are wondering, last week we consumed locally grown zucchini, and will be scarfing down more of it this week. From the seasonal category, we’re eating lots of butternut, spaghetti, and acorn squash, and we indulged in fresh cranberries a couple of weeks ago. Baby steps…