Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday Tribute

Last week was my first Tuesday Tribute. This week I would like to pay Tribute to my local farmer's market that just happens to be open on Tuesday. Today I will venture out a few blocks from my home, over to Rice University, where I will pick up a dozen fresh eggs from Dustin. His hens are free range, no drugs and delicious. Last week I picked up fresh strawberries and a small bouquet of flowers -- fresh picked, all with no insecticides ... no drugs! This market and the other four in town, have more than veggies ... cheese of all types, handmade soaps, grass fed beef, chicken. There is even a nice gentleman who shows up in his RV who will sharpen knifes. One stop shopping! Here's a look and a little history about "my" farmers market.

The Houston Farmers Market at Onion Creek on Saturday mornings was the first to open in Houston. Dedicated to providing a meeting place where farmer could meet consumer, the market has been a landmark in the Heights and the inspiration for the growth of markets around the Houston area. In 2007, Rice University invited the Houston Farmers Market to move its second location, a Tuesday afternoon market in Rice Village, to the more spacious and easily accessible parking lot adjacent to Rice Stadium on Rice campus.

Throughout the years the goal of the markets has remained the same: to make locally grown food available to as many consumers as possible, thereby providing a growing marketplace for local farmers and producers and a thriving meeting place for the community. Almost all of the food sold at the Houston Farmers Market has been done so sustainably, maintaining all the nutritional benefits (not to mention the flavor) without the health and environmental costs of artificial fertilizers and pesticides.

How's this? A Bakery just for dogs! It must be good.
There are always dogs here with wagging tails.

These are the flowers I bought last week.
Still going strong.
Sorry! The strawberries are long gone. Delish!

If anyone needs convincing as to why shopping at a farmers market is a good thing, here are a few of the reasons:

1. Local food tastes better. It is fresher and has been ripened in the field rather than in a shipping container.

2. Local food is better for you. The shorter the time between field and table, the fewer the nutrients lost.

3. Local food preserves bio-diversity. Large scale farming uses a limited number of varieties of plants and animals to maximize uniformity and shelf life. Local farms often grow a greater variety of plants and animals that are well suited to local conditions.

4. Local food has a smaller carbon footprint. Buying organic produce may seem like it would be better for the environment but it can actually have a negative impact due to the use of diesel fuels in hauling it long distances. Local farmers and ranchers travel relatively short distances to bring what they grow to you.

5. Local food supports local families. Local farmers sell directly to their customers, cutting out the middleman and enabling them to support themselves by what they grow. It also means that local dollars stay within the community and have three times the impact on the local economy.

(Source: "With an Ear to the Ground", Vern Grubinger)

That's my Tuesday Tribute.
Here's to my local farmers market.
A great big thank you to everyone who takes part.
I bet there's one in your area.
Try it, you'll like it!


Crafty Christina said...

I love love love farmer's markets! In Brooklyn, its hard to get that fresh market feel, but lately alot more farmer's markets have been popping up. Love them!

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

Me too! Love local markets. Unfortunately in my climate the season for those is incredibly short. But I do try to support local everything. I was into this before but once I read Kingsolver's, "Animal Vegetable Miracle" it drove the concept right home. I even started eating tomatoes, which I had never done in my life. How fabulous is your market, though?! Even a stall for dogs. A place after my own heart.

Halftime Lessons said...

I liked this post!! We need to find something similar around here to explore...I especially liked the sign at the beginning...spoiled goats, fresh cheese...funny!!


Sarah said...

Oh Snap - I'm so green - I loooove the farmers market - we had an amazing one in Raleigh when we lived there. We have a small one here once a week starting in May - can't waiiiiit!!!
Which dragon where you refering to?
Hugs, Sarah