Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Farmers' Market in Azle, Texas

Last month I read an article in the Azle newspaper about a grassroots effort to start a farmers' market here. This immediately got my attention. Not only do I drive 20 miles to go to the Cowtown Farmers' Market in Ft. Worth, but I also grow vegetables and herbs. Additionally I make a weekly trip for fresh produce at Central Market, also in Ft. Worth The thought of driving a few miles down the road for garden fresh vegetables is very appealing. I also had the idea of offering to do cooking demonstrations at the farmers' market. I sent an e-mail to Kristoffer and Lisa Rasmussen, the couple who are organizing the market and was pleased to get a call back from Kristoffer. He was interested in my idea and it looks like I'll be doing something when the market opens in June. I have lots of ideas and since I'm growing lots of things I'll have plenty to with which to experiment. I have planted several types of tomatoes, Ichiban Japanese eggplant, Japanese cucumbers, bell peppers, hot peppers, okra, summer squash, zucchini squash, butternut squash and onions. I always grow basil, thyme, rosemary, shiso (perilla leaves), oregano, chives, tarragon, and parsley and there are lots of strawberries and raspberries from the last couple years.
I love it in June when I come come home from work, walk out into the garden and pick the vegetables I'll use for dinner, stop at the herb garden and grab some herbs and in a short while enjoy the freshest meal. Home grown vegetables taste great!
For now, I buy a bunch of fresh vegetables every weekend, wash and prepare them ALL on Sunday (or Monday this week) and use them every day for lunch and dinner. It's easy to eat healthy salads for lunch when all it takes it combining the already washed lettuce and cut up vegetables and I look forward to making dinner now. I conduct a little "mystery basket" exercise in my head on the way home and start listing all the veggies I have on hand, the contents of my pantry, and the proteins in my freezer or fridge and decide what I'll make.
Monday night was chicken and vegetable soup, Tuesday was a delicious spicy stir fried soba and vegetable dish with shrimp, tonight was grilled salmon with a spicy rub with brown rice and salad. I've decided I'll make pizza tomorrow night with mushrooms, zucchini, peppers and Italian sausage, and Friday will probably be okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake) with vegetables and pork.
I have managed to make a home cooked meal almost every night since we've returned from Japan on April 10. This was not easy given the fact that every night after work we have worked in the garden or flower beds doing all the things we should have been doing while we were on vacation in Japan March 31-April 10. I don't even get into the kitchen until after 7:00 and we've managed to be eating by 7:45, sometimes sooner. If I don't cook my husband is too happy to run to Go Go Gumbo in Boyd and get take out food--hard on the budget and way too easy to overeat.
My next project now that the garden is well on its way is to blog about my Japan trip. I have so many great food memories and photos to share!

2 comments:

Beth Williams said...

I live in Azle and am deeply desiring an local organic farmers market... Can you tell me if this is still up and running and where it is?

Julia Dunaway said...

Beth, the farmers market in Azle has not been held for a long time, however the Cowtown Farmers Market in Fort Worth is excellent. They have a great website so check it out. Gwin Grimes has Artisan Baking Company there too and their bread is wonderful. Let me know what you think!

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