Thursday, November 18, 2010

In Search of Winter Markets

This is the time of year when all of my positive thinking swings around to laugh in my face. Yes, yet another summer and fall have passed during which I planned and planted. The planning included amazing harvests and amazing days full of canning. I am not amazing. I am normal. Some people are amazing. I know them. They have successful gardens and more tomatoes than they know what to do with (I'm not talking about the green ones), and they preserve their bounty without comment or drama.

I did some canning, and I did so with drama because I still think that canning is a lot of work. I enjoy it, but it takes time, effort and know-how. It also takes produce. I had an abundance of peaches from a volunteer tree in my yard (read--no effort to grow) and did can those, but my painstakingly planted and cared for garden vegetables yielded just enough for summer food with little excess.

Now it's time for the back-up plan. I really must visit winter markets. I started with the Market on State last Tuesday afternoon. This relatively small group is located at 1050 South State St. in SLC.

Morgan Valley Lamb was there with lamb bacon!

I could stop with that, but there was more. They also had lamb salami--a treat I'll purchase next time around. He had tons of other cuts that are very hard to find in the stores and took the time to advise on a good cut for a crock pot. With that I purchased my bacon and a front shank. Canyon Meadows Ranch neighbors the Morgan Valley Lamb. That helped me with planning my purchases as I could look at the availability of cuts from both ranchers at the same time. Canyon Meadows also had a gazillion different cuts, so I was able to purchase some lean ground beef, beef jerky, and a rump roast. Fowers Fruit Ranch had a great spread of many different kinds of apples and pears, onions, winter squashes, and potatoes. They also had raspberry preserves and peach cobbler. I picked up some of the preserves which will be delicious on homemade toast with Winder butter. I also picked up some more pears to mash up for my baby. They are a big hit at the high chair!

I'm still in search of some greens since the kale in my winter garden is a bit dispirited. I'm hoping that Chad's Produce which appears at the Oasis Cafe parking lot most Saturdays from 10-3 will have some. I have high hopes as the photos they sent last week included kale along with carrots, beets, and potatoes. Another possibility is the Locavore Market at Caputo's downtown which also runs from 10-3. No one I've talked to there knows who's coming, and the list is not yet formalized, but they may post some news on their Facebook page.

I sincerely hope that our local farmers and ranchers will continue to sell in these market settings during the winter. They can only do so if the demand is there, so happy winter market shopping to you!

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