We hadn't been to the Farmers Market in about a month. I was going through withdrawals...:) So I thought ya'll might like to tag along with us and see whats happening at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market.
We got there about 8:30 am. On my radar? Apples!!!! I know it's early but I'm dying for a fresh crisp apple!
The CRFM has 4 "barns", covered areas that vendors can stay dry in.
In Winter they only open the 1 barn that is completely enclosed.
(*SM and I went once during the winter just to see what was being offered. Not much and since things were out of season the prices were higher than at the grocery store.)
There are the food and produce vendors in 2 barns. You can find local honey, pasture raised meats, eggs, butter, soaps, cut flowers and even canned items like jellies, chow chows, relishes and pickles.
Some of the distributors are large groups, hiring employees who are efficient in the replenishing and offering of a variety of produce both locally grown and out of state. They pull the produce out of huge refrigerated trucks.
A local bakery has a stall here. This little guy has the best seat in the house looking at all the goodies in the display case. (*SM points out that he's actually a "ladies man" checking out the "cutie" working the register.)
There are also the smaller vendors, the local farmers where the family itself is working the tables offering up what they have raised, cleaned and bagged themselves. They have their coolers out and "sold out" signs handy. The food might be in the back of a U-Haul type trailer or out of the bed of a pick-up truck.
It's truly amazing that food is as cheap as it is when you think about all the effort that's been put into it. That sentiment aside, if I'm buying bulk (which I try to do on some items), I'm still going to try and "deal" with the vendors to get the best price I can get. I had one vendor tell me that he won't sell by the case. Smart man. As you're about to see in my future posts, buying by the case saves you even more. Vendors make more money with a "by the pound" purchase than with a bulk purchase.
(I like this sign and it's message. I still can't afford to buy meat from them though.)
They have one barn set aside for crafts with all manner of handcrafted items from yarns and knit wear to hand made furniture. Another barn is the "Green Shed" where you can find all manner of plants for your edible and decorative gardens.
Anyhow, we did the lap around the produce barns to see what's what and made our purchases.
We ended up spending about $50 dollars. Here's the loot.
A case of Green Peppers (post to come), along with some Red Peppers that SM had to have, the only Macintosh Apples left in the entire Market (still too early for apples), some Asian Pears, a few baking potatoes for a recipe that's in the crock post as I'm writing this (post to come), and cookies.
Yes...cookies. Why did I buy cookies?
Because this vendor and her daughter put some effort into their venture that's why. (Love the aprons.)
Mom was very busy packaging up cookies for some buyers. Her daughter stood waiting expectantly. She wasn't texting! She wasn't gabbing on the phone! Good for you Mom! Teaching your daughter right!
While I was eyeballing some homemade granola she had out on her beautifully displayed table, I hear SM breathe "Oooo...Snicker-Doodles."
I whispered to SM "Why don't you go ahead and buy some cookies? They look good!"
"Yours are better. (Grin..Have I got this man trained or what!)
"Yeah, but these look great and you know that I'm not baking cookies or anything else for that matter until the weather breaks."
So SM purchased 6 cookies from this aspiring young lady for $12. (Twelve DOLLARS) Ouch! But the cookies are HUGE and it IS a freakin Snicker-Doodle for heavens sake. (I applaud and encourage entrepreneurialism in our young people where ever I can find it.)
So that's our Farmers Market. Thanks for tagging along and expect a few more posts this week about all the goodies I bought there.
PS...SM had some of the cookies last night with a glass of milk. "So how where they?"
"Gourmet." He replied. "Excellent cookies."
"Worth the $2 dollars?" I asked.
"Yep. Worth every penny."
Uh Oh...I have competition. (smile)