Good Stuff at the Grower’s Market

Ah, the lazy days of Summer.  The days get longer, the heat gets hotter, and the “to do” lists rarely get any shorter.  Seems like I’ve been slacking on my posts lately, but actually I’ve been really busy.  I’ve been doing a lot of Albukirky Seasonings promotion, and I’ve been spending my Saturday’s at the Armijo Village Grower’s Market selling my sauce and rub among a small group of artisans and farmers.  I never expected I would ever be at a gower’s market selling anything, but I have to admit, I’ve been having a hell of a good time.

The Armijo Village Grower’s Market is a brand new market started just this year with a handful of growers, but the assortment of items is plentiful and varied.  Sales of Albukirky BBQ Rub and Sauce have been solid, but I’m not sure if I’ve made any money though, because my profits have been spent on fresh produce, eggs, pepper and tomato seedlings, handmade soap and a really cool rope basket.  A quick spin around the booths and you are very well aware that you are not at Walmart.  The vegetables are brought to the market as they are ready to pick, nothing is forced to harvest before it’s time, and because of this, the flavors are fresh and bright.  Alex Guarnaschelli, from Food Network, is one of my wife’s favorite chefs and her advice is to never make a list of produce to buy at the grocery store.  Instead, take a look around the produce section and only buy what looks freshest, then build your menu around these glorious seasonal items.  
Chica chilling in the shade
The Onion Lady & her granddaughter 

We have certainly enjoyed a plethora of the freshest produce being at our fingertips over the past few weeks and this accessibility has elevated our cooking and menu preparation to a whole new level.  Even more amazing than the verdant veggies, however, is the people.  Stroll up to any booth and you are invariably greeted with a smile.  They welcome questions and will happily tell you when the items were harvested, what types of seeds they used, and how they prepare them at home for meals.  Unlike the big chain grocery stores, these folks are not motivated by profit.  They enjoy the fruits of their labor (forgive the pun) by eating fresh at home, but sometimes end up with a surplus which we are lucky enough to share in.  Like I said I’ve spent most of my profits on fresh produce and it’s been worth every penny.  

Linda grows all this great stuff in her lil ol’ garden

If you’re looking to get the best produce and want kick your cooking up a notch, I urge you to seek out your local growers markets and visit them on a regular basis.  Most of the time, the produce was harvested that morning and it doesn’t get any fresher than that.  The best part is the produce is grown by people who are passionate about what they are doing and you can really taste the difference.  It may be a bit cliché but Think Global and Buy Local has never been more important, as is the need to build community and support small business owners.  Next time you’re at the local big box store, ask an  employee (if you can even find one) in the produce section these questions…”where was this grown?”…”what pesticides were used?”…”when was it picked?”.  If they can’t answer these simple inquiries, drop that head of lettuce and head to your neighborhood grower’s market.  They’ll not only answer these questions with flying colors, but they’ll do it with a smile and might even share a recipe or tell you how to grow your own.  Show your support for your local growers and they will support your dinner table.  You’ll be glad you did.  

Rose with her fresh produce, flowers and crafts

3 thoughts on “Good Stuff at the Grower’s Market

  1. We go to our market almost weekly (missed this week) and love it. I am glad you had such a good time as a vendor and customer!

  2. It's really a lot of fun. I just will I could roll out my BGE and cook up some samples! The market would blow up if we could give out samples of fresh grilled veggies with a little BBQ rub.

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