Thursday, June 24, 2010

Farmer's Market

Soooo......... Astro, you left another post! And I have been to another Farmer's Market haha!!
First of all, I have to just clarify your comment about average people and the SUV, slab roller, nice vacation, etc etc............ We traded a Eurovan that was a money pit but it had great trade in value and got two cars for 2.9% financing at the dealer's invoice price or lower, so we actually cut our car payments almost in half and are paying less for two cars than we were paying for one. We used our tax refund for the down payment. The cabin was a steal and we had saved this money for almost a year. It was three hours from our house so we drove and the travel cost was just a tank of gas. We cooked our own meals there instead of eating at fancy restaurants. Average people have much more luxurious vacations I bet, but we got what we needed, rest. The slab roller was purchased with $$ that I have also saved for almost a year. We ARE an average family, we just don't have debt anymore and we have worked for 10 years to cut that out of our lives. I don't have a real income and my husband is a journalist, checked out what they get paid lately? Not to mention the dying off of Journalism in general. Every day one of our friends has been laid off or another newspaper has shut down. We live frugally and save, I shop at thrift stores and we don't buy a lot of things we don't need. We aren't really a very material family and I'm a potter, so I don't have to buy a new wardrobe every season like a lot of women. We have a small house and my kid hates the mall, so she is pretty low maintenance. Jsut give her books and music and she is a happy girl. We are fortunate to have health and dental and I honestly don't know how people get by without it, another very long blog there for sure!! So that's TMI about my income, but just wanted to say that we aren't rolling in $$$ as you seem to suggest. We just don't spend beyond our means like of a lot of folks that are finding themselves in credit card and mortgage hell right now.
Now, about the Farmer's Market, so sorry that you had a bad experience, I have lots of friends here that are CSA members and their stories are quite the opposite of yours. They get amazing produce every week. I went Tuesday, I didn't "stroll" but I did drive about five miles down the road, and yes I did meet some really nice farmers that live around here, they all smiled, thanked me kindly for my business (this is the South where we all have more manners than we know what to do with and we never meet a stranger) and I got this:
I spent $20 and we have had 6 meals from all of this with some rice or noodles added and some eggs that I got last week. So far, that adds up to about $1 per person per meal. I guess I could go grab a burger from the dollar menu at McDonalds, but look what we have been eating (and I have lost three pounds). Tomato sandwiches, I live for them, really light and fluffy frittatas, corn so sweet it didn't really need to be cooked. I CAN'T get this at the grocery store, the tomatoes are pink and mushy inside and have no flavor, I had to throw out the last corn I bought at the store it was so bitter, and the potatoes are growing in soil that has been treated with DDT that does not go away. The basket you see was full and it cost $20. When I fill that basket at the grocery store it is at least $75 if not more. Our grocery bill has gotten out of control, that is the main reason I have been looking for other options, and I'm tired of the government. I feel more removed from Big Brother when I'm at a Farmer's Market. That's all......
I will admit that as I read BK's book, I was thinking, "yeah but you have lots of best selling novels and lots of money, easy for you to say". I'm not trying to replicate what she says in this book, I'm too lazy for one thing and would never stick with it. I'm just trying to find food that tastes better. I LOVE to eat, and the grocery store isn't getting it for me. I was raised on my grandmother's garden and I know what a vegetable or a fruit is supposed to taste like and the produce at the grocery stores these days "ain't it"!
now.... I have some views on that assinine Nook, the electronic book, and the judge that over ruled Obama's decision to stop the drilling, the very same judge that is a stock holder in the oil companies that were ordered to stop. Never mind, don't get me started :)
Keep trying to buy fresh veggies, if for no other reason than they just taste better!!!!!!
Don't you just love it when a blog inspires opinions!! To include a pottery note here, I did get some barns made today before my hateful dentist appointment (yes another one, I'm really paying for putting off dental visits for --- years, I'm not saying how many, it's disgraceful!) and will be firing the kiln this weekend.


cookingwithgas said...

Tracey- yes- yes we are!
I know how hard you work and how thrifty you are.
I also know how kind,loving,sharing and giving you are.
I, like you, buy local when I can- we try to eat simply and not waste food.
We all do what we need to do and what is best for our own lives.
from where I am sitting you are doing a fine job.
And those veggies look mighty tasty!

Kari Weaver Hopkins said...

Michael Pollan states it plainly: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Astro's CSA experience is unfortunate. My CSA farm is just down the road. I have known the farmers for a few years.

My son spent the night at a friend's house recently and when the Mom said they were serving hamburgers, I have to admit, I felt like a little strange telling her that Ben had never eaten a burger. He tried the burger, and then she made him some soup.

Astro's "if everyone..." arguments definitely make their point. It's weird, though. My county is very rural and poor. Most folks have a family garden and rely on it to feed their families year-round, as BK suggests. At the same time, these folks are poor enough that they rely on WalMart to supplement their pantries. What does their carbon footprint look like.

As long as you can reconcile yourself with buying your gas at BP or Exxon, shopping at WalMart or boycotting Monsanto and growing your own food, as long as your values match your actions, then the world will continue to spin 'round.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey M. I've had lots of friends helping me along! I actually had a career before Wes got so needy :) and didn't have to worry so much about money. It's been a long road watching what I spend, but I'm much less material now and pretty much hyperventilate when I walk into a shopping mall. Other things are important to me now and food is one of the most important! The veggies were really tasty!!

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Kari:
My grandparents were poor too and used their garden for their main food source. Funny they didn't seem poor to me and I don't even think they knew it, they just didn't want a lot. We couldn't grow a garden in the sand at Myrtle Beach when I was a kid but my mom shopped at a local produce stand for our veggies, not the grocery store. I grew up knowing what good food tasted like. I just can't go in to a Walmart, it makes my head hurt, all that stuff that nobody really needs that ends up in a land fill. Wesley has had many of those sleep overs turning down the family hot dog dinner or bacon and sausage at breakfast. She finally quit sleeping over, it just got too weird for her. Although, she just called me to say that she is spending the night with Joe, Matt and Alex, is that bad? They are her band mates. I didn't have the heart to say no and they are good kids. Soooo many things to deal with!! I need a beer :)
BTW, I loved your "for crying out loud" comment. My mom says that all the time and I just love that!

Linda Starr said...

I don't think there are many average families left, most folks are just trying to survive with the least expensive type of goods they need, whether it be at a farmer's market, from their garden, or from the closest and least expensive store. Luckily we sold our home, paid off our bills, and were able to move to a place closer to services. We couldn't afford our mortgage and bills any longer at our last location since our income was reduced by one third, then food, fuel, and everything else went up and medical bills on top of that even with insurance. I think a lot of folks can't afford the bills they used to: those laid off or cut back in hours and salaries. Even if income stays the same the food, utilities, insurance and fuel etc. continue to go up in effect reducing income. Home grown does taste so much better, hopefully I can put in more of a garden towards the end of this year. We do have lots of farmer's markets around here thankfully close by.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Linda, we are thankful every day that Gerry still has a job. The AP has laid off lots of good people and Gerry is very fortunate to be getting lots of work right now. So many newspapers have laid off brilliant writers and photographers and the TV news is just ruining journalism. We have re financed, changed our phone service, sold cars, done lots of things to cut our costs, but the grocery thing has been the hardest thing for me to get a handle on. Our grocery bills are so high, I pack lunches for Wes, and we cook a lot, It's such a crazy time for everyone and these CEO's just keep making more and more. Today I was thinking that when no one is here at home I might just scream really loud and long and see if that feels better!! Sounds like your move has been a good decision for you :)

Dennis Allen said...

It sounds like you have a solid fiscal plan and well thought out priorities.Love the barns.It wouldn't take many of them to pay for a slab roller.Quality tools that increase efficiency are not extravagances, they are sound investments.

Tracey Broome said...

Dennis I agree, I am already saving so much time and energy with the slab roller, I can see my productivity increasing as I write this :) There was no way I could do any kind of volume work with the rolling pin and paint sticks, it was so tiring. Right tool for the right job, isn't that the saying?

cindy shake said...

Holy Cow I miss a couple of Blog reading days and LOOK what happens -I've had a Garden Gala and Farmers Market myself to do and I need to get caught up with you girl!!! be right back....

Tracey Broome said...

I KNOW Cindy! I just read a book :) and look what it got me haha!