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Savannah Farmer's Market

Friday, June 22, 2012

One of the reasons I fell in love with Seattle was the farmer's market. Of course there was Pike Place Market, the most famous one. But I didn't know Washington state was farm country until I moved there. Farmer's markets and veggie stalls were all over the place. There were u-pick farms where I could pull carrots, lettuce, potatoes, radishes, onions, zucchinis, etc, etc, etc straight from the ground. I was once told by a local, "If you can't grow a vegetable in Washington, it can't be grown anywhere." The moist, mild climate does seem to be a boon for plants. There is a rain forest in the Olympic mountains, after all.

All I had eaten up to that point was store bought produce. I didn't know how veggies tasted fresh from the earth. They taste 'alive'. They taste 'green'. They don't need seasoning because they are naturally sweet and the flavor of fresh. Eat them raw and they burst with water.

I was in the best health of my life. Produce that fresh is jam packed with minerals and vitamins.

Make no mistake, our paleo ancestors ate their veggies because they tasted good. We sit in our offices, eating fast food wrapped breakfast sandwiches and look down at those knuckle draggers. In truth, our paleo ancestors probably were better nourished. We did not rise to the top of the food chain without being well fed on high quality food.

Since moving to Savannah, GA, I've seriously missed the WA farmer's markets. One time when we were traveling to Atlanta, and I saw a road sign for "Farmer's Market". I got excited and told the husband to take the exit. We drove and followed the signs to "Farmer's Market". What we found were stalls selling tractors, tractor parts, and plows. Hmm. I see.

A farmer's market, selling farm equipment. Well, yes. That makes sense.

While we've lived here 2 years, I still feel quite new. Locals have pointed us to a few things we like to do, but I had been unsuccessful finding fresh produce at an, ahem, 'farmer's market'. I didn't ask around because I was afraid I'd get pointed to more tractors. It was frustrating because I knew there were farms in Georgia. Vidalia onions come from here, but oddly, the grocery stores tend to sell the California variety. Where were these farmers selling their produce?

Just recently, I did some poking around. I was looking at taking cooking classes. Apparently Savannah has a cooking school that's a popular destination for cooking tourists. Sort of like an organized vacation trip somewhere, but with a culinary focus. The one in Savannah is called 700 Kitchen Cooking School.

I was looking at the classes they offered, and I noticed there was one for "Farmer's Market". It was on a Saturday morning, and they said they would go to the market at Forsythe park to get fresh veggies to make lunch with.

I became excited. I looked it up, and sure enough, it said there was a market in Forsythe park every Saturday morning. It had been going on the whole time and I never knew! My husband and I sometimes take a walk around there in the summer, but we had just never walked far enough down to see it!

Fortunately, I discovered this on a Friday, so I didn't have long to wait. I got up Saturday morning, and grabbed my produce bags. Is it weird I was excited for veggies?

This is the famous fountain at Forsythe Park in Savannah. It is in one of Thomas Kincaid's most famous paintings. Sometimes I forget I live in a tourist town. So I stopped and played tourist for a few moments taking pictures.

Forrest Gump sat on a park bench waiting for the bus to see Jenni a little further behind me where I took this picture.

My husband and I have walked around here many times on a Saturday morning, but we just walked around the fountain then headed back into town for a coffee. The market is further down, on the other side of one of the civil war memorials! We just happened to never keep going far enough.

I finally found it. It was very small, but I didn't expect it to be on the grand scale of the Seattle markets. That wouldn't be fair. The only larger markets than the ones in Seattle that I've been to are in San Francisco and Vancouver. And, well, Seoul, S. Korea, but that's not fair at all because their markets take up whole city blocks.

Point is, I was excited that I could get fresh veg, not store bought dead veg. Anything was an improvement.

I didn't end up getting much. I got there too late to get the farm fresh eggs (early birds get the eggs). I got 4 cute little eight ball zucchinis. Zukes are my favorite veg. My mouth was watering when I saw them. Fresh carrots, and 2 pounds of green beans. That was plenty of fresh veg for the DH and I for the week. I didn't see any fresh lettuce for salads, so I would have to get that from our local market.

I made a steak for dinner that night. I sliced one of the zukes, sprtitzed with a little olive oil and salt, and baked it in the oven. One thing that I forgot about super fresh veg was the water content. I baked it at too low a temperature, so it got a little soggy. However, it was still fine, just more steamed rather than seared like I intended. But gosh, was it good. It tasted 'alive', and 'green', and like 'zucchini x10'. My husband remarked on how you could taste the difference.

The thing about super fresh veg is it tastes almost 'sweet', even if it has no sugar content. I believe this is one of the reasons that I broke my sweet tooth when I lived in Seattle. When I started eating naturally fresh, sweet veggies and fruit, my palate changed. My body craved those vitamins and minerals, and I didn't need to eat a lot of food, because I was nourished on less. Over time, sweet and salty packaged foods tasted bad because they were artificially sweet and devoid of nutrients. I needed to eat more, because I wasn't getting every vitamin and mineral I needed.

Yesterday, I made a chicken and vegetable soup for my lunch using my fresh carrots. I had to mix it with conventional veggies like celery. The soup was good, but let me tell you what. The brightest flavor in the soup was the carrot. It just popped. The celery tasted like cardboard. All fiber and no flavor.

I wished I bought celery at that market. Maybe this week.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I love Farmer's Markets and agree with you about the taste of fresh veggies. What I didn't realize was that it extended to eggs. My son gets his eggs from a farmer and I couldn't believe the difference in taste.
    3134 days ago
    Sounds like a great adventure. We used to live near Macon and drive down to Savannah & Tybee Island for weekend get-aways (SWMBO was a girl scout and we had to make pilgrimages to Juliette Gordon Lowe's house)

    8-ball zucchinis huh? Never heard of them, but they look pretty cool!
    3134 days ago
    Yes, that was the truck that ran out of eggs when I went there last Saturday! Need to wake up earlier tomorrow!
    3135 days ago
    There's a mobile truck offering Tuesday and Wednesday options there too. :-)

    3135 days ago
    4A-HEALTHY-BMI: Hmm! I might have to check it out next Wednesday! Thanks!!
    3135 days ago
    Looks like you might have one at Trustee's Garden, too!


    Check out the CSA, farm, and other options listed on there, also.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3135 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/22/2012 2:40:01 PM
    WOUBBIE: That's sounds so wonderful, I could almost taste those peas! We tried to grow strawberries in our backyard when I was little, but Colorado soil is poor. What we were able to grow, the birds got to first. Darn birds! But if we could manage to get them, they were oh so different than the plastic store bought variety!

    JECKIE: I did find a co-op when I first got here. The only problem is they don't let you buy ala carte. I found their box sizes they sold were much too large for the two of us, so I dropped out of it, rather than getting a bunch of veggies that might go to waste.

    FITGIRL15: A friend of mine in WA had a chicken coop and gave me some eggs one time. Wow - they were indescribable! Hope you get some good finds at your farmer's market!

    EATNBOOGERS: I live an apartment. I do have a very small container garden, but obviously I am limited. :( I have some cherry tomatoes that should be ripening soon (I need to get a net to keep the birds out!), and I'm going to try growing some lettuce in a box container. The rest are fresh herbs. But I definitely couldn't live on it! lol It's very small supplemental, but it's the best I can do.
    3135 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/22/2012 2:00:59 PM
    Do you have space to garden?
    3135 days ago
    I have a coworker who's arents have a farm so she brings in farm fresh eggs from time to time! The yokes are the most amazingly bright, nutrient rich things I've ever seen! Makes it hard to eat a store bought egg!!!

    Organic carrots are always better tasting! I love my soups... I might just have to hit the Farmers market this weekend! You make it sound all so yummy! I won't forget to get celery... and an onion or two :)
    3135 days ago
    It amazes me that you have a hard time finding fresh produce there! I live in the land of the "blink and you miss it" growing season, but you can't turn a corner without running into a farmer's market and/or CSA around here. We're very fortunate - and I HATE having to go back to store veggies in the winter!

    Do you know about localharvest.org? They might have some more ideas for you on where to look!
    3135 days ago
    sigh* My grandparents had an enormous garden and I grew up with everything fresh. When I would walk along the narrow path between our house and hers there were fresh things growing on either side and I didn't realize for years how privileged I was to just reach out and grab a young peapod straight off the plant, and eat both the sweet yummy peas inside as well as the outside of the pod, still hot from the sun and sometimes a little dusty from the earth. I can still picture my grandparents teaching me how to pop open the pod and how to peel off the tough membrane inside. Yum! We didn't dare steal Baba's strawberries though! She always raised the small sweet ones, not those big bodacious watery ones people go for these days. And the blueberries!!! Yikes!

    *sniff* Miss you Baba and Didi!
    3135 days ago
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