Our Denton Farmers Market starts this month! I'm so excited to be able to go and buy local produce from real people...Imagine, good tomatoes!
It is a tiny market compared to some of the big ones I have been to - there are usually 10 or so vendors, mostly backyard gardeners with extra to share, and they sell what they have. You just stop off in the parking lot in front of the Bayless-Selby House Museum and African-American Museum. This is as you come north on S. Carroll Drive, right after the International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) cemetery on the left and just before the Carroll Court Building on the right.
For those times when I do have to buy at the grocery store, I'm relying a lot on SustainableTable. It has lists by state, where you can find what's in season each month, locations of Farmer's Markets, as well as information on "pick-your-own" places.
One of my favorite memories of early childhood is going to the Houston Farmer's Market (which was huge and far away from our house) to buy bushels of beans, peas, flats of strawberries, etc. Then we would shell and shell and shell and Mom would can and can. She learned that from my Memamma (Florida grandmother) who always sent us home from summer visits with a carful of home-canned food. We always had glass jars of food in our bedroom closets, which our friends thought was quite odd.
Of course, now you can buy anything cheaper and easier in the grocery store. Home canning is like knitting...why would you do that? Well, because it's an art, a way of nurturing and providing for your family yourself. I wish I could grow veggies myself, but one of the charms of our home is the complete shade cover from big oak trees...one of the reasons I loved the house from the first, but it makes gardening a challenge.
Oh, and trust me, I'm not going to try any canning myself this summer! It is hot, hard, expensive, dirty work. You get burned a lot! I'm sure my mom does not remember me being tickled to death to spend days getting produce ready to can...sorry Mom! Funny that I remember it so fondly, isn't it!?
But I'm sure looking forward to supporting local farmers and backyard growers.