Thanks for LETTING Me Work Mom!

I just wanted to share something that made me happy this morning. I work at the Farmer’s Market every other Saturday for the farm where we are CSA (community supported agriculture) share-members. I’ve learned a great deal about the various vegetables that they grow. I’ve learned that there is so much more of a variety of vegetables that we are not exposed to in our limited grocery store produce section. I’ve learned that there are people who pick up produce the morning of the farmer’s market, from the same place that grocery stores get their mass-produced produce (haha!) and then sell it at the farmer’s market to people like me (the old me) that assume they grew it on a farm somewhere nearby. So really, they are just selling you the very same grocery store fruits and veggies, but up-charging you since you assume it was locally grown and therefore worth a premium. ARGH! So if you go to a farmer’s market this summer and approach a “farmer’s” stand, be sure to ask WHERE their farm is! If they have one…GREAT! If not…keep on walking a support your local farmers. 🙂

Ok, back to what I’ve learned…

I’ve learned that getting up at 5:30 is HARD! I could never be an actual farmer, but I’m happy to be a farmer’s helper every so often. But today I learned something even better. My son voluntarily woke up at 5:30 with me this morning because he wanted to go and work with me at the farmer’s market. He was much more awake than I was at that time in the morning, and ready to get to work. He helped set up, and was eager to assist in any way he could. Once we were set up, he tried his hand at the “good morning” meet-and-greet. He learned that timing, and volume are key! He got it right a couple of times. It was sweet to watch him trying to figure it all out.


It was a relatively slow day, so we got to walk around a bit and check out the other vendors’ wares. We bought some homemade soap that my son picked out for its lovely, lemony scent. We watched a lady write his name, and his sister’s name, on a piece of rice and then put it inside an oil-filled vile where it will be preserved – apparently a Turkish, good-luck tradition. We also bought some delicious cinnamon swirl bread and my son got to pet a puny little dog named “Tiger”. We saw lots of people, got out in the community, had some nice conversations, learned about the food we eat, and had a nice morning.

When we got home though, after working for about 3 1/2 hours, I learned the coolest thing of all: I have a pretty awesome son! Before he took off to go play with the neighbors he said, “Thanks Mom!”. I said, “For what?”. To which he replied, “For LETTING me work with you at the farmer’s market today.” We were home before 2 of his siblings were even awake. He learned some pretty cool lessons today, I think! He learned the difference between Moroccan mint and apple mint. He learned what garlic scapes and leek scapes were. He also learned how to set up a big tent, and a folding table, how to keep fresh veggies fresh while they sit on the farm stand, how to meet and greet customers, and how to make his mom really proud and happy! 🙂

Caterpillars Squirt When You Step on Them!

Today was the last day of the Farmers Market, which means no more 5:00 a.m. alarms on Saturdays, and no more f-f-f-freezing cold mornings spent standing behind the bounty of veggies I’ve come to know and love. It also means no more chats with repeat customers about the soup they plan to make with their swiss chard, or the kale chips they’re going to bake later that day. No more chats with my co-farmers between customers, or wafts of bacon and sausage, cinnamon bread and coffee.  There is a lot going on at the local farmers market.  And despite the fact that I am NOT a morning person, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute, and learned a lot in the process.

What brought me to be here, early Saturday mornings while my whole family snoozed happily in their beds? Well, we decided to do a helping share at a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), which means that we spent 3 hours a week working at the farm in some capacity. At the beginning of the season, we spent evenings at the farm with the kids clipping up rows and rows of tomato plants, until we were literally GREEN! Other times we would weed and weed, because somewhere in the thick there was certainly a row of kale to be found. Stone Coop Farm is certified organic, meaning they don’t use any pesticides, or weed killers of any sort.  As a result, they rely very heavily on good old-fashioned manual labor! Pulling weeds is such a KILLER hamstring workout, you have no idea! As summer temperatures rose and kids became busy with friends, I decided to work the three hours myself, at the farmers market every Saturday. Good times…

I learned so many things that I never would have otherwise. Here are just a few:  I learned that kids LOVE chickens! They had such a blast chasing them around as little chicks, and not-so-little chickens. They gave them names, learned the proper holding techniques, and stepped in lots of poo. I learned about the most interesting vegetables too, like kohlrabi, indigo rose tomatoes and sweet reba squash. The varieties and colors are endless and amazing! We really miss out on so much variety when we only shop at the grocery store! And the taste is unparalleled! We discovered that tomato worms are very juicy and squirt up your leg when you squash them! This is an activity that was performed many times! At fifty cents a pop, the kids were motivated! 🙂 Most of all we learned where our food comes from, who grows it, and how important it is to help sustain such an operation. We’re big fans. This was my last early Saturday, for this year, but I’ll be back…if they’ll have me. 😉

I’ll post my Clean Eating Challenge pics, and highlight a couple of the recipes I particularly enjoyed!

Let’s see, day 17 highlights would be the super yummy pumpkin steel-cut oatmeal that my crock pot cooks for me overnight while I sleep.  I posted that recipe about a week ago.  If you’re interested, just search “oatmeal”, and you’ll find it. For dinner I made a family favorite, which also happens to be clean and healthy, as long as you avoid a lot of ‘dirty’ toppings: shredded chicken tacos.

Day 18 consisted mostly of leftovers and quick grabs. Nothing fancy or fun to report here.





Two yummy things happened on Day 19. I discovered that I could make a clean version of french toast, which sounded so delicious after I made standard french toast for the kids. For mine, I used Ezekiel bread that I dipped in egg whites, almond milk, cinnamon and vanilla. I used blueberries sweetened with a little Stevia for the topping and Oh My was it yummy. It really satisfied a craving, and I love when that happens. For dinner I made stuffed portobello mushrooms that were a real treat too, if you’re a fungus-lover like me. 🙂

And that sums it all up for today. Going to go take a nap, or workout…or both. 😉