saturday morning market

Yesterday was a gorgeous, hot, summer day in Grand Rapids.  I kicked it off by walking to the farmer’s market.  We are so lucky to live just a 10-minute walk from the farmer’s market.  This was my first time going this year but I plan to take advantage of it all season long.  Going to the Ann Arbor farmer’s market a few weekends ago really whet my appetite and I was so ready to get down to the Fulton St. market.

Grand Rapids isn’t exactly a walking town, almost everyone drives to get anywhere, even if it’s only a few blocks ago but as I got closer I started to see people walking and biking away from the market with fresh flowers, bags of veggies and homemade breads in hand.  I love seeing that bustle of people out and about, it’s something I miss from my days in Buenos Aires and something I crave, maybe a big city move is in order?  Anyways…

When I arrived to the farmer’s market it was bumping!  The place packed from wall to wall stall to stall and I started to make my way through the crowds.  I like to walk through the whole market once to see what there is before deciding on what to buy.

I was glad to see that there was a lot of fresh produce available but upon closer inspection most of it was from other states, California, Florida, North Carolina, the warmer states.  Pretty as it was, I decided that there was no reason to buy non-local produce at the farmer’s market (sorry farmers) and settled on some asparagus which is grown right here in West Michigan.

I found a stall that sold it by the pound and bought just a 1/2 pound.  I find that a normal bunch is too much for the two of us and a lot ends up going to waste.

I also bought a few cupcakes, a bar of oatmeal soap from the Grand Rapids Soap Co. and some fresh flowers.  I have to say, fresh cut flowers are my favorite thing about the farmer’s market.  They just make me smile, simple as that.

After the farmer’s market I met up with my mom for lunch then went and spent some time at my favorite bookstore, Schuler Books.  It was a lovely way to spend a hot Saturday.  By the time I was done with all of my errands, Todd was home (he had been at a Phish concert in Detroit overnight) and we hung out for the rest of the afternoon before going down to Festival in the evening.  Festival was great but I’ll fill you in on the food and entertainment later.

I hope you all had a wonderful Saturday!

Do you buy only local items at the farmer’s market?

 

ann arbor farmer’s market

On Saturday, Todd and I made a trip down to the Ann Arbor farmer’s market.  We were heading to Crate and Barrel and Ikea to pick up furniture and figured Ann Arbor would be the perfect place to stop for lunch and a quick stroll through the farmers’ stalls.

It was flower day at the market which would have been perfect – I’ve been looking forward to buying some flowers and herbs to grow on our deck – but I didn’t want to run the risk of the dirt flying all over the back of the car or not having room for the furniture we were buying that day.  The plants had to wait.

I was surprised that there wasn’t more produce at the market but it makes sense since here in Michigan most fruits and vegetables won’t be ready for a few more weeks.

The farmer’s market there is much bigger than our local one and it was fun to walk through.

Before we left, we made one purchase.  One of my favorite things, a result of my study abroad in Buenos Aires, is a good alfajor (that’s pronounced al-fa-hore).  Alfajores come in a variety of flavors but my favorite are two shortbread cookies with dulce de leche filling.  The can either be eaten as they are, dusted with powdered sugar, edged with coconut flakes or covered in chocolate.  All of these combinations are delicious.

I recently found out that an Ann Arbor based company, Maitelates, sells their alfajores at the Ann Arbor farmer’s market.  The company is owned by a Chilean woman who makes the alfajores from a family recipe.  For more on her and the business, read this.

Honestly, that was the real reason we stopped in Ann Arbor.  They happened to be the first booth we saw when we walked in and we wasted no time picking out several different flavors – dulce de leche (the classic), coffee (for Todd), peanut butter, almond and a few more dulce de leche for good measure.

[photo from alionthego.com]

We tried them today and the stop in Ann Arbor was definitely worth it.  The cookies were buttery and light, the dulce de leche was delicious and the chocolate covering all of that sweet deliciousness was amazing.  For some reason, I wasn’t expecting the semi-sweet chocolate and it was dark and thick and just perfect.

I’m looking forward to getting to our own farmer’s market.  It’s only a few blocks away from our apartment so I plan on lots of Saturday morning walks there throughout the summer.  Just another week or so and the produce will be filling up the stalls, I can’t wait!

What is your favorite non-produce item at your local farmer’s market?

What are you looking forward to buying at the farmer’s market this summer?