Day 262–What’s Fresh at the Market

Tomorrow is the first official day of fall and in spite of all the hot weather we had this summer, it looks like fall produce is right on cue! Peaches and berries are a memory and more hearty vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash are here in earnest. Also, many savvy farmers have jams, jellies and fruit butters made from their summer produce. If you can’t (or don’t want to) make your own, buying local jams and jellies is a great way to eat local and support your farmers all year long! Fall is still a great time to explore your farmer’s market  so get out there and happy shopping!

Here is what’s available in central North Carolina this week:

  • Apples (not many, but totally worth the price)
  • Grapes (muscadines)
  • Melons (they are fading out, won’t be around too long)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash–acorn, butternut, gourds
  • Pumpkins (I know they are squash, but they are in a class all their own!)
  • Broccoli
  • String beans
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes (we’re at the end here with field tomatoes)
  • Summer squash
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Turnips and greens
  • Field peas
  • Collards
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Day 246–Starting Week 36–Budget and Menu

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Pumpkins in the front, watermelon in the back. Seems so wrong!

After all my whining about not wanting summer to leave, I am in that special limbo you feel when you see pumpkins at the farmer’s market and it is still in the mid-90s outside. Our menu this week slowly makes the transition from summer to fall and hopefully the temperatures will follow!

On a lovely, positive note, the beginning of school has meant that our tomatoes are now growing without pilfering and we have, for the first time all summer, actually been able to harvest about a dozen RED tomatoes. We still find the occasion tomato with racoon gnaw marks on them, but we have been thrilled to find we can actually harvest food from our yard now that the child poachers in my neighborhood are in juvenile detention school.

Remember that monster pumpkin plant that volunteered to grow in our front yard? I have an update for you later this week!

Our budget is just over our goal of $100.00 at $103.24. I’ve added organic breakfast burritos to our shopping list because they are a super easy, high protein breakfast and Ellie adores them, even if they are on the pricey side. Not sure we can keep that in our budget every week, so I may be looking for a homemade alternative that is less expensive. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Budget

  • The Produce Box (apples, cabbage, grapes, corn, green peppers, field tomatoes): $23.00
  • Trader Joes (frozen fruit, yogurt, taco seasoning, soy milk, shampoo, lemon): $34.04
  • Mae Farm (bone-in pork chops, ground beef): $20.00
  • Lowes Foods (Amy’s organic breakfast burritos): $16.20
  • Farmer’s market (figs, goat cheese): $10.00

Menu

  • Wednesday–Melina’s pasta with fresh tomato basil sauce
  • Thursday–Taco stuffed bell peppers with quinoa
  • Friday–Leftover buffet
  • Saturday–Field peas and homemade cornbread
  • Sunday–Mae Farm pan seared pork chops, sautéed cabbage and apples, field peas
  • Monday–Fig, goat cheese and caramelized onion pizza
  • Tuesday–Melina’s pasta with leftover vegetables or roasted tomato sauce

Have a delicious and healthy week! And go Broncos 🙂

Day 231–What’s Fresh at the Market

This is the first week I have noticed a big shift at the farmer’s markets. Peaches are hanging on, but will be gone very soon and most of the berries are gone as well. You know what is taking their place? Apples! A sure sign that fall is right around the corner. We’re moving into early fall and the markets are starting to reflect our waning summer. Here’s a sample of what you can find in central NC right now:

  • Apples–green and red varieties
  • Grapes–scuppernog and muscadine
  • Figs
  • Peaches
  • Field peas–butter beans, crowder peas, black eyed peas, pink eyed peas, purple hull and more
  • Tomatoes–they are all just beautiful right now
  • Hothouse cucumbers
  • Sweet peppers–red and green
  • Hot peppers–all varieties
  • Summer squash
  • Zucchini
  • Green beans
  • Onions
  • Butternut squash
  • Acorn squash
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Herbs
  • Garlic
  • Okra
  • Melons–cantaloupe, watermelon, sprite