Interpersonal shopping


One thing I’ve noticed recently is that when you do business with local people that you know, the price of things is often negotiable. Take for example when I went shopping the other week at the farmers market I was buying some produce from one of Chris’ friends and the total was something like $12.25. But she saw that I was holding two large bags of veggies plus trying to corral a wild little girl, so rather than make me deal with change, she just called it $12 and we dealt with just bills. I wasn’t trying to cheat her. She was just being nice.

It wasn’t like shopping at some supermarket or national chain where the price is the price and that’s what you get. It was an honest, open exchange of one person to another with understanding of each other’s situation. It was nice. So I guess that’s just one more reason to go support your local farmers, make friends and get good produce.

Another lesson in agriculture


I’ve been to many fairs over the years, and to be honest the animal parts (besides things like the rodeos and horse shows) seemed sort of pointless to me. But we went to the Yamhill County fair tonight to check it out, and going with a farm girl changes everything.

When we first walked in, she said that she has almost never gone on rides at the fair. I wasn’t altogether surprised, but that’s pretty much what the fair was about for me when I was little. But my daughter’s a little too small to get much out of them, and I’m not interested in paying $2 to pop a balloon, so we skipped that section and went on to check out the animals and other exhibits.

I was actually surprised to learn that many of the animals are taken for the express purpose of auctioning them off for food. I had no idea. Again, I had thought that having all of the animals there was basically pointless. But now I get it, and it was actually sort of neat.

We went to the auction twice. Once for some of the hogs and once for some of the steers. I kept my eye on the kids that were selling and presenting. I don’t know why but I half expected them to be some kind of “farm geek”. But they were all pretty normal, they just raised farm animals.

The auction was an interesting idea. We couldn’t figure out all of the details about how everything worked, but people bid on the animal to either keep as food or donate to a local charity to feed needy families. And then the kid gets most of the proceeds for whatever they need/want. If I had known how it worked prior, we would have budgeted some each month and stocked up on some meat. But a 1400 pound cow costs a bit more than an impulse purchase allows, even at the rock bottom prices that they were going for. It was actually kind of sad to see the animals that these kids had obviously worked hard to raise go for so little.

Anyway, I guess this is just one more step in my ever increasing experiences in the agriculture arena. It’s not an area I ever saw myself interested in, but as I learn more and more about it, the cooler it’s getting.

Farmers Market again!


Chris had something to do today so Daphe and I headed to the market on our own this week. Pretty good for only my second week of “farmer marketing”. I was given some not so clear directions on what to get and a playful “you’re dead if you get it wrong” and off we went.

Carrying a 25 pound baby around the market isn’t necessarily ideal (I’m not sure how Chris has done it all of these weeks), but we had a good time. We stopped in at the Oakhill Organics booth, where I used up way more of our subscription than I was supposed to. But it was fun and they are such nice people. Then Daphe and I got a few other things, including some blueberries and were on our way home.

I’m sort of piggy backing on Chris’ various connections, but I’m really impressed with the various people she has managed to meet over the past year of living around here. They are all very nice and share the purpose of living and eating responsibly. I don’t know–by the time it’s over, I might just end up a “techno-farmer” (seeing as I don’t see myself giving up on computers any time soon).

But in the mean time, I think I will make it a habit to check out the farmer’s market as often as possible. Not only for the food, but just to check in with the various people.

Farmer’s Market Newbie


Our local Farmer’s Market is on Thursday afternoon. So this Thursday I decided to tag along with Chris while she went. I must admit that I think I have only been to one or two farmer’s markets before in my life as I’m more of the “city boy”. I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of little thing it was. But I was pleasantly surprised. It was quite an affair, much bigger than I thought it would have been. There were lots of stands selling all sorts of stuff from fruits, veggies and meat to home made soap and bonzai trees. I couldn’t believe it.

I was also very impressed with some of the vendors/farmers that were there when Chris told me their stories, so I’ll have to see if we can do something like a “featured farmer” every week to spread some of their stories and successful actions.

And I don’t really have to say it, but the food we have gotten from the farmer’s market has all been excellent. So I heartily recommend checking out your local market, not only for the food, but to meet some of the people and hear their stories.

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