Saturday, August 8, 2009

Locavore Aspirations

I realize that half of this post is in black text and that November was left off the chart, and I'm sorry, but it's past my bedtime and I'm not a perfectionist!

Starting a couple weeks ago, my grocery shopping errand became a bit more pleasant. I've been able to completely skip the produce department. No, my garden is not quite providing our family with all of our vegetables (nor will it ever). And no, I'm not raising Baby as a carnivore. Instead, I've been shopping with more of a "locavore" attitude: trying to find local sources for some of our food. It turns out that fresh produce is a great place to start. Look at how plentiful the month of August is in Colorado Springs:

Crop Calendar
Chart courtesy of the Colorado Farm and Art Market website.

I've been reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and am feeling inspired to seek out locally grown foods. Those winter fauxmatoes at the grocery store with their hard, pink flesh don't even compare to a fresh red tomatoes picked off the vine this morning. I'm starting to reconnect with the seasons; it sounds obvious, but it's easy to forget that strawberries need to travel quite a distance to arrive in Colorado in January.

Anyway, this is a roundabout way of getting to my point; I've been visiting the farmers' markets every week and I'd love to pass on the treasures I find to you. Maybe I'll share a recipe I've tried using local, seasonal ingredients. I'll pass along the recipes I use for home preserved treats like salsa, jams, and pasta sauce. Or I might just feature a couple of really great deals I found that week. I hope to encourage other Colorado Springs folks to support our local farmers by buying some produce directly. Here is a schedule published by the Gazette.

Homegrown on Tejon
10 a.m.-1 p.m., June 15-Oct. 12
300 block of North Tejon Street
Memorial Park
7 a.m.-1 p.m., June 22-Oct. 5.
Pikes Peak Avenue and Union Boulevard

Fountain Farmers Market
3-7 p.m., June 16-Sept. 29
City Hall, Ohio and Main Streets

Colorado Farm & Art Market
3-7 p.m., June 10-Oct. 7.
America the Beautiful Park, 126 Cimino Drive, 640-6154
Manitou Springs Midweek
4-8 p.m., June 10-Aug. 26.
Soda Springs Park, 1000 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 358-7845
Noon-6 p.m. June 10-Oct. 14.
Sundance Mountain Lodge, 1865 Woodmoor Drive

Memorial Park
7 a.m.-1 p.m., June 22-Oct. 5.
Corner of Pikes Peak Avenue and Union Boulevard

Woodland Park
7 a.m.-1 p.m., June 12-Sept. 25.
The corner of Center and Henrietta streets
woodlandparkfarmersmarket .com, 687-9053 or 689-3133

Colorado Farm & Art Market
9 a.m.-1 p.m., June 13-Oct. 10.
The Margarita at PineCreek, 7350 Pine Creek Road, 640-6154
Doherty High School
7 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 27-Oct. 3
4515 Barnes Road
8 a.m.-1 p.m., June 6-Oct. 10.
481 Colorado 105 (behind Starbucks)
Old Colorado City
7 a.m.-1:30 p.m., June 6-Oct. 31.
24th Street and West Colorado Avenue
8 a.m.-noon, June 13-Sept. 26.
Briargate Parkway and Chapel Hills Drive (Salsa Brava parking lot)
Heritage Farmers' Market
9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. June 13-Sept. 26
East parking lot at Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School
1200 W. Cheyenne Mountain Road

Palmer Lake
10 a.m.- 2 p.m., July 5-Oct. 11
On the lake at the gazebo in Palmer Lake 213-3323

Last week, I came home with a variety of veggies but was really impressed by the Torpedo Pepper Sausage from Torpedo Farms in Pueblo. I grilled them to accompany whole wheat hot dog buns one night, and tossed the leftovers in a Cheesy Sausage Pasta Bake the next day.

Today I discovered some Rocky Ford cantaloupes for $1 each along with the ingredients for a (hopefully delicious) banana pepper relish. I'll give it a try and if it's as good as I hope it is, I'll be sure to pass along the recipe.

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