Sunday, May 8, 2011
Milwaukie Farmers Market
Mom's Day is the day we finally made it out to the Milwaukie Farmers Market. What a great way to celebrate both motherhood and the spring bounty from our mother earth! At this market, we said hello to friends, pet the plants, admired butterfly and bat boxes, wrapped our goods in our fabric bags, called out the colors on all the beautiful spring flowers, chomped carrots and spicy pickled asparagus, and left 25 pounds heavier. Baby Liam slept in the stroller while Hannah and I perused the colorful delights of the market.
After strolling around the market once, we went back around to make some purchases. We started with asparagus. The farmer told us how he likes to prepare his asparagus. "Fry it up in a pan for about seven minutes with onions and garlic, and then put it on the barbecue. That gives it that tasty crunch!" We will definitely give that a try with our asparagus.
We moved on to a very colorful stall filled with mountains of veggies. After choosing our favorite kales, chard, and carrots, we had a lovely conversation with the farmer there. He talked with Hannah about how it is hard work to be a big sister. When she told him her baby is six months old, the farmer told her he has a three month old son at home.
Then we were off to talk with a dairy farmer whose milk is "all natural" and "grass fed." Of course I had to ask, "What does that mean?" All natural to him means no hormones or antibiotics. (When we return I can ask him what he does when a cow has an infection. The answer I am looking for is he removes that cow's milk from the rest until antibiotics are out of the cow's system. Organic farms butcher cows when they have an infection. I learned how to question farmers from Growing a Farmer.) We purchased a quart of the glass-bottled milk. We paid about $1 for a bottle deposit, which we'll get back when we return the bottle.
My parents visited yesterday and took me to Al's Garden Center to choose some delicious plants for a belated birthday gift. (A gift with minimal packaging!) My purchases reflect my love for crafting my own tea. My choices were two lavender bushes, an Echinacea plant, and a chamomile plant. Hannah chose lemon cucumbers and pumpkins. Now our plants need a little protection from the slugs. Therefore, our next stop at the market this morning was to pick up a bag of hazelnut shells. We'll lay the shells around the perimeter of our garden and its garden boxes to keep out slugs. The hazelnut farmer said shells are about 90% effective at keeping out slugs. The shells are great mulch, can be used as a child's tactile box (like a sand box), and are comfortable to walk on.
When Liam finally awoke, we stopped to listen, clap, and dance to the musician's songs about vegetables and children. And then made our final stop: egg rolls. Our friends recommended we try the egg rolls, so we chose a couple to take home for lunch. And that is where I finally got out the camera to take a picture of Hannah, after she devoured the pork egg roll and a glass of local glass-bottled milk. She can't get enough of the carrots. This bunch will be devoured before dinner. What a lovely way to spend Mom's Day with my children, outside taking in the sights and sounds of the local farmers market. We can't wait to get back!
The market is (by Ledding Library) on Main, between Harrison and Jefferson. It is open Sundays 9:30-2:00.