Fresh Fork Market: Weeks 8 and 9

???????????????????????????????Rain and cool temperatures have made for an interesting summer here in northeast Ohio.  And my schedule has made for an interesting summer as well!   My Fresh Fork Market bag arrived last Wednesday with blueberries, lettuce, cheese, eggs, squash, and some other delicious freshness.  With company in town,  I was able to use several of these items quickly, which made my menu planning easy. However, I did not get my blogging time in-thus, no pictures or food ideas.   This week I am headed out of town, so I will not be picking up my FFM bag today.  This is another great feature of Fresh Fork Market – the flexibility of the plan.

Fresh Fork Market, I have learned, is actually a Farm Buying Club. Though similar in its roots to a CSA (community-supported agriculture), a farm buying club is more like a co-op in that several farms contribute to the organization, thus providing more variety to their customers.  This benefits the consumer, obviously, but this also benefits the farmer because any one farm does not have to provide all the produce being distributed.  Fresh Fork Market works with these farms and plans distribution based on what is available each week.  In addition, Fresh Fork Market allows the customer to cancel a weekly pick-up in advance, due to vacation plans, for example.   Not picking up this bag means I will receive credits to use for produce in the remaining season.  Next week my pick-up plan will resume as usual.  And all of this can be arranged online at the Fresh Fork Market website.

So if you have given some thought to trying the Fresh Fork Market plan, I have given you another reason to sign up.  I look forward to next week’s pick up and a new adventure in fresh foods.  Have a great week!

A Country Girl in the City

This morning I scored big in my gardening project.  Having purchased seed potatoes a few weeks ago, I have been eagerly SONY DSCanticipating planting them.  After viewing several YouTube videos on the subject of growing potatoes in containers, I set out on a quest for burlap bags for just this purpose.  An online search revealed only rather expensive options.  So I headed over to the Wilson Feed Mill on Canal Rd. and discovered they sell burlap bags for $2.  After purchasing five bags,  I headed home, ready to fill the bags with dirt and get my Yukon Golds and Red Pontiacs started for the season.

I don’t live in the country.  In fact, our house sits on approximately one-quarter of an acre in a suburb of Cleveland, so gardening space is at a premium and livestock is out of the question.  My small garden is slowly creeping into more of the backyard as our kids have gotten older and need less outdoor space for toys.  I have warned my husband that someday he might come home and have no backyard left,  reminding him that then he wouldn’t have to mow it anymore!

Even though I don’t live in the country,  sometimes I feel like a country girl at heart.  My grandparents were cattle farmers, my uncle’s family are hog farmers.  I spent many a summer day in the barn, the fields, the creek, the flower garden, the granary, the milk house.  I helped Grandma take the milk and cat food out to the barn and watched her fill the large rubber black bowls with it as multiple cats mysteriously emerged from hay bales or the barn loft where they dutifully fulfilled their task of keeping the mice population under control.  I caught crawdads in the creek, rode the tractor with Grandpa, ran old field corn through the hand-cranked corn husker in the granary, played hide-and-seek in the barn and milk house. I got muddy, silly, itchy, dirty, and tired all in one day-and it was great.

So how do you know if you are a country girl at heart?  Here are a few considerations:

You might be a country girl if you would rather play in the dirt than go shopping.

You might be a country girl if your kids don’t have any room to play in the backyard because you turned it into a vegetable garden.

You might be a country girl if you dress up when required but would rather live in your blue jeans and boots.

You might be a country girl if you own a canner, a dehydrator and multiple gardening gadgets.

You might be a country girl if you dream all winter of being able to use your canner, dehydrator and garden gadgets next year.

You might be a country girl if you avoid grocery stores and look for farm stands on the side of the road.

You might be a country girl if you get more excited about getting seeds in the mail than getting a check in the mail.

You might be a country girl if you love the smell of fresh-plowed fields fertilized with manure.

You might be a country girl if you wish you owned a few chickens instead of a few cats.

You might be a country girl if you drool over farmstead real estate instead of a fancy new house.

You might be a country girl if you would rather have a tractor in a barn than another car in the garage.

I have no expectations of a life in the country being in my future.  But this doesn’t keep me from digging in the dirt, getting excited about simple things, and learning to live somewhat self-sufficiently.  You might even find me occasionally catching crawdads in the creek – hope you will join me!