“Let us not forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts will follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.” -Daniel Webster
I talked a few weeks ago about how great it is to buy locally. I’m excited to unpack that this week and talk about our awesome local resource: Galveston’s Own Farmer’s Market! If you haven’t ever been to the farmer’s market before, then I’m almost a little jealous of you. It’s like hearing that someone hasn’t heard an incredible band’s most recent single or the season finale of Sherlock Holmes season 2! Let’s be real, we wish we could re-live some of those first time experiences. The farmer’s market in Dallas was a sad one. Yes, they had some fun foods and neat attractions here and there but for the most part you were buying Dole strawberries out of an old truck. Not awesome. However, let me assure you, Galveston does it right! You will not only find great, locally grown, in-season vegetables but so much more. First let’s talk about buying local foods!
Why does buying local matter?
There are quite a few reasons I jumped on the buy-local-food band wagon.
Buying locally can mean less harmful pesticides. I think this topic goes right along with why it’s important to buy organic. Does it really matter? In my last entry I talked a bit about both of these subjects. Yes, it matters! The non-organic produce that you buy (specifically: apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, imported nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach strawberries, sweet bell peppers, kale/collard greens, and summer squash) can be very heavily sprayed with pesticides to prevent bugs and other pests from eating or destroying crops. Ok, so what? What’s a little chemical gonna do? Well, Dr. Sanjay Gupta put it well, “The evidence about the relationship between pesticides and adverse affects on human health are not clear. There are some studies that suggest they may cause birth defects, for pregnant women, may cause nerve damage, even cancer. But simply by following these rules (the dirty dozen list + washing and/or peeling non organic produce) you can rid your body of about 80% of the pesticides you might be taking in on any given day.” Well, that sounds good to me 🙂 Local, smaller farms are going to be less likely to spray their crops with harmful pesticides. They do not have the demand that a big farm like Dole has, and so they can take the time to find and use alternative methods for protecting their crops from pests in a way that is better for us and better for the environment. Which leads me to my next point.
Buying locally has less of an environmental impact. “We are living in an era of the 1,500-mile-meal, where each ingredient typically travels that distance to get to your plate. Unripe and unready, our food is picked to travel – eating oil and belching emissions…” – Kate Geagan author of Go Green, Get Lean and registered dietician. Eating locally eliminates the need for this outrageous gas guzzling process.
Buying local foods means fresher, tastier produce! Yes, it’s true. You can think back to an experience where you were on a plane waiting for 45 minutes or an hour just to get off, running on peanuts and gum. Or maybe a time you went on a choir tour with your church group and the air conditioner on the bus stopped working…yeah. Not your freshest moment, right? I’m not exactly a fan of the flavor an apple has when it’s been through the same experience I just described. The first time I ever went to the farmer’s market here in Galveston I purchased some celery and the farmer (yes, I bought straight from the actually farmer. Thug life.) handed me celery with all the roots and dirt still attached and said, “here you go, picked this just before I came.” And how did that celery taste? Dang good, and I don’t even really like celery. It’s not hard to imagine what a tole our food takes when it has to travel such a long way to get to our hands.
Buying locally supports the local food economy and creates community. Maybe it’s because you’re a tad rebellious and you want to do something different, maybe you read an article about Dole’s banana debacle, or about how some other gigantic corporation did something awful for no other reason than saving themselves a little money, money, money. Whatever your reason is, take your dollars and put them in the hands of farmers who care about how harmful they can be and decide to do what’s right. Vote with your money. If you want more locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables then ‘vote’ for those things. Get to know who your local food growers are, find out what they stand for, and support a good cause. I don’t have the luxury of donating money right now. (The thought of affording that makes me laugh, out loud.) But food I must buy; we purchase hundreds of dollars of it each month. I can support what I believe by going to my local farmers market and saying, “I trust your food and your process, thank you, keep up the good work!” I don’t know about you but I am a BIG fan of community. Growing up in Fort Worth I didn’t have much of a sense of community, partly because of the environment I lived in, and partly because I was a self-absorbed teenager. BUT now that I am a wo-man, I love the idea of community and I crave it. I want my son to grow up in a thriving community. I want to see the same faces when I go out. I want to know the couple that grows my son’s lunch and I want to shake hands with the woman who made the goat cheese I’m eating at breakfast. This is where we’ve found our community here, aside from our awesome church, and I love it!
If you live in the G I’ve got some awesome news for you. We have an incredible, growing market here that offers all the goodies I talked about above! Here are some of my favorite parts of Galveston’s Own Farmer’s Market!
First, before we get into all the exciting things they offer, let me give you a little background. The farmer’s market started February of 2011 and was started by 6 people who currently make up the board. A few of these individuals you will see at the market every Sunday! Sid Holliday who makes local honey can be found there selling his product, Pure Beeing. Vince Bruno not only has an awesome name but he also makes the delicious Kombucha. He can be found behind a booth on Sundays selling not only his incredible fermented tea but also offers a nice cool Snobucha, which combines the glory of a snow cone with the incredible flavor of his tea infused with different fruit flavors. So, who’s in charge here? I’m so glad you asked.
Meet Cate Black.
See Cate cook.
Cate manages our farmer’s market. She is a part of a board that began back in 2012. They not only ensure that the vendors of our local market are actually local (within 100 mile radius), add value to our market, and boost the food economy, they are also working to make our market a non-profit! Cate, herself, loves food. She loves farmer’s markets and she believes in eating locally. All 6 active members of Galveston’s Own Farmer’s Market have different backgrounds and motives for starting this market, but they all agree on the mission behind this venture, “Galveston’s Own Farmer’s Market brings locally grown produce, prepared foods, and edible farm products to residents of Galveston and the surrounding areas every Sunday morning. We strive to foster a greater sense of community; all while supporting farmers + producers, and connecting individuals with their local food economy.” As my good friend Philip Penley would say, I can get behind that! So what are these products? Here are some of my favs!
My first highlight would be Mood Dog Farms, our market’s most consistent produce provider. We buy from them weekly and enjoy them immensely. This awesome couple, Alex and Casey, started their farm less than a year ago and not only provide for local residents of Galveston each Sunday, but provide also for a small restaurant. Listening to them describe the heat and exhaustion they experience day in and day out in their first Texas summer on their farm was amazing to me. I kept thinking, “I thought being a mom was hard, this is really hard!” Don’t get me wrong, being a mom is hard but I can choose to stay out of the heat and away from the mosquitoes while raising my child to be a productive member of society. So, hats off to these folks!
Moon Dog Farms deliver a weekly array of beautiful, safe, delicious produce! We love to buy fresh basil, green onions, okra, and peppers from them!
My next highlight is something I found so unique! I had never heard of Kombucha, before let alone tasted it. As I’ve mentioned before you can find locally made, delicious, and sweet Kombucha made by Vince Bruno every Sunday here at our local market. Not only do they sell different sizes and versions of this tangy tea, but they also offer Snobucha (Kombucha snow cones) for a reasonable price along with free samples if you want to give this tea a taste!
This next highlight is a favorite in our house. Sinful Bakery brings some of the most delicious, 100% vegan treats I’ve ever had. My husband just drools over their cinnamon rolls while I prefer the apple pie! We’ve tried their strawberry tart, pumpkin cream cheese bread, and their banana bread. All good; ridiculously good. Check them out!
Finally, I want to highlight Market Street Foods. This incredible woman provides salsas, dips, and treats that are,” So good, you’ll fight for them!” Awesome slogan and so, so true! With the ingredients typed out right on the label you know exactly what you’re getting from her! All natural, vegan friendly, gluten free goodies. Our favorites are her Vegan Queso and her Macaroons (both the plain and the macaroons dipped in chocolate). She is amazing and so are her foods.
There are so many wonderful things at the Farmers Market. Starter plants, eggs, organic meats, goat cheese, crepes, infused olive oils and balsamic vinegar’s. Many delicious food and happy faces! You can check out this awesome local resource every Sunday morning from 9:00am to 12:00pm, 9:00am to 1:00pm starting in October, at 2508 Postoffice here in Galveston. They are located just behind the Antique Warehouse. Eat real food and support your local food economy just a food blocks from home!
Thanks for reading,