Food, Glorious Food -> The Joy Of Farmers Markets & Local Farms On The Road
We are admitted RV foodies. We LOVE food, DREAM about food and spend hours concocting interesting recipes so we can EAT the stuff. Many of our best memories center around the “day we ate xxx” which leads to rather mouth-watering strolls down memory lane, which in turn leads to planning the next meal which ultimately ends up with full & happy bellies and yet another drool-worthy memory. It’s a wonderful natural progression that I call the food cycle. Procure, Nourish, Repeat….YUM!
Now this is not a new thing for me. I’ve been a food-lover all my life, sadly most of it of the wrong kind, which is partially why I spent many of my youthful years either very overweight or battling said weight with various unhealthy eating disorders. Thankfully I matured, learned about my own food triggers and discovered how to love the “right” stuff which has brought me to a sense of food peace I never knew. And even more thankfully I met a partner who joined me on this journey and…wait for it ladies…he cooks like a Food Network chef! Oh yeah baby, I totally scored.
All this to say that we spend a good portion of our monthly budget on the glories of food, as well as a good portion of our days looking for interesting recipes and patting ourselves on the back for a job well cooked (it’s always nice when you get 5-star reviews). Our philosophy centers around whole, fresh produce of the best quality we can get. We eat lots of fresh greens, organic veggies, fruit, nuts, meat and fish…nothing processed at all. This can be a challenge at times, depending on how far out in the “boonies” we get, but it becomes super-easy in the bountiful summer and even more so on the green and fruitful Oregon coast.
Enter Farmers Markets & local farms. Depending on season almost every town you hit will have one or the other. I’ll often look-up farmers markets before we get to a spot (a simple google of “farmers market in city xxx” will usually bring up the goods) and sometimes we’ll even plan our travels around hitting one. Since we’re meat-eaters and rather picky about the quality of our meat, I’ll also look for grass-fed farms (eatwild.com is an excellent resource). In this way it becomes a rather fun part of our travels. I’ve been known to slip-in late-night meetings with egg-farmers on street corners so I can trade for hard-to-find pastured eggs, drive “the beast” right onto a farm to conclude a clandestine meat transaction and bribe locals into finding me the best greens. I’m sneaky and I’m good….
Here in Bandon we’ve got several excellent sources of all the above. We have a large Friday/Saturday farmers market every week right in town, excellent u-pick berry farms all around and even a fabulous veggie spot just south of us. We usually buy for a week or two at a time with the plan of eating said goodies depending on how well they last. So, typically we’ll eat any delicate greens & fruits (salad, herbs, arugula, kale, beet tops, raspberries etc.) first, followed by longer-lasting stuff later in the week (zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, blueberries etc.), with the best-keeping stuff (cabbage, squashes, parsnips, apples etc.) left for last. Any fresh-caught fish we’ll eat same-day whereas other meats go in the freezer. With that method we buy “smart” and can easily go 1-2 weeks on a good set of purchases while still keeping a very varied diet. Easy peasy, right?
Our past week here was a typical shopping expedition. We hit the farmers market in Bandon on Friday AM, followed by a trip to Valley Flora on Saturday (thanks to Gunta’s local connection) to get more goodies the next day. Our haul was HUGE from fresh salmon caught the day before to eggs collected from pastured hens that morning to organic greens plucked right from the farm the very day. This stuff is super-fresh and it tastes….IN-CRED-IBLE. By now most of the stalls know me by name (I can order “the usual” ya know), and I have the benefit of knowing exactly where our stuff comes from. Plus, believe it or not we actually save money when we shop locally.
The glory of food and healthy living…Fennel and all. If you haven’t tried them, give your local farmers markets a go and I guarantee you’ll become converts in no time. Who knows, you might even end up as bonafide RV foodies like us.
Do you dig farmers markets as much as we do?