Monday, August 30, 2010

Farmer's Market Day, Chicken and Dumplings and Incubating Eggs

Yesterday was Farmer's Market Day.  To my surprise, the woman who sells bison was there, so I picked up two mock tender steaks and three pounds of bison hamburger.  I also bought green beans, bacon, garlic, cherries (Flathead cherries are late this year), a melon that is called "Sinful" which is a cross between a cantaloupe and honeydew, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, peaches, salad mix, kale, butter, celery, zucchini, eggplant, sugar snap peas, corn and carrots.

One of the tricks of going to the farmer's market is to know who sells what.  There are families who sell the same produce or similar produce and the prices may be similar or a few cents either direction.  What they hope is that you'll be in such a hurry that you won't shop and thus will buy the highest marked items first.  The highest marked items are usually on the ends, but not always.  Certain things like fruit, eggs and cheeses tend to be rarer and people are quick to buy them out.  So, it helps to arrive early and figure it all out.  Of course, I never arrive early, but I do recognize certain folks and shop first for the rare items, like fruit and meat, and then shop for the vegetables.  The other trick is to know the pricing between the two markets.  Fruits and vegetables are almost always cheaper at the Higgins Market.  The Clark Fork market vendors tend to price produce higher there, but that's where you get your meats and cheeses.  So, it's kind of a trade off.  I go to both and don't dally.  The quicker I can make sure I have food is to see what's new and popular.  Even so, I get smacked a bit.  Last year, for example, I waited until the huckleberries dropped to $35 for 5 lbs.  They had a bumper crop that year and ended up selling them for $20/5 lbs.  I ended up buying a second 5 lb bag.  This year, it looks like we're going to have a shortened season.  Good thing I have some frozen huckleberries from last year.

Tonight I made my Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings for dinner.  It was just perfect for a cold August day (the temperatures only got to 56F today).  Autumn is around the corner.

Speaking of chickens, I'm getting about 5 eggs a day from my girls, which is really cool.  Eventually, when the Buff Orpingtons come on line, I should be getting about 15 eggs a day.  Enough to sell some eggs.  Assuming everything goes okay, the eggs in the incubator should be hatching in the next few days.  Keep your fingers crossed.

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