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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sundays in my City: Hidden Treasure

I love the idea of farmer's markets. All that fresh, home-grown produce set out in friendly spaces. Card tables full of delicious goodies that I love to eat, but am ill-equipped (or too lazy) to grow myself. But the problem with most farmer's markets is that they take place on Saturday mornings when I want to be sleeping or at least still lounging in my jammies.

My friend Ann told me about Your Neighbor's Garden, a farmer's market just off the path I drive on a daily basis. I'd seen the simple "Farmer's Market" signs with arrows pointing the way, but had never followed them. But one day last week, I had the hankering for some fresh fruits and veggies and decided to check it out.

I knew I was at the right place, when I saw this sign in front of the house:

Photobucket

But when I'll pulled up to the market at the end of the driveway, I was surprised to not find picnic tables or card tables piled with produce and someone sitting with a small cash box. Instead, this sign, posted on the side of a small building greeted Robbie and me.

Your Neighbors' Garden

We walked inside and found...air conditioning, which was amazingly welcome on the 90+ degree day that we were there! The walls were lined with white-painted shelves offering fruits and veggies, each section tagged with the name of the produce and its price. There was a scale for weighing your selections and that was it. No one else was there. It turns out that Your Neighbor's Garden is a self-serve operation. You add up your purchases and leave your cash or check or a Visa voucher in the safebox.

Robbie-YNG

Robbie and I looked around at all we had to choose from. I picked up some zucchini because Annie has wanted to make zucchini bread. Five ears of corn for that night's dinner. At 40 cents each, they were slightly more expensive than the ears I'd bought at the grocery store. But I found when we cooked them that they were 10 times better in taste! A couple of big tomatoes because something is eating the few tomato plants I managed to get in the ground this year. A pint of cherry tomatoes for Charlie.

Robbie asked if we could get blueberries. I went with the pint for $2.50. I wish I'd bought the quart for $4.25. They were so juicy and sweet. Of course Robbie wouldn't know, because when I offered him a few when we got back to the car, he said "Eww! Yuck! I don't like that stuff!"

He also asked for cabbage. I said no, I didn't think we'd buy cabbage today. But he insisted. "Please Mom? I love cabbage!" So now I have a head of cabbage I don't know what to do with. Any easy suggestions (my reputation should precede me) are welcome.

The last thing I slipped into my sack was a beet. I had never bought a beet before, but I was inspired by Eternal Lizdom's recent experience with beets. So I selected just one beet and promptly called Liz to tell her that I bought a beet because of her and what the heck was I supposed to do now. (Peel and quarter it. Drizzle it with oil, sprinkle it with some lemon pepper seasoning. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes. It was good! Kind of had a bit of a sweet potato taste.)

Maybe next time I'll try the rhubarb.

Then I weighed what was sold by weight, added up my total and left $15 in the safebox. Here's what my money got me:

Spoils

Your Neighbor's Garden does sell at some of the farmer's markets around town. But there's something about going to this hidden gem that appeals to me. This week they'll have lots of new stuff including peaches, raspberries and green tomatoes. If you go, leave some for me.

Unknown Mami


Note: I'm linking this up to Unknown Mami's Sundays in My City. Click here to visit cool finds in other cities.

13 comments:

Indianapolis Amy said...

Amy: I love Your Neighbor's Garden...re: cabbage-- you can make up coleslaw... or add some olive oil, garlic and sliced cabbage to a frying pan and cook-- adding salt and pepper...it's a good side to serve with sausage or kielbasa.

Roasted beets are awesome. I add them to salads...

Indianapolis Amy said...

Amy: I love Your Neighbor's Garden...re: cabbage-- you can make up coleslaw... or add some olive oil, garlic and sliced cabbage to a frying pan and cook-- adding salt and pepper...it's a good side to serve with sausage or kielbasa.

Roasted beets are awesome. I add them to salads...

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh how I would love to have a place like that in my neighborhood. Fresh produce AND air conditioning :-)

It looks like you totally scored with your purchases. Bon Appetite!

Happy SIMC, jj

ChristineM said...

Oh, I want one in my neighborhood! Very cool!

Lynn said...

What a lovely market! And no crowds. I wish I had one like that around here. Happy Sunday!

Unknown Mami said...

That place looks fantastic! You can also finely shred the raw beets and put them in salad. I love beets.

Coby said...

My mouth is watering! That place looks wonderful! I am a beet and cabbage fan, although I don't often cook either one, so I'm no help on that front. When I DO use cabbage it's in in stir fries or in bierocks/runzas. Enjoy your bounty!

Erin said...

That is my kind of farmer's market! How great!

Only thing I know about cabbage...boil it...YUCK! I know all this coming from a Irish girl.

But it tastes great on fish tacos!
Or coleslaw if that is what you are into! =)

Eternal Lizdom said...

What a great find!!! I love an adventure with a happy (and healthy) ending!

Amy said...

The funny thing is that I thought I'd found some great new secret place. But I read on YNG's website that they've been around for 29 years. So, I'm a little late to the party...

gibknitty said...

that place sounds quaint and delicious. i love the self-serve, trusting attitude. very sweet.

Martha Latta said...

Amy, Thank you so much for blogging about us! We also have a facebook page which you can "like" us for updates. Thanks again!

Martha, Ross and the rest of the YNG team

Martha Latta said...

Hi Amy, Ross Faris, the gentleman who owns Your Neighbor's Garden would really like to talk to you via email about this post. He loves that you wrote it and he keeps a paper copy around all the time. Could you please email him at farisfarms@comcast.net so he can ask you a couple of questions. I think he wants to use a portion as a customer testimonial. Thanks so much for contacting him. I would have emailed you, but couldn't find it on your blog.

Martha (yng employee)