Did You Notice that the Season of Accessible and Affordable Returned

July 8, 2010 at 11:30 am

Rob Gardner

Let me start by getting something out of the way that I’ve been meaning to get out of the way (and I’ll have more on this in another post), but my wife is now selling for Tomato Mountain at four markets around town.  I have not mentioned Tomato Mountain in any posts in a while, and when I had, it was just passing on word about their canned products being an off-season treat.  Now, I will remind you that they’re a treat off-season or not!  Needless to say, any future mentions of Tomato Mountain will be biased.  I’ve always liked the company and hoped you support them, but now I actively want you to buy (especially from my wife).  I will promise to never mention Tomato Mountain, however, without disclosing our affiliation.

Now, I’m glad to get that out of the way, but I wanted to also mention them for another reason.  If I shopped often at farmer’s markets before, my wife’s affiliation allows me to shop (via her) even more at markets.  We are never more than two days away from getting more food, and this situation has been especially helpful in keeping us awash in fresh breads.  Still, it is not breads that I’m thinking about today.  See as much as I like farmer’s markets, and as much as I like buying at farmer’s markets, I also like accessible and affordable local foods.  This week’s packet of flyers in the Trib reminded me that have already entered the season of accessible and affordable.  The season where you can find local foods at all sorts of places, and the season where you can make your dollar last longer. 

I had inklings before this round of advertisements.  Over a week ago, I found locally grown cauliflower at the Treasure Island in Old Town (and found one of the few stores that still has someone weighing your produce before checkout).  At my Caputo’s in Elmwood Park, where I shop often, I found the first of the locally grown cabbage.  These few sightings did not lead to a post though.  It took the stuff noticed this week:

  • Dominick’s, which likes to confuse you with “local favorite” mixed in with “locally grown” has Michigan blueberries and Illinois grown summer squash
  • Jewel had Indiana grown muskmelon
  • And the aforementioned Caputo’s now has Michigan summer squash to go with its locally grown cabbage.

In the weeks to come, the accessible, affordable season will grow more bountiful.  Don’t forsake your area farmer’s market.  You will always find a greater variety of material there; you will find variety and rarities the big stores cannot touch, and you find farmer’s who’s growing practices make more sense.  With all that, there’s a place for accessible and affordable.  You still get so many advantages of buying local, including reduced food miles and community support.  Most of all, it will taste better, much better.  We believe in accessible and affordable local food.  We hope you take advantage of the season.

Let us know what types of accessible and affordable local foods you are finding.