Monday, June 16, 2008

Need-a-Bag? Project Update 06.14.08

Note: The Need-a-Bag? project was created to promote sustainable bagging at the Hwy 441 Alachua County Farmer's Market each Saturday morning. We supply reusable tote bags reclaimed from thrift stores and garage sales. The Need-a-Bag? project also utilizes old tank tops as tote bags by sewing up the bottoms (these are called t-totes). We invite you to read the other posts on the project by clicking the "Need-a-Bag? Project" label at the bottom of this post.

First, thank you to the anonymous Need-a-Bag? project donor who put out two totally bitchin' tote bags on the fence this Saturday. I should have written down what they said but it was something like "Arristar" or something. Anyway, that was amazing! Thank you, anonymous Friend of Need-a-Bag? project!

Speaking of F.O.N's (Friend of Need-a-Bag? project), F.O.N. Stacey has been elevated to Need-a-Bag? project associate Stacey for waking up early on Saturday morning to help me hang bags on the fence outside of the farmer's market this week. DG was in NYC cheering on a mutual friend who debuted her first play Off-Broadway this weekend [Hooray, Aliza!]), so I was all alone until Stacey so graciously volunteered to assist. Boy, having someone there to help really makes a difference! It's not so much physical help as the emotional support having an extra person there makes. DG and I have been doing it together so often that when one of us can't do it, the deficit is truly felt.

We put out 16 bags that morning, and all but one sad, little, blue burlap tote was left by the time we were done shopping. Stacey felt so bad for it she moved it closer to the drop bin so it wouldn't be lonely!

The farmer's market was, once again, crazy busy. There apparently was an article in the Gainesville Sun a couple of weekends ago about local food markets (I'll post the link if I can find the darn thing -- The G'ville Sun website s**ks, btw), so that may have had something to do with it.

I asked Erika-of-the-pretty-caladiums and she said, "I think a lot of it had to do with the voucher program, plus the tomato scare, plus the article, plus the really great summer produce that is available. All of those factors combined equals one fun-filled (and crowded) day at the market. Hopefully all of the people who came on Saturday will return in the winter with the same level of enthusiasm for local produce."

Indeed. I've only spent a miniscule amount of time at the farmer's market, but in the time I have been coming, the last three weeks have definitely been the most busy.

Bought a melon, cantaloupe, two of the largest onions known to mankind, 3 acorn squash, one spaghetti squash, 2 super-size zucchini and some assorted small yellow summer squash. I have been chowing on the acorn squash like nobody's business! I have tried them baked/steamed and just baked with melted butter and brown sugar, as per alert commenter Stacey's instructions. I could eat it plain and I could eat it over and over. And I have. Next, I make the spaghetti squash according to my mom-in-law's so, so good recipe using ground beef and pasta sauce.

New pet peeve? Hearing the sentence, "isn't it a little early for (Fill in any vegetable I have just purchased from the farmer's market)?" I'm not sure why, but it fills me with rage when I hear this, even when my sainted mom-in-law says it, as she did with the afore-mentioned acorn squash purchases this week and last week. So I Googled it and the Sarasota extension office has a fact sheet about squash and it is so in season right now! So there!

Got the picture of my new favorite gourd-type vegetable from All Creatures
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