Sketching Out Blog: Sketches of art, watercolor, photos, recipes, books, interviews, Jewish topics, and Highland Park, New Jersey

On Local Produce

Can you buy produce from local farmers easily? What do farmers grow in your area?

Every Friday in the summer (June to November) we have a farmers’ market in Highland Park. It is fun to go and see fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. This Friday I bought some mixed lettuce greens and two cucumbers. I ate one of the cucumbers as soon as I got home.

farmers market in Highland Park, New Jersey
cucumbersbuying lettuce at farmers market
flowers for sale at farmers\' market

Regarding the recent tomatoes and salmonella fiasco, Yardsnacker theorizes that workers not washing hands is too blame. His theory makes a lot of sense to me. I trust the local farmers much more than what is in our supermarkets. However, I do not think that everyone growing their own tomatoes is the solution. Many people live in apartments. Growing any vegetables takes time, energy and knowledge. Tomatoes require lots of sun. That said, if you do want to try vegetable gardening, tomatoes are among the easiest to grow. I always put plenty of compost in my soil before planting my tomatoes. Composting is free, if you know how to make compost out of your vegetable scraps and garden waste.

Ilana-Davita says

We have a lot of markets in France, all year round. In my hometown alone, there are four: on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the town center and then on Thursdays and Sundays in two different parts of the town.
You find local products as well as other ones from different French regions or the Mediterranean.
At the moment the local products are: lettuce, cucumbers, rhubarb, strawberries etc.

Leora says

Sounds like you can buy lots of good produce in your area, Ilana-Davita!

We have the same local produce now in New Jersey. They were selling strawberries for $4 a box. My husband and I figured we could have made over $30 from the strawberries in our backyard (but instead we ate them and shared half of them with the boys across the street, who had fun picking them).

Baila says

Over here we have the shuk. There isn't one im Modiin, but in nearby Ramle there is, and there is always Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as well.

Leora says

So, Baila, what's in the shuk these days? I gather strawberry season is over in Israel. Tomatoes probably start a lot earlier than they do in New Jersey.

hihorosie says

I love farmer's markets! We have one in our town but the last couple seasons it's moved locations so I need to find where it is now. :) And because I now understand a little bit more about gardening and the struggles and challenges associated with it I have a greater appreciation for farmers who do this for a LIVING.

Miriam says is a wonderful resource for finding farmer's markets near you. Another great option are CSAs (community supported agriculture) if you have one close to you. As for tomatoes, my 2 year-olds are in love with their tomato plants. Since they grow very quickly and are so easy to care for, they are wonderful first plants for children.

Leora says

Thanks for the info, Miriam. Too bad my kids hate tomatoes. One year we actually paid them to eat some of our home-grown tomatoes. It didn't work. What can I say, we got picky kids!

frum single female says

i love your photos of the farmer's market. i often frequent the farmer's market in nyc. their produce is so fresh. and i do trust the quality there more than in the supermarket.


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