We've always traded for produce at Farmers Markets but the bulk of this is in the spring, summer and fall. We get the best organic melons, berries, greens, tomatoes, squash, potatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, everything in it's season. Bread, seafood, salsa, humus, pastries and chocolate truffles too. It's limitless.
We've traded at winter markets also but it seemed that the choices were more limited. As the popularity of winter markets grow, farmers are planting more crops to harvest in winter and our choices are really increasing. This season we enjoyed brussel sprouts for several weeks, along with wonderful roasted parsnips, carrots, and shallots layered over goat cheese flavored garlic mashed potatoes. Every week what's available evolves into a furtherance of the season. Next week there might be strawberries. Oregon strawberries!
In the past, we might have supplemented winter produce with trips to the grocery store. Due to the economy, we are getting all of our produce at the market now, because it's virtually free for us. Our cheese is in big demand so we end up with nice mushrooms and all the produce we can eat for the week. With maybe a pretzel or two thrown in there. And those producers get the cheese for their weekly menus.
Trades are usually straight retail for straight retail. That way its fair. As for the strawberries, I'll wait to see how many they bring. If it's limited and they might actually sell out, I'll wait. Anything that can be sold for cash should be so that the farm makes money. But the last minute trading is fast and furious. Anything not sold is converted into something special to take home to the fam damily.
Today I brought home black truffles, hedgehog mushrooms, spinach, greens, pastries, beets and purple onions.
For a list of the farmers markets we attend, check our website