Apologies to you all for not writing this up sooner. With all the family visits, travel, and, yes, a summer sore throat & cold, I’ve been a little neglectful in getting anything written and posted.
I only shopped at 3 places this time around – Boggy Creek Farm, Springdale Farm, and at the farmers market in Quepos, Costa Rica. As I stated in May, I volunteer at Boggy Creek, so I shopped there twice and only had time to go once to Springdale. Because we were out of town so much, it simply wasn’t feasible to go more often to the farms or even make it out to any of the markets in Austin.
June 18 – Boggy Creek
Volunteer Day. I was experimenting with travel time from my house to the farm. I gave myself almost an hour that morning and arrived at the farm 20 minutes early. I decided to use the time semi-wisely and take a few photos of the soon-to-be cut flowers
As I recall, it was an overcast and humid day. There hadn’t been rain for several days at this point, so the ground was beginning to harden. And, it was weed-pulling day. The weeds are almost a lost cause on the farm, but everyone does their best to keep them in check. Most of them are fairly easy to pull; but the Bermuda Grass – ugh. After the weed pulling, composting was next on the list. I know the compost they use at Boggy Creek is excellent quality because it’s steaming as you fill the bucket.
At the end of the day, I dragged myself into the farm stand to collect my “pay”. I wanted to be somewhat judicious since I knew Steve & I were going out of town again that weekend (it was his birthday), and I didn’t want to take the chance of anything going bad before I had a chance to use it.
After my shopping, I decided to stretch my legs a little and walk around the farm. I discovered if I didn’t do this – basically cool down after a workout – my legs became very painful on the drive home.
Saturday, June 27 – Boggy Creek
I missed my volunteer day at Boggy Creek that week (at this point, I can’t remember why), so I contented myself with heading out on Saturday instead; this way, I could also head to Springdale afterwards.
After a quick chat with Carol Ann, Larry (Butler, Carol Ann’s husband and farm co-owner), and the lead volunteer, Dana, I headed to Springdale. They open an hour later than Boggy Creek, so I arrived a few minutes early. So, I took my time walking to the farm stand and took a few flower pictures.
Springdale’s farm stand is smaller than Boggy Creek’s, but where Boggy’s is neat, pretty, and utilitarian, Springdale really put on a colorful and artful show. I love to walk in there and see what Paula, Glen, and their staff have done that week. It’s always lovely.
And, of course, after shopping, I wandered a bit.
At this point, I decided to not go to any other markets since, yes, Steve & I were once again leaving for parts far away soon. I wanted to get what I bought eaten before we left.
Bonus: My mom was in town for a Contemporary Handweavers of Texas conference (she’s on the board), so I went to visit her. I gave her a goodie bag of the chicken eggs, figs, and about half of the tomatoes. I’m not sure if the figs made it back to Ft. Worth.
Saturday, July 11 – Farmers Market, Quepos, Costa Rica
I’ve already talked at length about this market in my previous post, La Pura Vida in Costa Rica, so I won’t go into too much detail here.
In short, the market is open late Friday (usually 4 – 9pm) and early Saturday (8am – noon). The best time to go is early Saturday; the vendors are all set up and the crowds really haven’t gotten too big yet. The market is set up on the sea wall (Quepos is on the Central Pacific Coast) and the breezes coming off the ocean are a blessing and a break from the constant humidity.
The market isn’t large, but it is plentiful. Fruit, vegetables, seafood, prepared foods, handicrafts, and more than one general merchandise table were all in residence.
Steve found a gentleman selling fresh tamales and bought he & I some for breakfast. (Mom, who was with us and had already eaten, declined.) They were the most unusual tamales I’d ever eaten.
After breakfast, while Steve decided to walk around town a bit, Mom & I walked our purchases back to the house. On the way, though, I ducked inside a carnecería and bought some epic chicharrones.
We bought potatoes, tomatoes, avocados, Mandarin limes, mangoes, pineapple, yellowfin tuna, prawns, Oteheiti apples, onions, and chayote squash.
Since it was our last evening in Costa Rica, we decided to make it a party. I made a large, simple dinner with what we bought at the market and whatever was left in the refrigerator.
Thursday, July 30
Back at Boggy Creek after a 3-week hiatus.
We were tasked that morning with cleaning up 2 of the rows in the front field so they could be amended (Carol Ann’s organic secret recipe to add some nutrients back into the soil) and composted. I set about taking down the gherkin (small cucumbers) vines on my assigned row. It was great; the vines rolled up like a carpet.
After the rows were cleaned and we took our break, we laid a rather thick layer of compost on them. The farm is getting the fields ready for fall planting, so cleaning, amending, and composting at this point is essential for the new growth to be as healthy as possible.
We got lucky that day. There is a nice line of large pecan and oak trees lining the side we were on and it effectively shaded us pretty much all morning.
After our shift was over, we headed to the stand to collect our “pay”. Since it’s late summer, and we didn’t get the stand until after Noon, there wasn’t too much left to choose from.
But, it’s hard to complain about that when you’re getting the produce for free.
I picked up some curly mustard, long beans, okra, and arugula. (I forgot to take a picture when I got home.)
So much for June and July. On to August.