Winter Market Co-op

Challenge #3: A Green Valentine’s Day?

Inside the Mill Valley Farmer's Market with our San Diego Zoo bag and food from our Winter Co-op market share

We may have a leaky house, but the Ballentines like to cook. We are also facing a nice blizzard type of storm here in the next 24 to 36 hours, so it’s lucky that today was the first day I could pick up some local grub from a market co-op I discovered in January!

Last month, a woman at work sent around a notice for a summer veggie co-op through Mill Valley Garden and Farmer’s Market. She had great success with it last summer and wanted to get others excited about it. Personally, I love going to farmer’s markets during the summer, and we have many nice markets and roadside farm stands in Baltimore. The wonderful aromas, the fresh food, and, for Henry, the day-old chocolate croissants from a local bakery, are bright spots in our week. So I didn’t think we would sign up for the Summer Co-op, even though it is very convenient.

Then, I noticed that there was a Winter Co-op through Mill Valley, which really piqued my interest. I was intrigued by the “full share” option, which would provide 4 veggie and 2 “other” items each week for 13 weeks.

Tom was less thrilled by the co-op idea than I. Not because he doesn’t like the actual idea, but he was afraid that we would spend the money up front, and I would not be interested in items we were given each week. Truth be told, I am a picky eater and when faced with food like turnips or broccoli or (shudder) cauliflower, I run from the room. But, I pledged to go with the flow and enjoy the ride.

Today, I was positively giddy to pick up our first week of co-op groceries. Honestly, it was like anticipating a birthday surprise. I think I giggled when I pulled up to the market, I was so excited. (Perhaps, you might say, she should get out more…)

The food from the co-op this week was white button mushrooms, red grapefruit (not local, but organic), potatoes, onions from Tuscarora Organic Growers Co-op (a co-op of 30-plus organic farmers), 1 pound of Gunpowder Bison ground bison, and Baugher’s apple cider. Guess what – home run on food! Oh, the plans we have for this challenge….And, if we are stuck inside due to a blizzard this weekend, we will have our “green” Valentine’s Day dinner a bit early!

Jane Ballentine

Read Jane’s previous post, Carbon Footprint Shock!

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