Farmer’s Markets and Festivals

Beth and I are trying out farmer’s markets as the source of our fruits, vegetables and bread. Our intention is to eat more healthfully, support local growers and enjoy the time we spend at the market – talking to vendors and being outdoors. Here in Callicoon, NY it stays outdoors until around Thanksgiving then heads indoors for the winter. It’s more expensive for us to eat this way, but there’s lots of hidden costs to our society when we rely on Big Ag.

We’ve already noticed that one has to be careful to not overspend at these events, however. There’s a romance at the market -and one can fall in love very quickly with a smiling farmer or the farmer’s attractive son, daughter or little grandchild. One wants to interact and spend to help these people who have been digging in the dirt and schlepping their wares to the market. Yesterday, for example, we had a list of 5 things to buy and we came home with 15. Obviously, we need to remind ourselves that we have a budget.

So, we’re talking to our neighbors and friends about farmstands, too. It may be that driving to someone’s farm is less costly because they aren’t renting a stall at the market. We’ll learn and I’ll let you know! (Certainly, let us know if you have some information about this.)

What we do know is that we can’t afford to dine out regularly and we don’t want to. Beth and I aren’t gourmet cooks, but we are both capable of putting good, healthy food on the table at 1/3 the cost of eating at a restaurant. We’ve been doing this together for 30 years and our conclusion is that 9 times out of 10 we enjoy a homecooked meal to one at even some of the best restaurants.

I see a lot of young kids in their 20’s making the same mistakes that I did when I was that age. Drinking in bars and eating every meal out is a HUGE drain on one’s salary. These days, I think it’s much worse than when we were young. You’ve probably heard me say it before (if you follow me on Facebook) that I just cannot get over the fact that a sandwich and a drink is getting closer and closer to $20. It’s insane!

Okay, I’m off my soapbox.

This weekend we booked a trip and purchased some concert tickets, too. September 23-25 is an event called “Fresh Grass” in North Adams, MA. We’re going to hook up the camper and spend four days enjoying the fall foliage, great bluegrass music with new friends, Mark and Mary. Avid readers of this blog will recall our great time at the North Carolina concert called Merlefest over the summer. We’re psyched for some more great tunes.

Speaking of budgets, this wasn’t something we planned, but I think it’s absolutely necessary for my mental health. The transition to living here has been rough and I saw it as essential to mix what we love (traveling and music) with what we’re doing to make a living. Lucky for me, Beth agreed.

The truck’s in the shop getting an oil change, we’ve got invoices to send out and Beth has a new private yoga client to meet. Our landlord, Don, and his lady love are off to Santa Monica today, so we’ll be flying solo on these 40 acres for a while. Wish us luck!

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