14 August 2012

Welcome to the August 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Farmer's Markets
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about something new they've learned about their local farmers.
I am an organised person when it comes to food buying, it is one of the few areas of mothering where I am.  I have a vegetable box delivered each week along with some fruit, milk and eggs based on the contents on this and any produce I have ready to harvest in the garden, I plan a supper menu.  I then put together a shopping list of all the ingredients I need to cook that menu plus any items I need to make lunches and breakfast.  I shop once a week on the same day, in my local town.  I rarely need to buy food in the intervening days.  I very very rarely throw food away.

My local farmers market is held once a month in a nearby village.  There is a variety of produce on sale, mostly meat with a couple of cheese producers and two vegetable stalls.  I visit the market sporadically depending on the time of year.  In the winter this is most months, in the summer hardly at all.

As a mostly vegetarian household we, now, only visit the market to buy cheese and vegetables.  The vegetables top up those that we are short of in the veg box or in the garden.  We used to buy meat but now prefer to buy direct from the farmer, in my country we call this farm gate sales.

The farmers we buy our meat from are those that we have met at the farmers market. In the early days we bought from them at the market now, rather than buying a few cuts each month we prefer to buy many at once and put them in the freezer.  When we are running low we contact the farmer and find out what he or she has available and then arrange to go and pick up what we require.  By visiting their farm we have been able to see for ourselves how the livestock are raised as we have been offered a tour of each of the two farms we buy from.  It has been really interesting for me and the children and we are grateful for each of these farmers for showing us how they work.

We have now met a local organic cheese producer who also sells raw milk from her farm.  We are thinking about going to go and collect some of this milk to try it out, if we like it we may use this regularly.

So for us the farmers market is serving a duel purpose as a stepping stone to building relationship with producers in our area and buying from them direct or to top up gaps in our supply of food.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon August 14 with all the carnival links.)

10 Simple Ways to Make the Farmer's Market More Fun for Kids — Lorie at Reading Confetti shares ideas and books to help kids get the most from the farmers market experience.
10 Things I Want To Teach My Daughter About The Importance of Shopping at the Farmer’s Market — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares the ten lessons she hopes to impart to her daughter about the importance of shopping at local farmers markets.
Charmed by Two Small Town Markets — Shannon at GrowingSlower was charmed by two small-town farmers markets while on vacation.
The Olympia Farmer's Market (and a giveaway!) — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes and family took a trip to their state capitol to experience a new market. See what they saw, and enter to win a book written about that very market.
— Exploring the farmers market by Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy writing at Natural Parents Network — with a scavenger hunt!
Exploring the Market ... Alphabet StyleThat Mama Gretchen is in the midst of creating a learning tool for her toddler and it's all about the market!
Unschooling at the Farmers Market — Megz at Aspen Mama loves building memories as a vendor at the Market.
Montessori-Inspired Vegetable Unit — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares links to Montessori-inspired vegetable printables and activities to help your family get the most out of a trip to the farmer’s market.
Markets — How sustainable mum has fitted a monthly farmers market into a weekly food shop.
The Farmers Market In Under An Hour ("Carl Style") — Andrea and family at Tales of Goodness adapt their farmers marketing approach to make everyone happy.
Tales Of a Troubled Gardener — Sam at Love Parenting writes about her dream of self-sufficiency and her lack of gardening skills!
A Few {Of The Many} Reasons Why I Love Our Farmer’s Market — Even though the experience can sometimes be less than peaceful, MomeeeZen shares why she enjoys taking her family to the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.
Experiencing the Farmer's Market from a Different Perspective — Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM had a great time letting her toddler lead the way at the farmer's market...
Ask A Farmer's Daughter — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter answers questions about her life growing up on a small family farm in New England.
Giving Up the Grocery Store — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares her family's summertime challenge to eliminate trips to the grocery store and rely almost exclusively on local, farm-fresh foods.
Urban farming and fresh food in the city — Lauren at Hobo Mama takes trips to farms, gardens, and markets within reach of a big city.
Market Tip: Get to Know Your Farmers — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger finally gets up the guts to talk to her farmers and learns she is among ardent food lovers.
New Farmer's Market Find — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is excited to make a new find at her new farmers market.
"The Real World" Grassroots Edition — jessica at instead of institution takes some time out to write a love note.
9 Insider Tips for Farmer's Market Newbies — Dionna at Code Name: Mama chatted with a few farmers to bring you some insider information on how to get the most out of your local farmer's market.
The Place Where I Can Say "Yes!" — Erica at ChildOrganics gives you a tour of her favorite vendors at her local farmers market and discusses the benefits of creating community through the market.
Raw Local Milk — Jorje shares her family's field trip to a local dairy. Learn what you can appreciate from a small town farm at Momma
Italian Secret Vegetable Soup Recipe — Alinka at Baby Web convinces an Italian Farmer & Cook to reveal a precious minestrone recipe and shares it with her readers.
Where do our eggs come from? A visit to Sucellus Farms. — Carli at One Fit Mom takes her family to meet the chickens that have been providing their daily eggs.
Beyond the Farm — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy and her family enjoy looking beyond the food at the local farmer's market to see the wares of the over vendors.
Magic at the Market — Do you ever take time to really look at the food you eat? Amy at Anktangle enjoys marveling at the beauty (and the utility) of the foods and goods available at the farmers' market.
Farmer's Market Discoveries — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen reminisces about the discoveries she's made at the Farmer's Market throughout the years.
Are You Getting the Most out of Your Farmers' Market? (My List of Not-So-Common "Musts") — Sheila at A Living Family shares some uncommon ways to squeeze even more joy and connection (and yumminess!) from your local farmers' market experience.
Pick Your Own And Eat It — Luschka from Diary of a First Child shares their trip to a PYO farm and the journey from picking to eating her favourite food


  1. Interesting to hear your process! I'm so jealous of your freezer capacity. I wish we could buy a bunch of meat at once and also do more freezing of garden produce. Maybe someday we'll have space for a deep freeze!

    1. It has evolved over many years. The deep freeze is in the garage, we found one that could cope with being in a cold environment we would not have room for it in the house!

  2. I love to hear perspectives from other countries. It sounds like you've got a good system going. We're working on getting "closer to the source" of our food too - and we get nearer all the time. I think I'll call one of the local meat farms and set up a tour - great idea. Thanks.

    1. Thank you, I hope you find it as interesting as we have.

  3. Oh how I wish we could feed ourselves from our own garden. I tried for a few years, but I am an awful gardener. I need to team up with someone who knows what they are doing. At any rate, I love your arrangement!

    1. Thank you, my gardening ranges from very successful to completely awful depending on how well I keep the pests at bay and how much weeding I do!

  4. We've had zero success in our garden over this horrible summer! I'm envious! Also, we often see things for sale at farms but have never actually stopped to buy. Perhaps we should!

    1. I am sorry to hear your garden has not produced what you had hoped for. It is also so disappointing after all your hard work. I have never actually stopped at a farm to buy anything, I have used the farmers market as a way to get to know the farmer and his/her produce. I guess stopping to buy is another good way of seeing where you food comes from and it is often cheaper too!

  5. We buy our meats directly from the farmer too - best meat we've ever had and I feel so much better serving it to my family when I know exactly where it came from. The family who raises our beef have become dear friends too - she just sent us home with eggs and zucchini as an extra present this week :)

    1. Good to hear from someone doing the same as us, lucky you for your bonus foods! Hope they tasted good.

  6. You sound so organized when it comes to food! That's awesome :)

    1. Thank you, I find it saves the daily dilemma of what to cook to eat each day, which is why I started to do it.

  7. You have some great habits! I love your organization ... I wish I could be so organized! I like to buy produce at the farmer's market and enjoy vegetables from my parents' garden when we're able to visit them in the summer. My mother always freezes lots of sweet corn, which I thoroughly enjoy when we visit my parents at any time of the year. :)

    1. We live a fair distance from food shops so if I am not organised we don't eat! Or we end up spending a fortune on fuel. I don't think my husband or children would be too happy either.


Hello......would love to hear from you :)