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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shopping at Eastern Market in Detroit

There is only one place to go on a Saturday morning when you wake up at 5am and can't go back to sleep, the Farmer's Market.  This morning I decided to call a friend, Bethany, who is always up early, and is also a fan of Farmer's Markets.  We agreed to meet at Eastern Market, a half-way point for both of us, and we enjoyed the morning with several thousand other early-birds.  Eastern Market opens at 4am, so were were the late arrivals, but there is always lots of produce and products to buy, and many vendors to visit.  Bethany also commented that it is a place to walk around and feel a part of something bigger, like going back in time when people gathered at the local town center to trade.  Most vendors are happy to talk with you, and in the posted rules, there is a rule against being grumpy!  

This morning I was able to get some things that I am not growing this year, like corn, black beans, pinto beans and garlic cloves; some things that are not yet done growing in my garden, like onions; and the required honey and Amish made bread.  I also picked up two bunches of rosemary, because mine was dismal this year.  Two bunches for $2.00 will dry and last for the whole year.  The prices are much less expensive than store prices, and the produce is fresher and of better quality.  

Bethany bought fresh Michigan peaches, free of all pesticides, (yes, we sniffed and didn't care about strange stares) zucchini, yellow straight-neck squash, kolrobi, and we both bought apple-cider to drink. (The cider was from last falls pressing, and then frozen, but it tasted great!)

The corn will be grilled and we will eat some, but I bought 12 ears so that I can preserve some by freezing.  The onions will be braided and tied-up to be dried, along with the rosemary.  The black beans and pinto beans are already dried, so they will be put in the cupboard for yummy bean soup, and black beans and rice.

I have a love for raw honey, that is unpasteurized honey, which you cannot buy in stores.  I have eaten raw honey for years, we harvested it at the Firestone Farm, and the taste in so much better and more complex.  It is worth the trip alone.  This year I stopped at the "Grown in Detroit" stand and bought some "Wild Detroit Honey" from Green Toe Gardens.
The city bees are actually fairing much better these days than their country cousins, due to less pesticides and more city gardens.  The bees roam all over, and feed on all varieties of flower, so the honey has a different essence compared to bees given fields of clover, or orchards.  You can taste the "wild" and it is delicious.
This article I found talks about these city bees and their honey, it is a great read:

Now that I am home, the corn is soaking, the onions are braided, the rosemary is hanging, and I will posting soon on those projects!

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