In my Lenten journey, I decided that part of my experience should be to weekly go to a Farmer’s Market. This being Boston, even in the winter, there are a number of markets one can go to. I’m told the one’s up in Cambridge and Somerville are the biggest, and as Cambridge is slightly closer to me, I decided to check it out.
What was I looking for? A few random veggies, maybe some meat, apples, eggs, and my big goal, DAIRY. In particular, I’m in the market for some butter.
First, I did a little egg comparison. A guy selling whole chickens (tempting) was out, so, sad face. Another guy sold his for $5 a dozen, and another farm was selling theirs for $8 a dozen. Now, I’ve bought eggs at another farmer’s market that are normally $7 a dozen, but I buy 3 for $15. Eight bucks for eggs is steeeeep. I use a lot of eggs. I asked about why the eggs were $8–certified organic. Ok. I guess. I didn’t try to make a deal. Maybe next time: 3 dozen for $20. Still not so great. I ended up buying from the other farm along with an expensive piece of flank steak which is marinating in my fridge right now.
Eight dollar egg farm also is a dairy, so, even though I was judgy about the eggs, I asked if they make or sell butter. Nope. Did they know any other dairies that make butter? Nope. WHY IS BUTTER SO IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND! I know, I can make my own, but then I also have to find grass-fed milk, which is equally difficult to find, and an extra step of work when there are plenty of dairies and cheese-makers out there! (If someone can explain to me why local grass-fed butter isn’t a thing, I would love to know.)
Next thing I know, the beekeeper stand next to eight dollar egg stand, asks, “Are you looking for butter? My friend just used some leftover cheese making remnants to make a ton of butter and would like to sell/get rid of it.”
What did I learn?
- My daily staples really take some serious maneuvering to find.
- Beg and plead for information when necessary.
- Check out multiple farmer’s markets.
- I was surprised even the little bit of drama I found like, “Oh, that farmers hates that farmer. They’re rivals.” With such a small market, shouldn’t we all be in this together?
- Buy local cheese every chance you get.
- Chances are, if their a dairy, they make butter–they just don’t sell it.
- Don’t be afraid to make butter deals.