Lenten Locavore Pilgrimage to the Farmer’s Market

Yes. A butter sculpture.

Yes. A butter sculpture.

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.”

BAM. Butter deal.

What did I learn?

  1. My daily staples really take some serious maneuvering to find.
  2. Beg and plead for information when necessary.
  3. Check out multiple farmer’s markets.
  4. 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?
  5. Buy local cheese every chance you get.
  6. Chances are, if their a dairy, they make butter–they just don’t sell it.
  7. Don’t be afraid to make butter deals.
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