Thursday, July 17, 2008

You Can't Get More Local Than This.....Unless You Grow It Yourself

In my quest to eat more locally grown food and support my local businesses I feel so fortunate to have a wonderful fruit and flower stand at the end of my road. I have been making a weekly, sometimes daily, trek to Bea's Flowers for many years. It started out as a dahlia farm and I remember, years ago, taking my son down there to pick dahlias to cover his float for a local parade. He had his dog pull a covered wagon full of colorful dahlias. Over the years they have added other flowers and produce, in season.

They carry farm fresh eggs and if you have a pet in mind they have the cutest baby bunnies for sale, unless you want them for snake food. Then they will turn you away.

Bea's is owned by a mother and her daughter that have used much of their profits feeding the hungry and helping people in third world countries. Their prices are very reasonable (cheap) because they just want to give people a break. Even with that, when you ask the price of something there is an apology in their voice. They would probably give it away if they could and I'm sure they do to some. They are quick with a smile and a down home easiness that is almost lost in this hurry up kind of world.

I can gather an armload of fruits and vegetables, go up to the counter, and she says, "That will be $8.00." Are you kidding me! I can't do that at Albertson's. I can't even do that at Local Boys' fruit stand down the highway where they want my right arm for their designer fruits.

So yesterday I went down the road to get my raspberries for jam. They did happen to bring these in from a local farm but grow a lot of their own fruits and vegetables there. I bought a flat and a half of raspberries, some tomatoes and some baby zucchini.

I spent last night making my famous freezer jam. Well it's not really famous, except in my family. I use a recipe that my grandma taught me. It is easy and what I like about freezer jam is that it doesn't matter what you put it in and it tastes just like the fresh fruit you use. I have used this same recipe with peaches with unbelievable results. Trouble is I eat peach jam on anything and everything or straight out of the jar. I have an order in at Bea's for a box of peaches.

Now with all my heart I wish I had a big garden but I live in the trees with no big open spots that have full sun most of the day and I am unwilling to cut any of these huge Douglas firs and Cedar trees that have been here for hundreds of years just to scratch my garden itch. But I have Bea's. They are my garden, without all the work.

A local resident


@JDHealingTimeOnEarth said...

What a Wonderful Spot, Wendy!! I'll have to search out Bea's Flowers when I'm over there next time. Sounds terrific.

P.s. Any chance you'll share your freezer jam recipe? =;) I could use a good one!

goatgirl said...

Yes Clare I'll share. It is very simple. I'll post it today.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What a beautiful farm stand. How lucky you are to live so close!
I'm impressed that they even have a real cash register, but yet still keep their prices low. Do they accept credit cards, too?

Farm stands aren't the same as they used to be. Remember when it was just an old wood shack, or an umbrella behind the back of a truck, and the money was dealt with via old chewed-up looking cigar boxes?

I'm envious that peaches are growing in your area, too.
We have a very large peach tree on our property but the late freeze at the end of May and our cold temperatures all summer here have stumped the peach growth this summer.
And I even bought the ice cream attachment for my Kitchen Aid in anticipation. Bummer.

goatgirl said...

Twinville, they had just bought that cash register! So it is shiny new! But they still have old fashion prices.

Country Girl said...

That's a really cool spot. We are going to be putting a road stand up shortly and I am hoping it turns into something more over time.
Thanks for the recipe. That is special that you have it still in her writing. ~Kim