My goal start date was the first weekend in April. My preliminary run was March 26th. It was a cool Saturday but nice enough to run around in a light jacket. I gathered up my shopping bags and headed up to the River Market with my neighbor and husband. (My husband is still leery of my plans to have us on a diet of locally grown, organic, and limited grocery store experience so he is tagging a long to see how this is exactly going to work).
Disappointment. The isles that are usually loaded with Mennonites and their truck beds filled with potatoes, carrots, squash, and zucchini were empty. The few days of warm weather had tricked me into thinking the bountiful harvest was ripe and ready. I don't know why? I have dabbled in gardening. I know plants don't produce overnight. Most people haven't even laid seed yet this season with threats of more cold and wet days ahead.
I have thought and thought about my little project since its inception last October. Nothing I could really do then since the fall in the Midwest doesn't grow much. I know I jumped the gun a bit but I was excited. With all the thinking I did, I didn't do much planning. I didn't plan that it will be May now before I have a readily available selection. I didn't plan how much food we can eat so we don't waste when we are buying fresh. I haven't taken in consideration yet what we are going to do next fall. Months after we start the project how we are going to sustain when the food isn't being produced. I have never canned or froze fresh fruits and vegetables....
Although it isn't local food there are a few stands in the River Market that have fresh produce. In my eagerness I bought and bought some more. And although I can't say it is the start of my experiment it has showed me that the ill-planning on my part could pose some wastefulness and keep me from my grocery store limitations that I have hoped for.
Week 2 didn't fair any better. My husband tagged along again. Our car had broken down so we took the city bus to the River Market. It added a sense of adventure to the whole thing, if you are familiar with Kansas City's Metro you would understand. It also allowed us to decide that we would use the bus as often as we can for our weekly trips. It seems to go hand in hand nicely. We did buy some meat from some local farms. There was still no produce, this time I expected that so i wasn't disappointed. I decided to go again just to keep getting used to the changes I am making. (One big one being waking up early on a Saturday). Although meat is much more expensive the taste and the way it cooks up make up for it. I hope we start using less meat but that one will be hard on us. We usually have a meat, starch, and vegetable with every meal at dinner time.
Week 3 I started at the farmers market in downtown Overland Park. They had their kick-off weekend the week before so I was hopeful that maybe there was enough to get started with. There wasn't anything but plants, herbs, meat, and some various craft and misc. vendors. My neighbor was with me again. She and I headed back down to River Market and stocked up on some produce from the booths that aren't local, but fresh once again. I spent $20 and got a lot. Again, its a good trial and error phase. We had a nice lunch and sat out and enjoyed the beautiful day. This was River Markets kickoff weekend so a lot was going on. There were a few farmers with some tomatoes, squash, and a small amount of this and that. It made me hopeful of what is to come. I adventured into the Asian market for the first time, a grocery store filled with whole fish, bags of rice, and unually items I have never seen. The smell was bad, but tolerable. (My amazement was stronger than my sense of smell).
I am still excited, maybe even more so than I was before.