Musings about Food & the Politics of Food.

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Eating Locally Project 2015: June & July

Posted on August 12, 2015 by Sahar

Apologies to you all for not writing this up sooner. With all the family visits, travel, and, yes, a summer sore throat & cold, I’ve been a little neglectful in getting anything written and posted.

I only shopped at 3 places this time around – Boggy Creek FarmSpringdale Farm, and at the farmers market in Quepos, Costa Rica. As I stated in May, I volunteer at Boggy Creek, so I shopped there twice and only had time to go once to Springdale. Because we were out of town so much, it simply wasn’t feasible to go more often to the farms or even make it out to any of the markets in Austin.


June 18 – Boggy Creek

Volunteer Day. I was experimenting with travel time from my house to the farm. I gave myself almost an hour that morning and arrived at the farm 20 minutes early. I decided to use the time semi-wisely and take a few photos of the soon-to-be cut flowers


Next time I go, I really need to ask what flowers they’re growing.




Rows of Zinnias


Zinnia ready for its close-up

As I recall, it was an overcast and humid day. There hadn’t been rain for several days at this point, so the ground was beginning to harden. And, it was weed-pulling day. The weeds are almost a lost cause on the farm, but everyone does their best to keep them in check. Most of them are fairly easy to pull; but the Bermuda Grass – ugh. After the weed pulling, composting was next on the list. I know the compost they use at Boggy Creek is excellent quality because it’s steaming as you fill the bucket.


After weeding and composting. Bermuda Grass – ugh. Trust me – this is so much better than any before picture would’ve suggested.

At the end of the day, I dragged myself into the farm stand to collect my “pay”. I wanted to be somewhat judicious since I knew Steve & I were going out of town again that weekend (it was his birthday), and I didn’t want to take the chance of anything going bad before I had a chance to use it.


Heirloom tomatoes.


Purple Bells.


The first butternut squash of the season. I was excited; it’s my favorite.


String beans are kicking in.


The red tomatoes are Indigo Rose. The yellow ones are Sungolds.

After my shopping, I decided to stretch my legs a little and walk around the farm. I discovered if I didn’t do this – basically cool down after a workout – my legs became very painful on the drive home.


Figs! I missed the crop she picked that day.


Cinnatree flowers.


Tractor study.


Carol Ann’s tea roses.


The okra is doing well.


Okra flower.


There they are. Baby Okra.


Another flowering tree that I don’t know the name of. I really need to stick asking about these in the old brain box.


Tatsumas. They’ll be ready in the fall. If the birds don’t get to them first.


My purchases: Dandelion Greens, Butternut Squash, Indigo Rose Tomatoes


Eggs. I gave these to my fitness trainer.


Saturday, June 27 – Boggy Creek

I missed my volunteer day at Boggy Creek that week (at this point, I can’t remember why), so I contented myself with heading out on Saturday instead; this way, I could also head to Springdale afterwards.


Cut flowers for sale


Basil and Dandelion Greens


Curly Mustard Greens. My current favorite.


Some of the Pursulane I helped to plant back in May. It has this wonderful sharp flavor to it. The leaves are almost like biting into a succulent.


‘Tis the season for tomatoes.


New potatoes. Always welcome.


The ladies waiting until the people have all left so they can have run of the farm.


Whatever produce Carol Ann feels isn’t good enough to sell, she feeds it to the chickens. They’re a happy bunch. That day, it was butternut squash.


Keeping up with the weeds is a never-ending battle. There are squash plants holding their own in there, though.


Taking a look at some of the rows I helped clean up.


Okra still going strong.


More of Carol Ann’s flowers


Waiting for the pecan season to begin. I don’t know that the farm sells them, but it’d be great if they did.


Caged pepper plants.




My Boggy Creek Purchases, Part 1: Hamburger Patties.


My Boggy Creek Purchases, Part 2: Basil, Curly Mustard, Figs, Dandelion Greens, Indigo Red Tomatoes, Sungold Tomatoes

After a quick chat with Carol Ann, Larry (Butler, Carol Ann’s husband and farm co-owner), and the lead volunteer, Dana, I headed to Springdale. They open an hour later than Boggy Creek, so I arrived a few minutes early. So, I took my time walking to the farm stand and took a few flower pictures.


I really need to buy a Flowers of Central Texas guide.


More posies.


I think this is a type of Marigold.

Springdale’s farm stand is smaller than Boggy Creek’s, but where Boggy’s is neat, pretty, and utilitarian, Springdale really put on a colorful and artful show. I love to walk in there and see what Paula, Glen, and their staff have done that week. It’s always lovely.


Case in point, the tomato table. The photo doesn’t do it justice.


The pepper table. I think they had 6 – 8 varieties that day.


The herb table.


Dill flowers. I didn’t buy any because I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them other than pickling. I’ll find something.


Beautiful chicken eggs.

And, of course, after shopping, I wandered a bit.


The ladies and gentlemen of the farm.


Ahh… more flowers.


Along the fence line.


The ducks would have nothing to do with me.


Ghost Peppers.


I think this was an Anaheim.


Some beautiful fungus growing out of one of the tree stumps.


More tree stump fungus.

At this point, I decided to not go to any other markets since, yes, Steve & I were once again leaving for parts far away soon. I wanted to get what I bought eaten before we left.


My Springdale purchases, Part 1: Thyme, Garlic Chives, Jalapeños, Mint


May Springdale purchases, Part 2: Chicken Eggs (f), Duck Eggs (b)

Bonus: My mom was in town for a Contemporary Handweavers of Texas conference (she’s on the board), so I went to visit her. I gave her a goodie bag of the chicken eggs, figs, and about half of the tomatoes. I’m not sure if the figs made it back to Ft. Worth.


Saturday’s Dinner: Baked Shrimp and Salad made with baby spinach, curly mustard, dandelion greens, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta, and extra virgin olive oil.


Saturday, July 11 – Farmers Market, Quepos, Costa Rica

I’ve already talked at length about this market in my previous post, La Pura Vida in Costa Rica, so I won’t go into too much detail here.

In short, the market is open late Friday (usually 4 – 9pm) and early Saturday (8am – noon).  The best time to go is early Saturday; the vendors are all set up and the crowds really haven’t gotten too big yet. The market is set up on the sea wall (Quepos is on the Central Pacific Coast) and the breezes coming off the ocean are a blessing and a break from the constant humidity.

The market isn’t large, but it is plentiful. Fruit, vegetables, seafood, prepared foods, handicrafts, and more than one general merchandise table were all in residence.


One of the handicraft tables.


Coconuts and (what I think are) Mamones Chinos – a type of lime with a hard shell and soft fruit. It’s related to the lychee.


Potatoes and tomatoes are native to Central and South America. Carrots came along in the 18th or 19th Century.


A cute, if formulaic, souvenir table.


Pineapples, of course


I think these were Fuji Apples.


Beautiful produce.


Mandarin Limes


I was excited to see these – Otaheiti Apples. Steve & I first had them in Jamaica.


We bought some beautiful Yellowfin Tuna from this vendor.




And here is your general merchandise table.


I believe these were the fruit of the Peach Palm. In the background are lychees; a lot of vendors were selling them.




A stand backing up to the Pacific.

Steve found a gentleman selling fresh tamales and bought he & I some for breakfast. (Mom, who was with us and had already eaten, declined.) They were the most unusual tamales I’d ever eaten.


Our view while we ate breakfast.


These tamales had the usual masa base, bit they had a very soft texture along with rice and chunks of vegetables and pork. They were delicious.


The still wrapped tamales.

After breakfast, while Steve decided to walk around town a bit, Mom & I walked our purchases back to the house. On the way, though, I ducked inside a carnecería and bought some epic chicharrones.


Now, THAT’S a chicharron.

We bought potatoes, tomatoes, avocados, Mandarin limes, mangoes, pineapple, yellowfin tuna, prawns, Oteheiti apples, onions, and chayote squash.

Since it was our last evening in Costa Rica, we decided to make it a party. I made a large, simple dinner with what we bought at the market and whatever was left in the refrigerator.


It took awhile to make dinner. The best parts – everyone enjoyed it and I didn’t have to clean up.


Thursday, July 30

Back at Boggy Creek after a 3-week hiatus.

We were tasked that morning with cleaning up 2 of the rows in the front field so they could be amended (Carol Ann’s organic secret recipe to add some nutrients back into the soil) and composted. I set about taking down the gherkin (small cucumbers) vines on my assigned row. It was great; the vines rolled up like a carpet.

After the rows were cleaned and we took our break, we laid a rather thick layer of compost on them. The farm is getting the fields ready for fall planting, so cleaning, amending, and composting at this point is essential for the new growth to be as healthy as possible.

The rows we cleaned, amended, and compsoted.

The rows we cleaned, amended, and composted.

We got lucky that day. There is a nice line of large pecan and oak trees lining the side we were on and it effectively shaded us pretty much all morning.

After our shift was over, we headed to the stand to collect our “pay”. Since it’s late summer, and we didn’t get the stand until after Noon, there wasn’t too much left to choose from.

But, it’s hard to complain about that when you’re getting the produce for free.


A few squash but a lot of long beans and cucumbers.


These are beautiful. I honestly had no idea they could be purple.


More curly mustard. I’d better enjoy it while I can.




Okra. So good.

I picked up some curly mustard, long beans, okra, and arugula. (I forgot to take a picture when I got home.)


More of Carol Ann’s flowers.


More summer squash. Carol Ann told us basically, as long as you want to plant it before the first frost, it’ll grow.


the ladies in the shade.


Buddy, the farm dog, spent a good deal of the day digging a very deep hole a couple of rows away from where we were working. He kept on long after we’d finished. I have no idea what he was looking for or if he even caught anything. But, it was entertaining to watch. We were all rooting for him.

So much for June and July. On to August.






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