To Market, To Market

Today I volunteered at the Minneapolis Farmers Market for the third time, and I have to say, it just keeps getting better and better.

Flowers at the market

MPLS Farmers Market

I am someone who loves to learn, but has a hard time retaining specific knowledge from just reading. Usually, I need to write information down in order to regurgitate it later. I have realized over the years that experiential learning is my best chance at remembering information, so while I've been reading a lot about sustainable food systems, I decided to volunteer to actually meet people and see the food.


Loretta explains EBT
Loretta explains EBT to Emily's phone

Dunlaoghaire Soap

Electric Red
Homemade Jam

And oh, the things I have learned.

Last week, I was given a lesson on bees and beekeeping from Paul and Rita of Appleberry Farm, and today they told me about making sauerkraut in a bucket. We (myself and Emily, the wonderful woman who takes the time to let me help her out and to introduce me to the growers - check out her blog, Noble Plate!) talked honey and the possible culprits of Colony Collapse Disorder with various vendors. I've learned what dahlias and snapdragons look like, and that petunias are edible. And, most importantly, I have learned that this time of year is rhubarb season.

Rhubarb Season

Maybe that last tidbit is common knowledge, but I've never really been a big fan of rhubarb, so if it is, I never paid attention. I don't really do the whole tart and sour thing. But after finding out a few weeks ago that my grandma makes a mean rhubarb crisp, and then listening to Kim Christensen, creator of the fantastic blog Affairs of Living, do a demo on how to pickle rhubarb and make rhubarb compote, I must say I'm feeling quite converted.

Pickled Rhubarb

Pickled Rhubarb

My Favorite Rhubarb Recipes

Kim the rhubarb master

I'm going to test my hand at making the compote sometime soon, so be ready to hear about that adventure.

Today I bought whole grain honey wheat bread, cherry-blueberry jam, fresh asparagus, lettuce, and basil, AND someone bought me a local, free-range bison burger, which was exactly what I needed on a chilly day after eating a very small breakfast. Really, can it get any better than that? Methinks not. I was planning on making pesto with the basil, but then my mom told me that I need some kind of blender or food processor to do that (really, this is how inexperienced I am in the kitchen), so that experiment will have to wait until another day.'s been great so far, and I'm excited to have a whole summer of spending Saturdays and Sundays at the market, and to write about it afterwards. If you ever want to come visit me, here's all the info you need (it's the Lyndale market)!:

Bison burger

In other news, today was Open Streets/Ciclovia Day in Minneapolis. I biked to the market simply so I could bike down the middle of Lyndale Avenue on the way home. I don't know what it is, but it's so fun to be able to bike down a street that is usually full of traffic. Especially if you're doing it legally.

Open Streets MPLS

Bikin' down the middle of Lyndale

Open Streets MPLS

It's also wonderful to live in a place where the road is shut down in May for the annual neighborhood street festival and then again a month later to let people celebrate getting out of their cars and moving around a bit

Ladder to the Sky
Open Streets MPLS

I have so much on my mind, and so many things I feel like writing about, and to me that is a sign that I should probably start writing more than once a week so that a) I don't forget things or try to cram a million words into one blog post, and b) people who might read this won't be overwhelmed by a hundred different things going on all at once. I'll work on that.

One more thing: the Los Angeles Times published one of my photos on their web site (it's the June 8th photo)!

This one, to be exact:

A Bug's Life

They also published it in their LA NOW blog

I feel like I'm usually modest to the point of being annoying, but I'm going to go ahead and celebrate this one, because it's pretty dang cool. For most of my life (with the exception of the first five years or so, during which I loved being the center of attention and performing for anyone who would glance my way) I've had a fear of putting myself out into the world to be judged and criticized; submitting this photo was my way of finally trying to combat that fear, and I'm glad I did. It's left me with a sense of validation and knowledge that people outside of my family and friends think that maybe some of the things I do are worthwhile, and it's given me the motivation to continue to be creative and do the things I'm passionate about. I needed that.

Things I'm diggin' right now:
-This song from the end of an episode of Weeds - I love how the songs they play during the end credits of that show often are so much sweeter than what just happened in the episode
-My new Photojojo book, full of fun DIY photo ideas
-Pinterest. So addicting.

Peace foo.