I've always thought of myself as being relatively environmentally-aware, but man, having a kid puts that whole thing into overdrive, believe it. These days I find myself become maniacal about checking labels, avoiding super-processed crap, and feeding as much organic food as possible to the curly-haired, Gogol Bordello-/Hannah Montana-loving midget who lives in my house. Since having Abbie, we've become hyper-sensitive of hormones, preservatives, sugar, and all that other fun junk that regularly gets pumped into food to make it more "appealing." Uh-huh, right.
Luckily, several friends of ours are into the same sorts of things, so a couple of 'em (one of whom works for local nonprofit Urban Harvest) eventually prodded the wife & I into meandering over to the Bayou City Farmers Market one Saturday. The market's held every Saturday morning (getting there early is best, I've found), from 8AM-12PM, in a parking lot back behind the building at 3000 Richmond, on the north side of Richmond at Eastside, just east of Buffalo Speedway & north of 59. Our first experience was a little underwhelming, admittedly -- it was hot as hell w/almost no shade in the parking lot, and there weren't very many vendors there that day -- but since then we've been trying to go back as often as we can.
And over time, we've been pretty impressed. While my wife insists she could easily be a vegetarian, I'm a can't-help-it carnivore, so I was blown away when we showed up one morning to find the Olde World Farms booth all set up, w/piles and piles of gorgeous-looking all-natural beef on display. It's a little pricey for me in general, but damn, their sausages are good. We've gotten some good organic veggies, homemade bread, candles, honey, even flowers, all grown by Houston-area folks (sometimes in areas you wouldn't expect, actually; there're apparently some community gardens down in Westbury that sell produce at the market). And the milk? Whoo, boy. When the milk people come by, it's hard to beat.
The best of the bunch so far, though, was the morning when a local shrimper had brought their catch to the market. For $9, I bought a pound of the biggest, freshest (they didn't even smell like fish, which was pretty cool) shrimp I've ever seen in my life. We took 'em home, peeled & deveined 'em, slapped 'em under the broiler w/some butter, garlic, oil, & shallots, and gorged ourselves on shrimp scampi that night. They were awesome, if I do say so myself. (Now my wife makes me make scampi every time we get shrimp from anywhere, which is cool, 'cause I don't get to do much cooking these days...)
Anyway, the reason I'm mentioning all this is because tomorrow, Saturday, March 29th, the market's having its annual(?) Kids' Market Day, where they encourage folks to bring their munchkins out to check out the goings-on, pet some animals, get their faces painted, see some demonstrations, and supposedly even take home a free tomato plant. Plus, there'll be music from singer Danielle Reich and jazz bassist Thomas Helton, both of whom I've actually heard of before, so that's cool.
Of course, it's free, and it supports strictly local growers, craft-y types, and businesses, which is a nice, consumerism-minded way of sticking it to The Man ("The Man" in this case not referring to the City of Houston, but rather to the Wal-Marts & factory-farm monstrosities we're all tied to by the purse strings. Fight the power, yo.
Oh, and if you're feeling really greenie tomorrow, you can also participate in Earth Hour 2008, where millions of people all over the planet will turn off all their lights. It's meant to be a statement about climate change and global warming, but it's also interesting to see what you can do without having all the lights in the house on. The last time the power got cut in our neighborhood, it was actually kinda cool -- we all sat in the living room and read books or scribbled in journals by candlelight. (But then, we're pretty dorky.) So there you go...
Labels: Environmental Junk, Political Stuff, Things To Do, Things To Getgaijin || Link || E-mail || 0 comments
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