It's always bothered me a bit that most farmers' markets are held in the morning. Don't farmers have better things to do in the morning? Why can't they spend the morning picking their produce and then bring it to a farmers' market in the afternoon for goodness sake?!
I like fresh fruits and vegetables, but I'm not a morning person, nor am I any longer at an age where staying up all night to greet the dawn is an option. So unless I grew it myself, having fresh fruits and vegetables in the house--I mean REALLY fresh!--wasn't very likely.
Now, though, there are farm co-ops that are happy to deliver fresh, organic fruits and vegetables to my home, and I think that's an excellent alternative!
I recently signed up for home delivery of a box of organic mixed fruit and vegetables every third Tuesday. We can use a box of produce in a couple weeks, and by the third week, I'm kind of excited again to see what arrives next--and I can check online to see what's being delivered that week and postpone if that week's produce doesn't appeal to me.
So every third week, the organic fruits and vegetables equivalent of Santa Claus arrives at my house between 1 a.m. and 1 p.m. and delivers a box to my door. And you know what I said about not being a morning person? It was never so apparent as it was last night when I was making a last check of the house before going to bed, and I saw through my front window a box of produce on the patio table.
One of the interesting things about getting these boxes is that there's usually something in the box that's a bit of a challenge. Kind of like the TV show Chopped! but for the household cook rather than the professional chef. Last time it was baby bok choy--we'd never cooked with it before, and we received a POUND of baby bok choy. Sadly we didn't use it all before it got too old, but we did make stir fry one night. The time before that, it was red chard. My grandma used to cook Swiss chard but my mom never was into cooked greens other than spinach, so cooking chard was a little different for me.
And this week? This week, our box contained (among other things) a pound of gypsy peppers that look like this:
I had no idea what kind of peppers they were--thank goodness for the internet! Now I know they're sweet peppers, similar to bell peppers, and they have a thin skin. I've found a couple recipes for stuffed gypsy peppers that sound intriguing, and they're supposed to be good raw in salads too.
I would love to have a garden to grow my own produce in, but that requires more time and effort than I want to put into it. This year, we've planted three tomato plants in a raised planter, and I'll have to be satisfied with that--my own homegrown, ripe tomatoes and a box of fresh, organic produce delivered to my door every couple weeks. AND I don't have to get up early and go anywhere to get it. Not a bad deal, I think!