Saturday, May 26, 2012

Market on the Move

The line when we left the MOM (I'm glad we were there early)
As you might guess, because of the climate here in Phoenix, the agriculture is a little different.  I'll say "more specialized."  We can grow many different tropical fruits, but only certain kinds that can handle the dry climate.  And we can grow other kinds of fruits and veggies, but things need to be shaded, and soil has to be treated, and water has to be calculated very carefully.  And this is all stuff you have to LEARN.

Growing up in Oregon, you just plan stuff and it grows.  That's it.  So, when we started growing here, and that didn't work with everything, Brian figured out that he needed to start doing some research, asking some questions, and buying different things.  Then he found the Valley Permaculture Alliance.

The Valley Permaculture Alliance is a group of garden nerds, basically.  They exchange seeds, and then post on the website about things they're doing, they have backyard orchards, they raise sheep and goats and chickens, and they hold community classes to teach about canning and hydroponics and making your own cheese and stuff.  They're pretty much awesome.  And Brian has learned a lot about which species of things to buy and how to position them so that the sun won't burn them up and what to fertilize with and how to set your watering schedule for certain things.  

But they don't just post gardening stuff.  There is a lot of community information on this website too.  And that's how Brian found out about Market on the Move.  Market on the Move (MOM) is food a food rescue organization.  Apparently there are many restaurants and grocery stores who refuse the produce shipments that come to them for whatever reason (they already have too many, it's not in high demand, etc) and this produce just goes to waste.  What MOM does is rescue that produce and offer it to the public for a VERY affordable price.
setting up for the MOM, see those boxes stacked?  Those are FULL of produce!!
Each week, May - November, for just $10 you can come and get up to 60lbs of produce!!!  And they have locations all over the city.  The idea is that you get more than you need, so you will give it away to someone else who needs it.  

I told my neighbor about this and we decided to go today (the last week of the summer *sad face*) and decided to split it.  It was an amazing deal for $5 each!!  We got there early because we wanted to be one of the first in line (we didn't know what to expect) and they opened early, so that was nice too.  They gave us each a box and we FILLED it with cucumbers, summer squash (yellow and green) peppers (big, beautiful yellow and red peppers!), anaheim chiles, honeydew melons, tomatoes (organic) and asparagus.  My neighbor was so excited she was like shouting, "oh my gosh!  Look at how beautiful these are!  This is amazing!!"  She was so funny.

We got all of this for $10!!!
So then, as we were leaving, a lady stopped us in the parking lot and asked us if we knew about Superstition Market.  It was just down the road and was a farmer's market with all sorts of good deals on we headed down there next and spent another $40 (for both of us).  I got cherries and a watermelon and nectarines and apples and bananas and artichokes were 4 for $1 (I'm really into artichokes right yummy)!  We went wild!  My neighbor actually just texted me to tell me her baby ate peach-melon puree for breakfast and her 2-year-old had a big bowl of melon!  I'm gonna go baby-food crazy this weekend (in addition to my big painting project in the playroom)!!

Superstition Ranch Market
Superstition Ranch Market
We both agreed that the market was too far to just come to (it was probably a 30 minute drive), but if we're gonna visit the MOM, it's a good place to also stop into.  We had such a great adventure!  We're only sad that we have to wait until November to do it again.

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