Saturday, July 14, 2007

Opening day of the Ogden City Farmer's and Art Market

(Before I go into the article, let me tell you that I had a real scare after I got home and put my photos on my computers. After dropping them into my photo folder, I opened Picasa to upload them to my web album and noticed that there was two copies of the folder listed, so I went to delete one, but instead of just removing it from Picasa, I accidentally deleted the photos all together. Luckily, though , I was able to retrieve them from the depths of my hard drive's temporary files directory. Heh, got lucky that time. Now, on to the story!)

Finally, after weeks of waiting (months actually, as I've been waiting since October), the farmer's market on Ogden's Historic 25th Street has officially opened, and of course I had to be there on the first day of festivities!

The market is held every Saturday morning, from 8am - 1pm starting July 14th through September 29th. I have always loved going to check out the freshest produce, artisan breads, and a plethora of food, art, crafts, and other stuff.

One of the first things you notice on the approach to 25th St. is the many wonderful, savory aromas of bratwurst, Korean cooking, and dutch oven cooking. All of which is very tempting, and often quite good, too. I decided to pass on the Korean barbecue, though, as 9:30am is a bit too early for me to want to eat barbecue.

My first stop of the morning was Volker's Bakery table. This table is always one of the most popular at the market. The bakery itself is up in Kamas, so the market is really the only place to get the great bread down here in Ogden. Here you can buy a couple dozen different types of breads ranging from Jewish Rye, Ciabatta, Cottage Cheese and Dill, and Rosmarino, to sweet breads like Cranberry-Orange, Lemon Sage, Stollen, and Apple Strudel. The average price is about $5 per loaf. Not too bad a price, really.

One of the main reasons for me to go to the market is to find the freshest, locally grown produce. I had hoped to find some fresh roma tomatoes, however I guess it's still a bit early for tomatoes. I guess my Pizza Margherita will have to wait a little longer. However, what produce I did see was not disappointing, in the least. Potatoes fresh from the ground, fresh picked basil, sweet corn, zucchini, cucumber, yellow squash, it all looked so very delicious. In the end though , I just went with a half-dozen ears of corn. I haven't had fresh corn for weeks!

Beyond the food and produce, one can also find a lot of hand-made jewelry, pottery, paintings, fashions, and other crafts. I won't try and hide the fact that I've never spent a whole lot of time shopping for these items. I guess I'm usually caught up in the farm-fresh goods and talking with the growers. I did buy a bracelet last year, as gift for a dear friend, but other than that I've usually come to the market for the food. There are always bits and pieces of things that catch my eye, though. Like today there was a table by Escape Design, a small mask and costume company. I was pretty impressed with their stuff. There is also the usual assortment of vendors and crafters selling polished rock necklaces, walking sticks, and knitted accessories.

Aside from the foods and arts, there are also cooking demos and live music at the market. This week featured the cowboy/folk/western music of the Blue Sage Trio. They were pretty good and I enjoyed listening to them, though I don't think it's the kind of music I'd go out of my way to hear. But here at the market, surrounded by all types of people, in a carnival-like atmosphere...I enjoyed it.

In the end I definitely say I had a good time and will certainly be going to the market more often this summer, especially seeing as how my new job will make it easier. At my last job I worked every Saturday from 8am - 1pm...the exact time of the Farmer's Market. Convenient.[/sarcasm] I even got out of the market with a few bucks in change left in my wallet, a rarity, I'll tell you. My haul included a loaf of Volker's Rosmarino bread (a loaf with rasins, rosemary, pine nuts, and sunflower seeds), a burlap Volker's market bag, six ears of sweet corn, and a bottle of grape juice from Winder Dairy. Not bad. Not bad at all.

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