Saturday was a field trip day. I always love field trip days.
That'll Do Farm is a member of the Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association (Go ahead, say that real fast. See if you can do it. I dare you!). OEFFA is a made up of farmers, gardeners, retailers and consumers who want to help preserve the family farm and provide great food for Ohioians. One of the things OEFFA does is host a series of workshops and farm tours around the state throughout the year.
Yesterday was a tour of Local Roots in Wooster and boy-oh-boy, was I impressed. Local Roots is a market and cafe that connects producers of locally grown food and other agricultural products with consumers.
Member farms have a space in which to sell their produce.
Or their jams, jellies, syrups, etc... made on their farm. In the name of market research, I tried this Pumpkin Spice Syrup. Guess who is having pancakes this morning! If you want to capture fall in a bottle, try some of this. Delicious.
The produce ranges from the ordinary, normal produce, like cauliflower and turnips, to the unusual, like the green cauliflower. The Local Roots market does not set the prices, each farmer sets his or her own price.
Just look at this beautiful garlic. If I weren't already having pancakes with pumpkin spice syrup, I'd spend the day roasting up some garlic!
However, they don't sell just produce. They have a great selection of pasture-raised beef, pork and chicken.
There have been plenty of times in my life when my goose was cooked, but I have never cooked a goose. So I'm ordering one for Christmas. I'm going to go the English route this year and serve goose with brussels sprouts, roasted carrots, potatoes, bread stuffing and plum pudding. All this will be followed by a 12-mile brisk walk over the moors, which will be encased in fog and mist. It's o.k. though, because I'll be in my Wellies with my trusty sheep dogs at my side. (Yes, I've been reading a lot of English literature recently, why do you ask?)
There is a section of the Local Roots market that is for local artisans, including potters, woodturners, and fiber artists.
And, when you have exhausted yourself from produce and craft shopping, take a seat in the Cafe. Enjoy a homemade pastry or two. It's not a bad way to spend a rainy Saturday morning, that's for sure.
I found the whole concept of the Local Roots Market and Cafe fascinating, great for the community and great for the farmers. There will soon be another one open in Ashland.
If you visit the town of Wooster, make sure you check them out. I have a funny feeling my Saturday field trip is going to turn into a regular thing.