When I visited the Farmer's Market, I went for potatoes and tomatoes. The potato guy was packing up to leave, but he said the guy across the way had red, new potatoes. As I walked over, two women were thanking him for free tomatoes.
He had two left. One was sooo ugly. I asked him how I could get free tomatoes. He said the last two were not pretty. I assured him that did not matter, so he bagged them for me. Finally, he mumbled that he had been giving away tomatoes to people who bought something. That sort of embarrassed me.
I assured him that his neighbor told me to come over for potatoes. He packed up lots of potatoes, and I was on my way. For $2, I was taking home much food! The potatoes weighed 4 lbs! He kept peeling an apple and feeding it to me so I would buy apples. He peeled the apple thick and started to throw it away along with the remainder of the apple. I sort of shrieked that my chicken would eat the apple remains, so he dumped the rest of the apple in with the tomatoes.
I passed a table where the vendor had left half a watermelon. Putting my bag of tomatoes and bag of potatoes on the table beside the watermelon, I loudly proclaimed the watermelon as mine for my chickens.
At the other end of the market, the guy with lemonade had left. So, I talked to two guys, vendors, and bought three nice tomatoes for $1. He told me to pick what I wanted and he would price them.
Back home, I took the watermelon to Dominique. Usually, she won't approach the food until I put it down. She came right over and wanted to put her head in the bag to get the watermelon.
The ugly tomato must have weighed two pounds and had several "lobes" on it. The other tomato was dead ripe. That night, I noticed the better, smaller tomato was leaking. I only got a piece maybe the size of an egg from it. While I was at it, I washed the other tomato and sliced off the "lobes" and put them in a bowl.
When a tomato is sad and overripe and starting to leak, just cut off the better part. Actually, don't wait until it leaks. You know when a tomato is going bad. Cutting off the parts you don't want to eat will salvage the tomato. Otherwise, it will continue to deteriorate and be inedible. The other three tomatoes will be eaten tomorrow along with the chunked off ugly tomato.
Today, Dominique loved the leaky tomato and the rest of the ugly tomato that was trimmed off. Since I forgot to give her apple today, she will get that tomorrow along with her oats.
$3 was my total. Enough potatoes for 2 weeks, 3 good tomatoes, free ugly tomatoes, and free watermelon for my chickens was the haul.
Tomorrow is another market day!
I know some of you go to farmer's markets that sell local food. Raise your hand. What do you buy? Do you get free food or misshapen, overripe fruit at the end of the day? Any produce for your chickens?