About this Blog

Welcome! Thanks for checking out On Food Stamps.

I created this blog in 2009 when I began working at the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank. My work at this organization opened my eyes to food justice issues in America, and I had a strong desire to better understand the difficulties many people face when trying to access healthy food on a limited budget. So, I embarked on my own Food Stamp Challenge, living on $31/week as a vegan. I used this blog to chronicle my experience.

While my Food Stamp Challenge project has come to an end, you can see what I learned from it by reading the Greatest Hits posts linked to the right side of the page. Please excuse any out-of-date links, as I am no longer updating this blog on a regular basis.

Stay Hungry,


Friday, June 5, 2009

Farmers' Market = 99-Cents-Only Store

I was really hoping that I'd make it to the Echo Park Farmer's Market today. I hadn't checked it out yet, and I thought maybe I'd spend the last few dollars from this week on some exciting produce. I had $9.47 left to spend this week.

Unfortunately, I wound up staying at work pretty late. I didn't leave my office until 6:45, and the Market closes at 7pm. There was some traffic on Sunset Blvd today too (maybe there was a Dodger's game? I live near the stadium...), so I didn't wind up at the Market until quarter after 7. That is 15 minutes after the official closing time.

And let me tell you - 15 minutes after the official closing time is the BEST time to arrive at a Farmers' Market.

Most of the stands were closed, but one or two were still open and I ran right up to them. On farmer had a pretty decent selection of green vegetables, squashes, and herbs. It was sort of a mad rush, but I bought the following:

  • Bag of Basil = $1
  • This strange Japanese cabbage, not sure what it is. The name sounds like Bok Choy, but it is not Bok Choy. He told me I could use it in soup, salad, or treat it like spinach in any cooked dish and I decided to give it a try. $1 for a huge bunch of it.
  • 4 Japanese eggplants = $1
  • He sold me a huge bag of fresh string beans for $1 as well.
Hell yea!

On to the fruit stand...

I got there just in time. This fruit stand was all organic, and there were four huge boxes of really sweet looking peaches still out. Several people were gathered around the table scrambling to take advantage of the closing hour deals. This guy from another stand, who I guess is friends with the peach vendor, saw me looking at the peaches.

"Have you tried one yet?" He asked.
I hadn't.
He grabbed a really ripe one out and said, "I know he won't mind since this one is too ripe. Here. Try this."
I haven't had a peach this entire month. It was really good. I was sold.
I only wanted two, but he gave me 4 peaches for $1.
Very nice. I was starting to feel like I was at the 99-cents-only store, except everything was local and "spray free."

On my way out there was one little stand that had one box of apricots still out. This cute little old man was beckoning me over, so I went to try one. It was a great apricot. "No Sprays" according to the sign. $1/1lb. Again, sold. I gave him a dollar and said I'd take a pound, but he gave me a pound and a half and said "God Bless You."
Not bad.

I was in and out in 10 minutes, and I got some amazing stuff for a grand total of $6.

Now I am going to take Jasmine's advice and try to freeze those green beans.
Here goes.

1 comment:

  1. What was better scoring good fresh food or the expirence of the market? Always a toss up for me.
    Very much enjoying your blog.