The Lexington Farmers Market opened today. It was a great scene, though I didn't buy too much: a lettuce, a tomato, and a jalapeno plant to replace one that I lost to varmints. The most interesting part was seeing how much things cost and being able to value my own efforts accordingly.
So far I think our radishes are a bust: we probably harvested not more than $2 worth. Salad greens aren't so bad: I'd say we've gotten $8-$10 value out of our sub-$1 investment in lettuce and arugula. But the real winners so far are the things that were free this year: rhubarb, asparagus, and strawberries. Say maybe $15 of rhubarb, $10 of asparagus (although I wasn't really counting—we just ate five spears each every other day for a couple weeks). The strawberries are bizarrely early, starting way back on the 18th, and we're getting maybe a pint a day now; but their value is incalculable at this point, since there weren't any at the market by the time I got there.
Of course, I shouldn't try and put a monetary value on the fruits of the earth, but I'm poor enough that I just can't help it. But I won't work too hard at quantifying. We talked briefly about weighing and recording our harvests like the hard-core urban homesteaders do, but we decided that would be a little stressful. Plus, how would we account for everything we eat right there in the garden!
One other exciting thing about the Lexington market is that they take our food stamp dollars, and, even better, double them! ("while funding is available"). Unfortunately we're out of government money for this month, but next week we'll be there for sure—maybe even checking out some delicious locally- and humanely-raised and therefore startlingly expensive meat! Ah, summer eating is good eating.