Everything's been blooming early this year. Irises are already in full bloom, tulips are going and nearly gone, daffodils are merely a memory, and the rhododendrons are at the end of things too, down here in the valley at least. So I had the thought that strawberries would probably be early this year, and we should start checking the farmer's market.
Today was the first day we made it there. Today was the first day that our favorite farm had strawberries. We bought an entire flat. They didn't have a special flat price posted, they don't this early, but they gave us a discount anyway, because they recognized us from last year as "those crazy people who eat a flat of strawberries every week between two adults and a toddler."
We do. We each get one pint a day, and let me tell you, eating a whole pint of fresh local strawberries as dessert (I sometimes have them for breakfast!) for weeks and weeks on end is absolutely no trouble on any front. :D
But today's flat cost us $50, and the "pints" weren't even quite all the way full. Early berries. There aren't many yet, and they sell out almost instantly anyway (we got there half an hour after the market opened and they were already running low) so they don't fill the pints and they charge $5 per, and I can't blame 'em, I'd do exactly the same. In a week or two the pints will be heaped over the top and the price will come down, but it's still likely to be $40 a flat for most of the summer.
And we'll do that, every week, for the whole time they're available, though once blueberries come on, we'll swap to half flats so my husband can still eat strawberries but I can switch to blueberries instead. Comes out to the same price, though.
I recognize that the ability to do that is something many people don't have.
It's something I didn't always have. I can remember when it felt like insanity to buy just one or two pints at those "ridiculous" prices. (I can remember being in college in the late 90's and having a $10 a week food budget. Even for back then, that was crazy. The most expensive thing I ever bought was store-brand cheddar, and 100% of my "meat" was actually eggs, I couldn't afford meat. I lived on mac-n-cheese and ramen soup with an egg cracked in, and off-brand bags of cereal. Good old Marshmallow Mateys.) I think it's really great that we're finally in a financial position where we can treat ourselves like that on a regular basis.
We're still maybe not as well off as that makes us look, though, because we put our priorities in funny places, compared to some people. I drive a paid for car that's got 200k miles on it. It's a giant honking Land Cruiser and it's ridiculous for an around town car, but it doesn't cost us much, even considering the awful gas mileage, so we'll stick with it until it stops running. I seldom buy new clothes. (We're going to the ballet today. My mother in law texted me to ask if I needed babysitting so I could go to the store and buy a new outfit to wear for it, because of course I'd be buying a new outfit to go to the ballet in! Lol. No.) When I do, it's almost always on sale, and frequently from a thrift store. We bulk cook and make homemade freezer meals rather than buying TV dinners. We pinch our pennies in any number of other ways. And then we blow fifty bucks so we can have perfect, fresh, ripe strawberries.
This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1528658.html.