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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982

    Loading up at farmers' markets & cycling

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    From late June to end of Oct., I just can't help myself!! All that gorgeous fresh, local whole food at the farmers' markets during this time. So I do my weekend longer fitness/rec. rides. Then towards end of ride, I drop by our favourite farmers' market(s) and load up the veggies, fruits, herbs..

    Sometimes my bike load is dangerously heavy and tipped.
    I don't garden, so buying all this stuff is fun and tasty for me.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,663
    We do the same...well, rather, we take "off" Saturdays except for a short utility ride to the Farmer's Market. We bought lovely things today -- lettuces, cherry tomatoes, nectarines, green beans, peppers, zucchini, onions. Then on the way back from that, we stop in at Grocery Outlet for some other items. We take our Bike Fridays with panniers and racks to haul the goodies back in. Fun!

    Attachment 17279
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    How do you get the big, fragile tomatoes home? I bought about 8 pounds of them (yes, we eat a lot of tomato) and, because I knew I would do that, I drove. These are the big ~2 pound each tomatoes - they have to be very gently handled. Any thoughts? I have standard panniers (ortlieb) at my disposal....
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,391
    take hard sided containers that will fit flat in your panniers - tupperwear or some such and only put one layer in any one container?
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    take hard sided containers that will fit flat in your panniers - tupperwear or some such and only put one layer in any one container?
    That's a good idea - I will try it. Might (seriously) put some cushioning in there (dish towels or something). I was joking that they need their own suspension system to my DH. Lovely produce - but sometimes a pita to transport.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,663
    Blueberry ~~ Bubble wrap! We used it extensively when we lived in Belize as we had only bicycles for transportation and rode on various bumpy unpaved roads, sandy paths, and cobblestones. With ripe tomatoes, wrap each one individually. You can wrap a towel, cloth bag, or larger piece of bubble wrap around the whole group of them, but individually wrap 'em for sure. You wouldn't believe all the stuff we have managed to get home safely with bubble wrap. Yes, there is the occasional "oopsie", but it's rare.

    Good luck!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    Emily- Great idea! Maybe combine the 2 (containers and bubble wrap) - since my panniers are tall and not fat (if that makes sense). Will give it a go on Wednesday at the mid-week market. It strikes me how fortunate I am to have this problem - lovely, fresh fruits and veggies available (and affordable to me) in quantities that make bringing them home challenging. We have been eating SO much fresh produce for the last couple of months - I don't love the heat, but I love the fruits and veggies of summer.

    In unrelated very happy news, my non-cycling friend just bought a bike yesterday!! Woohoo for another person to ride with, and another happy cyclist on the roads!
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,663
    Let us know how your experiment goes. Riding to the farmer's market is fun! Of course our Bike Fridays get lots of attention. I don't think we've been a week where at least one person didn't ask us about them.

    Great about your friend too. Always nice to bring someone else into the fold!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    543
    Love to bike to our farmers market. We have a nice one on the waterfront here. Just going and walking around the market is a joy, all the colors and food vendors and flowers..,biking there is the icing on the cake! Click image for larger version. 

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    Love the bubble wrap idea too. Have to try to remember that one.
    "Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    Quote Originally Posted by emily_in_nc View Post
    Let us know how your experiment goes. Riding to the farmer's market is fun! Of course our Bike Fridays get lots of attention. I don't think we've been a week where at least one person didn't ask us about them.

    Great about your friend too. Always nice to bring someone else into the fold!
    I should clarify - I've done farmer's market rides before and love them - just not with the giant tomatoes. These guys take up an entire big dinner plate sliced (we usually eat on salad plates). Heck, we carried a watermelon home one day when we owned a tandem. I think it's an exceptionally good year for tomatoes here. I've been fine with "regular stuff" - these guys are just something else (and something not to be missed!). The farmers seem to have more heirloom varieties (my current favorite is a Pineapple Hawaiian). Most other things seem to do OK if I just balance out and put the heavy stuff on the bottom. I might try these in my tail rider - padded and they wouldn't have to be stacked. With a bubble wrap lining and individually wrapped.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    70
    What about eggs? How do you keep them from breaking on the ride home? The first few times I bought eggs at the farmers market, half of them were broken by the time I got home.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I've never broken an egg, but then my ride to the farmers market is only about 4.5 miles with only a few really jarring bumps.

    My panniers are fairly square on the bottoms, bungied at the bottoms so they don't bounce against the rack. I put the egg cartons at the bottom so they can stay flat.

    Avoid soggy cardboard cartons if the farmer has other options. A lot of times if I'm on my bike, they'll specifically pull out one of the two-layer PET cartons for me, but if your market allows the farmers to re-use cartons, then they should have lots of EPS cartons, which are almost as protective. If all they have is cardboard, and if the market requires the vendors to refrigerate eggs, then in summer you might need to reinforce your pannier with maybe a piece of plywood, or some of that corrugated plastic signboard, cut to fit, so the carton doesn't sag when the eggs sweat moisture. Or get a top box that will stay flat on top of your rear rack, and cushion it with a piece of EPS packaging material, some foam, or just a folded towel.

    But if I had to transport ripe tomatoes, especially slicing tomatoes (vs sturdy paste tomatoes), I'd drive too.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    70
    I have a big grocery basket that attaches to my rear rack, so it has a large flat surface. The eggs at our market aren't refrigerated. I usually bring my own cardboard cartons and put the eggs at the bottom of the basket and stack flats of berries, meat, vegetables, etc., on top of the eggs. It's only 1.5 miles and mostly flat to/from my house to the farmers market, but our roads are pretty rough, so unless I ride super slow (<6-7 mph), everything bounces around. Would bungee cords work, or would the eggs still break from bouncing in the cartons?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,608
    Big beefsteak tomato must be the "mortgage lifters" or one of brandywine, cherokee or Kellogs breakfast... I'm on the other side as a vendor at a farmers market. As for safely transporting tomatoes and eggs. Definitely place tomatoes single layer in a hard container such as tupper ware. place something to cushion the bottom and sides so it doesn't rattle around. Bubble wrap works, soft terry cloth works, paper towel works if it is loosely wadded up but not too loose. regular paper is a big no no. And don't squeeze the ripe tomatoes. They will bruise and shorten the shelf life!!

    Eggs, we have to have a label on them. We use paper egg carton and yes it has to be refrigerated by law in Oregon. having the egg carton sit on a stiff flat surface and then wrap the carton in something to cushion such as a bubble wrap is a great idea. Egg shells on our eggs are pretty hard, it shouldn't be all that fragile. Find out what the chicken are fed. It should have lots of green such as carrot tops, beet tops dark greens, and some regular feed. There are soy free feed available for chicken. Organic certified is good. Animal Welfare Approved is good.

    If you want to try something different:
    ball zucchini (8-ball or rhonde de Nice), armenian cucumber (light green skin looks like melon very mild tasting), lemon cucumber (dark yellow is the color you want. can get to be tennis ball size again mild without the cucumber bitter taste). Japanese suyo cucumber (don't let the alligator looking skin turn you off. It's crunchy and tasty). If you want a purple cauliflower that stays purple after steaming or cooking, look for graffiti while other varieties of purple cauliflower will turn green upon cooking.

    another bummer weekend at the market. Last weekend, it was blazing hot so no one was out shopping. 100F in pacific northwest is unheard of well almost. Today was rain day with less than 70F for the high. burrr... Welcome to PNW weather...

    What happens to produce we don't sell? We donate it to local food pantry. It's the only right thing to do!! Less fortunate people should have access to high quality food and not just canned/processed food.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    Quote Originally Posted by smilingcat View Post
    What happens to produce we don't sell? We donate it to local food pantry. It's the only right thing to do!! Less fortunate people should have access to high quality food and not just canned/processed food.
    Smilingcat, you're awesome, you know that?
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

 

 

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