Coastal Alabama Farmers & Fishermens Market


Located in Foley, Alabama

Vote with your fork- Pollan

My wife was a fan of an afternoon television show in which a doctor talked with women in the audience about health issues.  Occasionally, when I walked through the room, I would pause and listen to what he was covering for that day.  A frequent topic of his was to discuss the health benefit of a spice or nut or dried fruit.  He always concluded the segment with something like, “Just put a little on your cereal each morning.”  After about the dozenth time hearing him say that, I commented to my wife, “If we followed his advice, we would need to eat cereal from a barrel and it would take all day with all the toppings he recommends.”  I think I ruined the show for her as she has not been watching it since, but that’s another matter.

            Following health advice gets complicated.  Recently, I read an article in which the author attacked the holiest of holies – fruit.  He wrote that fruit should not be eaten alone because of sugar content, but paired with protein or with whole grains.  Now, a couple of weeks ago I did create a recipe that I posted with pork chops and peaches and I did receive some feedback about some folks who tried the recipe with positive results.  However, the author of the article arguing for exclusive fruit pairing goes to messing with Baldwin County blueberries or strawberries or with Chilton County peaches, have mercy I’m not going to be an adherent to that advice.  Peaches and cheese make a good snack, but so does a peach by itself or a handful of blueberries by themselves.  If we followed all the health food-related advice, we simply couldn’t eat everything we supposedly need to eat and in right combinations.  So, what do we do? 

As I have expressed before, we are offered way too much contradictory advice.   However, no one can argue that our current Western diet of trans-fats, refined sugars, highly processed foods is not good for us.  Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food, says of strategies to escape our highly destructive diet, we must “vote with our forks” and purchase foods from farmers’ markets and from local farms.  “It is hard to eat badly from the farmers’ market, from a CSA box (Community Supported Agriculture), or from your own garden,” he writes.  [Note:  See Alescia Forland at Forland Family Market for a great CSA option.]

He goes on to write, “when you eat from the farmers’ market, you automatically eat food that is in season, which is usually when it is most nutritious.  Eating in season also tends to diversify your diet.”       He adds, “To shop at a farmers’ market … has several implications for your health.  Local produce is typically picked ripe and is fresher than supermarket produce, and for those reasons it should be tastier and more nutritious.”

Changing the subject on you slightly, I’m a fan of the comic strip Arlo and Janis, for two reasons.  First, I see myself in the humor of the comic strip and I can laugh at myself and the second reason is that I’ve known the artist, Jimmy Johnson, since my college days.  My roommate was the editor of the college newspaper and Jimmy was drawing a cartoon strip for the college newspaper back then.  Through my roommate I got to know Jimmy as well as his future wife (from whom he is now amicably divorced), author Rheta Grimsley Johnson.  When my youngest son was in high school and considering potential careers, he briefly entertained the idea of becoming a cartoonist.  Through my former roommate, I was able to arrange for my son to meet Jimmy Johnson, who is still one of the nicest people you will ever meet as he was back in college.  He spent several hours talking with us and helping my son know the intricacies of cartooning. 

This long introduction is to deliver a punchline:  In one of my favorite Arlo and Janis strips that’s still on my refrigerator, Janis asks Arlo, “Is this just another Baby Boomer fad?”  To which Arlo answers, “Probably, but this one actually makes sense.”

Farmers’ Markets are one of the fastest growing entities in the country, partly based on the fact that it’s another Baby Boomer fad, but this one actually makes sense as we can get what we need and support local, small farmers who are the mainstay of our economy from the beginning of time and always will be.  Each week as I cruise the farmers’ market, I realize that the solution to healthy eating dilemmas is stacked up on the back of the pickup trucks at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market. 


Recipe of the Week:  Summer Vegetable Soup


The inspiration for this soup occurred one-day last summer as I was shopping at the Market.  I decided to experiment with the same vegetables as I have listed, went home, and created a light summer soup that was perfect for a good lunch.  A famous soup company, that creates some of the most disastrously tasting soups that amount to mainly water, salt, corn syrup, and Monosodium glutamate with a scintilla of something that vaguely resembles food, several years ago put together a summer-time ad campaign for soup that actually made sense.  Eating their soups does not make sense, but they advertised that eating soup in summer was the perfect meal – you need more hydration and eating soup is a light meal for hot weather.  Following that advice, I offer to you Summer Vegetable Soup.




1 eggplant

2 zucchinis

2 yellow crook squash

2 tomatoes

1 red bell pepper

1 onion

~1 quart of thin chicken broth (I make my own using a half chicken from NatureNine farms or use No-salt Kitchen Basics broth)

White wine

Basil, oregano, and rosemary

Olive oil

Sea salt

Ground pepper




  1. Dice all vegetables into bite-sized chunks.
  2. In a large, warm pot, add olive oil.
  3. Start with onions, add vegetables in this order, adding after the previous addition gets softened or translucent – eggplant, zucchini, squash, bell pepper, tomatoes.  Sprinkle with lightly with sea salt and add pepper to taste.  Cook slowly and do not overcook.
  4. Add at least 1 quart of chicken broth and water to create thin broth (more or less depending on the amount of vegetables).
  5. Add a splash of white wine, stir slowly.
  6. Add fresh herbs. 


I served this for lunch with a glass of cold water with a slice of lemon and it was enough.


Enjoy and I’ll see you at the Market.

Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device 











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