By Admin, BuyLocalBG.com, BuyLocalBg@gmail.com/
Friday, April 26th, 2013 8:00 AM CST
Strawberry, strawberry strawberry, get your nice cold strawberry right here ! Joe and Debbie O’Daniel have done it again. They have started bringing their wonderful crop of strawberries and asparagus to market. And you get to partake in these wonderful delights this week. Last week there was a sneak peak of these two wonderful treasures and if you were at the market within the first 30 minutes of opening then you got to partake in these exceptional treats. The O’Daniels have been known for years and recognized for their outstanding quality. So if you are a new customer you need to get out and try these and if you are an existing fan then your wait is over.
Farmers markets are one of the few places where customers can directly connect with their food, meeting face-to-face with the people who grew it. Questions are expected at market, and even encouraged. From livestock breeds to production practices, organic certification to chemical usage, just about every food-related question under the sun has been asked.
Though most farmers will happily answer all inquiries, there are a handful of questions that make even the friendliest farmers want to choke a carrot. If you don’t want your farmer to turn three shades of beet red, here’s the reasoning behind 4 questions every customer should avoid.
1) Was this picked fresh this morning?
So what’s wrong with this question… you just want to know if it’s fresh, right? That’s totally understandable. But let’s take a moment to think about how a farm really works.
Imagine market has just opened, and it’s 7 a.m. For the last hour and a half, the farmer has been setting up his booth. Before that, he drove two hours to get to market. Sometime earlier he brushed his teeth, make a pot of coffee, and—with any luck at all—put on his pants. At what point this morning would he have had time to pick 20 bushels of tomatoes, 100 pints of blueberries, or gather 50 dozen eggs?
Truckloads of fresh food don’t magically load themselves in fifteen minutes. It takes many hands many hours to pick basketfuls of green beans or apples. This doesn’t even count moving the harvest from the field to the packing shed, or loading it onto the truck itself
Eggs are laid fresh each morning, but these hens are still asleep by the time the farmer rolls out for market in the morning.
So when should the harvesting happen… at 2 a.m.? I’m picturing a bleary-eyed farmer with a headlamp, picking corn with one hand and drinking coffee with the other. As Rachel Bynum of Waterpenny Vegetable Farm explained to me, most market produce is picked a day or so before (depending on the fruit or vegetable), then loaded onto the truck in the cool of the evening before market day.
If you want it any fresher than that, you’re probably going have to grow it yourself. In the meantime, let those farmers get a good night’s sleep! Which leads me to my next question…
2) What time do you get up?
This one’s a classic, something farmers have been asked hundreds of times. Farmers are famous for being early risers, so it’s understandable if people are curious about a specific hour. So why add this question to my list? Because—as I’ve learned from years of experience—there’s never a satisfactory answer.
For instance, if they say, “Oh, about 6 o’clock,” the questioner’s face turns thoughtful for a moment. “That seems kind of late, doesn’t it? I mean, I get up at 5:45 myself.” If they say “A little before 3,” their eyes go suddenly wide. “Why do you have to get up so early? To milk the cows or something?”
One day, I realized there’s only one correct answer for this question: 4:30 on the dot. Not too late, and not too early. Not too lazy, and not too crazy. 4:30 a.m. is the Goldilocks of responses.
So in case you were wondering, all farmers—everywhere—get up at precisely 4:30 (although farmers sometimes hit the snooze button on their rooster). Any more questions?
3) I know you’re not open yet, but I’m in a hurry… could you sell me something before the bell?
Hello, Starbucks? Sorry to call so early, but your door is locked and I really need a latte. Could you open up early just for me? I’m in such a rush, and it’ll only take a second!
Where else in the world could someone get away with this question? Despite how it might appear at first glance, it takes farmers a long time to set up their booth each morning. Trucks must be unloaded, tents erected and produce arranged. If farmers opened early for even one person (and I’m talking to you, Latte Lady), they’d never be ready for the opening bell of market. Which is a perfect segue to my last question…
4) Since it’s the end of market, can I get a special deal on what you’ve got left?
This one’s a little trickier. I once asked my friend what he thought about discounting leftovers at the end of market. His face lost all expression as he gave me this advice: “ That path leads to madness.”
He elaborated. “If we gave discounts at the end, then people would simply wait till the last ten minutes of market to shop. And what about the loyal customers who paid the normal price? They’d be insulted to learn they got charged more for showing up on time. It’s always better to donate it to a food bank than to discount things at the closing bell.”
Markets must never become Priceline.com or GroupOn, where last-minute deals and discounts are the norm. In order to stay in business year after year, farmers must get the price they ask for. Discounting at the end of market might seem harmless and even logical, but it’s an unsustainable practice for the farmers themselves.
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Farmers markets are a place where customers should expect to have all of their food questions answered. But just like anyone else, we farmers get a little grouchy from time to time (it’s probably because we get up at 4:30). So bring your shopping list, your cloth bag and your farming questions, but leave these four at home. You’ll be a ‘market insider,’ and your local producer will love you for it.
This Saturday at the SKY Farmers Market you will be able to buy some wonderful hydroponic tomatoes. ATP GREENHOUSES is located in Morgantown, Ky and they will have both red and green tomatoes so get there early because they are going fast.
In a recent study done by Harvard University, there were 79,000 men who consumed 2-3 servings of cooked tomatoes per week. It was determined that these participating in the study had a
40 – 50% reduced risk for developing prostate cancer. -Dr. Lorelei Mucci, Harvard School of Public Health. It is the increase in licopine that has an anti angiogenic effect on the body ( restricts blood vessel growth)
vine ripened tomatoes
Preheat oven to 275 F. Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally, rub with a tiny bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt and bake seed sid up in oven for 3 – 5 hours, or until they look nearly sun dried (the edges will be caramelized and the moisture will be almost entirely evaporated). These keep, well refrigerated in an air tight container with a bit of olive oil, for at least a week, so make a whole bunch at once.
- The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service invite you to attend one of the upcoming Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Courses in Kentucky. The content of these
courses is tailored to the needs of Natural ResourcesConservation Service, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Cooperative Extension, and state department of agriculture employees, as well as crop consultants, natural resource specialists, non-governmental conservation organization staff, and producers of bee-pollinated crops. These full day trainings will provide you with the latest science-based approaches to reversing the trend of pollinator declines, and will equip you with the recipes necessary to protect and manage habitat for these vital insects.
June 26, 2013
9:00 am to 4:00 pm CDT
June 27, 2013
9:00 am to 4:00 pm EDT
- To register or learn more about the Short Courses, please visit:
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Pollinator Program Administrator
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
628 NE Broadway Suite 200, Portland, OR, 97232 USA
Tel: (503) 232-6639, ext. 102 Toll free: 1-855-232-6639, ext. 102 Fax:(503) 233-6794
Find all the information you need to conserve pollinator habitat at:
ADA and ELIZABETH SKILLERN
Last week at the SKY Farmers Market there was a lot of fun to be had. As you can see above. Not only did we have delicious LOCAL produce, beautiful pottery creations and artwork, but we also had the city’s best hot breakfast, wonderful coffee, sips of fine wine and nibbles of THE BEST CHEESE on the planet. This week all of that will be returning along with dog treats, goat milk soaps,artisan breads, lettuces of all types,eggs, meats including beef, lamb, chicken and pork. Herbs to plant as well as ready to use in recipes. Carrots were plentiful and so was the spinach, kale and celery. Leeks, green onions, and arugula were and will be plentiful. Lots and lots to make a salad and if you hurry and eat it all this weekend do not worry. The SKY Farmers Market will be open TUESDAY so you can restock !