Farmer's Marketing: May 17, 2008

Perhaps I haven't been paying attention, but Rachel told me about a couple of deals at the Farmer's Market that I hadn't noticed before. Zingerman's sells both its City Goat (now in tarragon, rosemary, and black pepper flavours) AND the Sharon Hollow (cow and goat cheese, also in black pepper, plus garlic/chive) at the regular price of $7 and $6 each, respectively....but they also sell them at 2 for $10. Not a bad bulk rate.  Not only that, she informs me that Sparrow sells the Big Z's bread at $2/loaf less than they sell it at the Mother Ship (and Sparrow will stamp your bread card.)  Hey, I love the deals! 

I also love this time of year at the market, but I couldn't believe how crowded it was this morning at 8:30am. I assume if I make it before 9:00, I can have the run of the place. But on a sunny spring day like today, people are going crazy over the flower, vegetable and herb plants. I caught my friend Patti last week with an entire flat of just peppers.  I'm doing my part with 5 different colors of tomatoes for this year's garden (from Project Grow and Frog Holler). And I bought some herbs last week at Renaissance Acres Organic Herb Farm, where I paid for them and said I'd pick them up later. Then I forgot that crucial final step of actually following through and picking them up. But they had my little borage plants for me today......"Oh, *there* she is. We've been wondering when you were going to come back for these."

This week's market looked a lot like last week's market - rhubarb, lettuce, spinach, eggs, and asparagus. All the early spring things as we await our first Tantré distribution on May 31st. Counting down the days until that first box.  Jen over at A2EatWrite has the same feeling I think from her Farmer's Market Saturday.  She has some great ideas for what she's doing with her farm fresh food this week! 

The asparagus this week came from the Sweet Spot farm, which I believe is over near Romeo. It seems like it might be a little more expensive than some of the others, but I like how they stand it up in a little water. I've been seeing the young man who helped me since he was a tiny boy,  coming to the market with his grandfather (he's the one on the right in the photo below - it appears he's now going to Adrian College). He said they have 3 or 4 acres of just asparagus. Wow. But I forgot to ask if they have U-pick. 

The excitement of the market this week was tiny radishes from Shannon Brines. He says he even eats the green parts.  I'll be putting the radishes into his salad mix tonight for our dinner with John and Ami. With some tarragon flavor City Goat cheese.  I'm going to put some little flowers from the yard in there too - johnny-jump-ups and violets. I have a goal of eating more flowers this summer. What a goal.  

The other excitement was picking up 2 fresh chickens from Ernst Farm.  Joan Ernst said she does the chicken on the grill after cutting them in half so they'll cook faster, but I see a roast chicken for Sunday dinner in my future.  Perhaps with a rhubarb pie for dessert. I've got a great new crust recipe.  When we're getting regular dispatches from the Farmer's Market I notice I'm constantly going over the upcoming meals in my head - I'm already looking forward to chicken leftovers with spicy peanut noodles and greens.

PS - I talked again with Cathy King today about the Frog Holler strawberries. She said you can never tell what kind of year it will be for the strawberries - it can be too cold, too dry, too wet. They put in a new bed last year, but the deer ate most of the new plants.  The berries are always a gamble. She reminded me gently not to count any strawberries until they're here. But that's all part of it - the hope, the gamble, the ultimate payoff, whatever it is. 

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