Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Featuring : A Secret Recipe and New Vendors

Yes, this is Grandma's Secret Recipe Peanut Brittle. And all her children, grandchildren and friends loved her peanut brittle, and she would never reveal the secret ingredients. Luckily for us, the recipe was found after she died, and Jan Bayer is carrying on the delicious tradition of making peanut brittle; she's also carrying on the tradition of NOT revealing the ingredients. Which is fine with me, as long as she keeps making this scrumpdillyisious treat! My personal fav is the pecan brittle, but Jan makes peanut brittle and at least seven other flavors. You will find her at the five winter markets. She gave me a heads-up  to look for chocolate-covered pecan brittle and milk chocolate-covered cashew brittle. I foresee Christmas gifts/stocking stuffers for my "kids" and grandchildren.
     More on the Winter Farmers' Market:
     Dates: December 14th, January 11, February 8th, March 8th, 
                April 12th. (Second Saturday of month).
      Vendors: Many of the vendors you came to know and love during the summer markets will be available at the winter markets. In addition, there will be several newbies: Advanced Cutlery will sharpen your knives and scissors, etc. Break-O-Day Farm will selling free-range chickens, eggs, pork and rabbits (you read that right! I'm told that farm-raised rabbits  are lean and tasty). Corinne will also be selling gluten-free baked goods, which makes me happy since we haven't gluten-free goodies this season. Hillcrest Farms is planning to sell produce and The Granola Tree will have nut butters, jams, granolas and oatmeal. 
I'm hoping you already know that the Market will be open both Friday and Saturday this week-end for the Holt Village Sampler. Plan to stop by and see what our creative crafters have for you in Christmas décor, gift baskets with local/Michigan products (see Rowe's Family Farms for those) and goodies.  
I'm not sure if I will be blogging during the winter. I'm looking forward to spending time tweaking my blog, adding more pics, making improvements etc. so that next market season the blog will be ready to be more widely read. Any suggestions? or input? let me know by email: Holtmarket@gmail.com  And, who knows? I may just surprise myself and do some blogging this winter.  Also, you can keep up-to-date at facebook/holtfarmersmarket.  Have a great holiday season; I'll look forward to connecting with you in spring.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nearing the end of the season?

Yes, some of the Holt Farmers Market vendors are nearing the end of their market season BUT not all! This Saturday and the following week-end will be the end of the usual season. But this year, the HFM is having a winter market for the first time. To be held on the second Saturday of each month: December 14, 2013;  January 11, 2014; February 8, 2014; March 8, 2014; and April 12, 2014.

So what could a shopper expect in a winter market? A lot! Many of our creative, wonderful crafters will be there and are quite excited about this new venture. Many of the specialty food vendors will continue through the cold weather, and several produce vendors will be there. Not that they will be selling berries and tomatoes, but they will have squashes, potatoes, probably onions and apples and other fall veggies that they've harvested and stored to sell when needed. I will post the names of the vendors who have signed up for the winter market hopefully next week. I'm not sure I'll be blogging through the winter; I'll let you know once the decision is made. But I know for sure that I will be shopping there, happy to buy my root veggies from local farmers.

Speaking of which, last Saturday I got such delicious goodies, I'm salivating as I'm writing this! I bought Chocolate-Honey-Pumpkin Fudge from Lorrie of Willow Blossoms Farm. Totally wonderful! She adds the pumpkin, but you don't really taste it much. You will taste the chocolate and the honey. The pumpkin is added to make the fudge more robust, and to lower the guilt factor in eating it. She has plenty of samples, and you can't miss her stand, because it's all in yellow, and so is her t-shirt. I'm proud of myself that I haven't eaten it all up yet. BUT that could also be because I bought French pastries, and they are almost gone. I have to eat them before my husband does! And I had already bought him a doughnut from Nana's Sweet Treats! I also got Pecan Peanut Brittle, which is safe from my husband who doesn't like pecans; for me, they are to die for!

Yes, I did buy some nutritious items, too. Delicious hubbard squash from Rowe's Family Farm. I love all winter squash, but hubbard is the best tasting in my book. A hubbard is a big squash; one would probably do for a Thanksgiving dinner crowd.  Since hubby doesn't like squash, I cooked the hubbard, and froze what I can't eat. TIP:  Cook the hubbard squash whole, in the oven at 350, for half an hour. Then pull it out, cut in pieces, and return to oven to bake until done. Some say they're done when fork tender, but I like it really soft, so I probably cooked it, in pieces, for another hour or two.

I also bought a quantity of Jonathon apples from Gwen at  Rainbow's End Farm. Gwen is so cool; she always has something new and interesting for me (and all customers, of course) to sample and learn about. Last Saturday she had samples of chicory herbal tea. Yes, she had a thermos of tea to share. She's the one who had free chard leaves to give to anyone who would promise to cook them. This was weeks ago, of course. And of course I took a leaf home and sautéed it as Gwen recommended, and I liked it a lot! Before that experience, I thought I disliked chard!

My last guiltless purchase was from Rowe's Family Farm: I took their last pint of Brussels sprouts...another veggie I thought I didn't like. But fresh sprouts are nothing like the canned versions I'd had before. Now I'm a believer. Rowe's also had several fun varieties of squash, including Jumbo Pink Banana. Yes, a pink squash is unusual, but my French pastry baker raves about it being sweet and tasty, so I may buy one this Saturday.

The HFM is participating in the Holt Village Sampler on Friday, November 22 and Saturday 23, 2013.  Our crafters will have beautiful Christmas and winter items for you. Actually, I bought one last Sat: A beautiful, sparkling, ruffled scarf to brighten up my black winter coat. There also were gorgeous wreaths and candles. And the food vendors will be happy to see you as well. Christmas gift baskets filled with Michigan products...I could go on and on, but I won't. I'll leave it up to you to see for yourself!

REMEMBER IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE HOLT FARMERS MARKET!  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Apologies...

...for not posting last week! Truly, I was in Milwaukee at a conference AND staying with my daughter and grand-son, Devin, age 7. And it was Halloween; Devin was a Jedi-knight. Remember how rainy it was that night? And, although this past summer I did post from their home, I did not have it together enough this time around. Just sayin'.
Anyway, this week I will be posting some tips, recipes for fall veggies and some personal experiences as well.
I've used several recipes for roasted root veggies, and liked them all.. I like that I can "sneak" some veggies into the mix and family will eat them and never know they're eating turnips, or parsnips or whatever. And I will say, I'd never eaten turnips in my life until this venture, and I liked it! The veggies just all blend together, although you can still taste their individual flavors, and the dish tastes wonderful. I first roasted root veggies last Christmas when my "kids" were all home and my oldest, Josh, told me how to do it. Who knew?!!! All three of my offspring know their way around the kitchen. NOT  that they showed that talent when they lived at home!

Josh's Roasted Root Vegetables 
 
Cube (scrape/peel as necessary): onions, carrots, parsnips, turnips and potatoes. Could use squash, sweet potatoes etc.
 Douse (his word) with olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
 Roast at 350, until fork tender (after 15 min. you can place a steak/roast on top of the veggies and cook until the meat is done. The drippings will give wonderful flavor to the veggies).
 
Josh's recipe is the easiest; the next is a little more work, but delicious.
 
Cider-glazed Roots with Cinnamon Walnuts
 3 pounds assorted root vegetables, peeled (see tips below) and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup apple cider
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1Tbs. butter
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon       Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
If using parsnips, quarter lengthwise and remove the woody core before cutting into 1-inch pieces.
Whisk cider, brown sugar salt and pepper in a 9X13 inch baking dish until the sugar is dissolved. Add the veggies and toss to coat. Cover the baking dish with foil..
 
Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and stir the veggies. Con't. cooking, uncovered, stirring every 20 minutes or so, until the veggies are glazed and tender, about 1 hour more.
Meanwhile, place walnuts in a small skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2-6 minutes. Remove form the heat and add utter, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Stir until the butter melts and the nuts are coated. Spread out on a plate to cool slightly.
Transfer the veggies to a serving dish and sprinkle with the cinnamon walnuts. Serve and enjoy!
 
TIPS: Beets, carrots and parsnips are easily peeled with a vegetable peeler; for tougher-skinned roots like celeriac, rutabaga and turnips, removing the peel with a knife can be easier. Cut off one end of the root to create a flat surface to keep it steady on the cutting board. Follow the contour of the vegetable with your knife. (recipe from livingwell.com) This recipe tastes even better warmed up the next day.
 
REMEMBER IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE HOLT FARMERS' MARKET!
 
 
 



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Delicious Treats and Surprises at the HFM!

Hate ironing? I do, too, and so does Kay Johnson,  of Custom Made Ironing Board Covers, the lady smiling in the picture below. Yes, she's holding an ironing board and sells ironing board covers...but why is she SMILING? Because she has found a way to make ironing quicker and less of a chore. Seriously! Her story started in Traverse City some 10 years ago when she bought a ironing board cover touted to make ironing easy. Although skeptical, she tried it at home and loved it! The next summer she was back in Traverse City, wanting to buy another as a gift, but the vendor was gone. Since Kay has been sewing since childhood, she figured out a way to duplicate the pattern and started to make her own. The rest is history. She uses colorful fabric and her special design and the covers work wonders. "Once a customer buys one, they come back for more. The covers make wonderful gifts," Kay said. She also crochets unique, delicate necklaces. 

Here's another smiling vendor: Tom Sherwood is happy to be back at the HFM selling wonderful doughnuts and baked goods from Nana's Sweet Treats, Italian and American Bakery. Nana, Italian for Grandma, used to bake these goodies herself, but currently Nana's daughter, Roseanne, is the baker, while husband, Tom,  handles the selling. Their bakery is located at the corner of Cedar and Ash in Mason. Tom is smiling because of the delicious quality and popularity of his products. The first two Saturdays at the HFM this year, he sold out! So he brings more product now. His goal? "To have what the customers want," he told me. Nana's offers a full variety of baked goods: eight different breads and rolls; seven types of cake doughnuts as well as long-johns, apple fritters, cinnamon rolls, pecan sticky buns, as well as canolis, baklava and casata cake, "which is very rich." Nana's will take special orders, and does catering. Nana's will bake cakes and pies upon request, which is nice to know with Thanksgiving just around the corner. 
Both Tom and Kay are located in the smaller building. Stop by and chat. You'll leave with a smile on your face, too.
I left the HFM last Saturday just delighted with the fun I'd had. I sampled, and then bought, some honey fudge from Willow Blossom Farms. Delicious as it was, the best part for me was that Lorrie had put squash/pumpkin in the fudge!! This odd ingredient didn't affect the taste at all! It just made the fudge taste more substantial, more dense and less guilt-inducing for me, because now the treat was healthy! Okay, healthy-er, anyway.
Country Products was selling concord grapes; Anna, the jewelry lady, was selling scarves; Kay had necklaces she'd made; Carol, the card lady, had a fun Hallowe'en display with sticky notes in a seasonal wrapper, and small packages of Kleenex also in Hallowe'en wrap to put "your little 'boogies' in; Roots Farm (Lansing Food Bank) had lovely pumpkins and gourds and squash...some grown with seeds one of the refugees was able to bring even during their flight from Africa.
So the market is never the same from week to week. I find new, clever and fun things that the vendors have made each time I go. Which is one more reason I love the HFM!
 
REMEMBER, IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE HOLT FARMERS MARKET!


Friday, October 18, 2013

Meet Cyle and Cyndi

Though totally unrelated, these two vendors work side by side at the Holt Farmers' Market, in the larger building. Coincidence that they both spell their names with a" C" ? Some people say there are no coincidences, but I'm not one of them. So, you decide! Cyle and his brothers bring their wonderful produce including the corn and tomatoes grown at  their home at Nightengale Family Farm. During the summer, the younger bro's are at the HFM while Cyle manages their farm-stand. He also manages their stand at the Charlotte farmer market. During the fall, the guys still in high school leave it up to Cyle to be at the HFM...plus everything else, I guess! He's been doing this for five years, and enjoys bringing quality produce to his customers at his various sites. Nightengale Family Farm will also sell items grown at other local farms, as do many of the vendors.
This year the blueberries and cherries were part of this arrangement, as are the apples currently in season. Nightengale FF may expand next year and offer more items. The photo shows Cyle holding a tray of peppers. Since I don't get to the market until 12:30, I didn't get a pic of the tray when it was full of the colorful veggies, because so many of them sold before I got there! 
   Cyndi Mendoza, owner of Cupcakes with Love, is a newcomer at the Holt Farmer's Market, and intends to keep coming back because she's "having such a great time!" While she's sold her delicious cupcakes at other venues, she likes the HFM the best (Yay! thanks, Cyndi!). She and her sister, Norma, love baking and have done this together for years, giving their goodies to family, friends and coworkers. They decided to become entrepreneurs and share their tasty product, hand- made with love, with customers at farmer's markets. They make two different cupcake flavors each week, alongside their standard ones. Last Saturday they featured pumpkin spice and cookies and cream.
Gosh, they looked so tempting, it made me regret that I have to eat gluten-free! Cyndi and Norma also make cookies and bars, with the lemon bars being a particular favorite with customers. They provide samples, so you can taste before you buy. They do cupcakes, etc. for baby and bridal showers, etc. and will do special orders on request. They also have a facebook page that is easily accessed from the Holt Farmer's Market web page, and can take orders/ answer questions from there. So stop by and enjoy. You'll be glad you did.
 
At tomorrow's market, look for: apples, green beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, cucumbers, fresh herbs,  two kinds of kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, potatoes, pumpkins, fall-pick raspberries, blackberries, rhubarb only if ordered ahead (then pick up at the market), summer squash and zucchini, winter squash, green, red and hot peppers, tomatoes incl.  cherry, roman and other varieties. Vendors will also be selling Michigan jams, maple syrup, fall décor incl. corn stalks, pumpkins, possibly some sunflowers and other fall décor items.
 
REMEMBER IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE HOLT FARMERS' MARKET!! 
 


Friday, October 11, 2013

Photos from the Past

This is the photo I wanted to include in last week's post. It's the photo of the Country Products stand. Cheryl is standing with her niece, Samantha, in the smaller building. They were featured last week because they are one of the two vendors who sell meat. Check last week's post for details.
Also featured last week was Dave, from Piedmontese Grass-fed Beef. He's in the larger building , near the corner flower shop. Check them both out.
Selling meat that is ready to eat, and  new in the last couple weeks, Big Daddies Big Dawgs. You'll find him in the front of the HFM, cooking up his tasty hot dogs, next to the carmel corn vendor. Both are delicious! Other ready-to-eat food vendors are Ming Dynasty, the Golumbki Gal, the Salsa Lady, Lu's Dessert Breads, and many more. My personal favorite, since I have to eat gluten free, is the French pastry shop. While not at HFM every Saturday, every once in a while they'll have a gf item. So I can have a delicate, crispy pastry/cookie with a delicious filling just as gluten people can. Desserts are a challenge to find gluten free, so it's a real treat when I find one. You'll find them in the larger building.
 
I bought zucchini last Saturday, stuffed it and cooked it last night. WOW! It was so yummy! I used the recipe in the Lansing State Journal, September 30, Zucchini Stuffed with Italian Sausage...for which I substituted ham, for lack of sausage in the house. Ham was good, but it was the rest of the ingredients that made it wonderful: onion, wine (I subbed red wine vinegar for lack of wine in the house) Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, fresh bread crumbs, garlic, tomatoes and capers. All of which sounds ho-hum, but trust me, the results were delicious. While not a quick recipe that I prefer, once in a while I don't mind fussing, especially when the results are so good. My husband loved it! I just didn't mention the word zucchini!
 
This Saturday, look for the following at the HFM (while looking for surprises as well, of course!)
Green beans are looking great and plentiful; it's a new picking, and as long as the frost holds off, they'll keep coming. Apples are plentiful, and lots of varieties, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, several varieties of kale, chard, lots of peppers, leeks, scallions, onions, pears, some raspberries (fall-picked variety), zucchini, both summer and winter squash, fresh herbs (no basil; it's done for the season)fall décor: pumpkins, (also pie pumpkins), corn stalks, probably sunflowers, gourds and probably some tomatoes.. Several vendors also sell locally produced, real maple syrup, Michigan jams, locally produced honey, all of which will be available during the winter market days as well (yes, this year we'll be open one Sat/month in winter. More on that later.).

 REMEMBER IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE HOLT FARMERS MARKET!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Meat at the Market? Who knew??

(Apologies for the lack of photos; something's not working right. I will try to post them later today. Wish me luck!)
 While the Holt Farmers' Market is not a meat market, you can buy your meat there. If you are interested in grass fed beef, range-free chicken and eggs from those chickens, the HFM has what you want. Both vendors usually sell frozen products, but ask if you can order fresh items if that's what you prefer.
Country Products, one of the original vendors at HFM, while selling lots of produce, also carries wonderful, hormone-free chickens, eggs, beef and pork. And I'm told  the prices are not out of line with Kroger's beef stew meat, chuck roast etc. Their pork is nitrate-free! Even including their bacon! You can order fresh chicken, and Wilbur, the Amish farmer who runs the stand, usually takes orders for freshThanksgiving turkeys as well, so watch for that. You'll find Country Products in the smaller building.
Olmsted Farms sells Piedmontese Beef, a breed that originated in  Italy but now raised in Charlotte, Michigan. It's selling points are that it claims to be the leanest beef you could find anywhere. It has one-third the chloresterol, one-third the calories, is lower fat and "the highest protein of any beef you can buy," said Dave, vendor. "It is fast cooking and only needs to reach 120 degrees due to being so low fat,"  he added. Dave's friend, who raises the beef, uses no chemicals on his farm, and uses a select feed that contains no man-made chemicals either, so the beef is chemical-free. Dave also has  healthy pork  and will take orders for any of his products if he's out of what you want.
Interested? Visit the web-site: www.LeeLenaupiedmontesebeef.com. You'll find Dave in the larger building, near the flower shop...where you can get your free coffee...and sign up for free Wi-Fi. (but you knew that already, right? :)

New this week: Dicon radishes, a large white radish with a bit of a kick. Used in many Asian dishes and at restaurants. Also blue and red kale and  Stanley plums.
Bountiful and in season: winter squash of all varieties, apples (Ida Reds, wonderful in pies and snacking; Honey Crisp, Jonathons, MacIntosh, my personal favorite, plus more)corn stalks, mums, pumpkins and gourds for fall décor.
Get'em now, because they may be gone next week: Basil still available, but once the temp hits 30s, will be gone. Can be bought in quantity by calling Dennis Greenman, 204-4827. Oregano, sage are still available. Some tomatoes this week, lettuce, beets.

Last week I bought eggplant and zucchini (among many other items), some of which I grilled...delicious! and the rest I'm planning to make into vegetable crisps today. If they turn out, I'll post the recipe on the HFM bulletin board. Remember I get there at 12:30 :). I'm SO not an early bird.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Vacation #2

     Yes, I was in Cinncinati last Saturday; visited my son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, age 2...and, of course, cute as a button. So, I didn't get to shop at the Holt Farmers' Market. Bummer!
Anyway, I do have tips that I've been wanting to share, and perhaps some recipes (though the main source for HFM recipes is at the market's bulletin board).

     It's not too late to grill! So grill up some vegetables: Grilling gives veggies that charcoal flavor we love. "Thick slices of eggplant grilled with garlic, herbs and olive oil can be as satisfying as a piece of meat," says chef Ming Tsai, but seasoning is critical. " Salt takes the bitterness out eggplant and accentuates the sweetness of tomatoes and other produce."

     I like to use my George Foreman Grilling Machine when it really is too cold to grill outdoors. So here's one of his recipes: 6 slices of eggplant, 1/2" thick (or two baby eggplants), 2 small onions, sliced 1/2" thick, 2 small tomatoes, diced; 2 small zucchini, sliced; 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced; 4-6 mushrooms, sliced; 1 tsp. olive oil, (optional). Preheat the Grilling Machine 3-5 min. while spreading  olive oil on veggies, if using. Add the sliced eggplant and garlic, close the lid and cook 3 min. Add the slices of onion, zucchini and mushrooms; cover and cook 3-5 min. Remove the eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms to a plate. Add tomatoes to the onion and garlic. Cover and cook for one min. Remove and serve over the eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms. Serves 2-4. Can be served with meat and/pasta, or stuffed in a pita or French bread for a great grilled vegetable sandwich.

Basil Tips: Using fresh basil means spending a little extra love and care with your most delicate ingredient: When using, it's best to SNIP it into pieces with scissors. Basil bruises easily and blackens when chopped, or if it gets too hot or too cold.
Basil will keep up to a week, stored in a plastic bag, or put into a cup of water and covered with a plastic bag. I have found basil and other herbs easy to dry if I can't use them up in a week. I keep the stems tied/banded together, and hang them upside down in a warm place, such as near my stove. Of course, another option is to buy a basil plant, keep it in a sunny window and snip the tops of the plant for cooking. BUT I've had no luck with growing herbs in my kitchen, so if it works for you, let me know how you did it! You can comment at the end of this blog.

     RECIPE FOR BASIL BUTTER:  1 cup shopped fresh basil, 1 pound of unsalted butter, pinch of salt. Blend ingredients in a food processor. Could make a nice gift when put in a glass jar tied with ribbon or raffia. 

NEXT WEEK: I plan to feature the vendors who sell meat at the HFM. Who knew??

REMEMBER IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY AT THE HOLT FARMERS' MARKET!
 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Featuring Bread and Fresh Produce

 
 
Luanne Peeper loves baking, and loves the Holt Farmers' Market! She has always loved baking, but only came to love the HFM in the last year or so. She had been selling her wonderful  breads at another market, and changed because she found the atmosphere so much more friendly and fun at HFM (sound familiar? :) 
Her business is named Lu's Dessert Breads, because they are so delicious, they can be eaten for dessert! She features breads that coincide with the season, so now it's zucchini, but she's sold rhubarb, blueberry, raspberry and soon it will be pumpkin. She also bakes special orders; last Saturday it was apple turnovers. Lu loves to work with people, and immensely enjoys having her satisfied customers return for more.  Find her in the larger building. 

Lansing Roots Farm is actually located near Mason. A part of the Lansing Food Bank, this non-profit helps area refugees learn to garden and then sell their goods at farmers' markets. The goal is to help them learn viable skills, in gardening as well as in entrepreneurship, and selling their produce so they can become self-sufficient. I can tell you from experience that their produce is wonderfully fresh and is chemical-free i.e.as organic as they can make it without being certified as such. You will find them in the smaller building.
 
REMEMBER: IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE HOLT FARMERS' MARKET!

Friday, September 13, 2013

What to do with all those tomatoes? (Scroll to answer)

If you haven't met the Rowe family at their  Rowe's Country Market booth at the Holt Farmers' Market, please do so at your next visit. You will enjoy them immensely. Gary Rowe is on the left in the pic, with his parents with him. They pride themselves on selling only excellent produce, grown on their family farm south of Holt. This year they planted over 3,000 tomato plants! When asked what "army" helps them harvest the juicy, red fruit (yes, I've finally given up on calling tomatoes a vegetable), the answer was that they recruit anyone available, and work from 8:00a.m.-8:00p.m. The  result is the plump, juicy and delicious fruit you see in the photo. " Our number one priority is selling only produce of excellent quality, " Gary told me. He also let me know that all their produce is grown as organically as possible, without any man-made chemicals. What keeps them in the produce business? "Repeat business from satisfied customers."
The Rowe's also operate a farmstand at their farm, located on Columbia Rd, near Schafers' Landscaping, and is open Mon-Sat, 12-7:00 Check out their other produce as well, and the Rowe's are able to take orders for large quantities of produce for those who want to can/freeze and put the sunshiny flavors of summer in a jar or baggie to savor in the dark winter months. 
 

Meet one of the sweetest, friendliest vendors at the HFM...and that's saying a lot! ( We've been complimented on the warm, friendly atmosphere at the HFM). Anna, of Anna's Creations, creates fabulous necklaces, earrings, foot jewelry  and bracelets, all of her own design. What's foot jewelry? Stop by and ask! You'll be delighted. Granddaughters? I loved the cute bracelet I got for my Eliana, two years old. Anna started making jewelry in  response to a fund raiser at her church, and loves creating, selling and wearing beautiful things. She believes she was meant to create beauty, and her jewelry shows this.
Anna also does jewelry parties, makes custom jewelry for weddings, and will do repairs as well. Check her out; you'll be glad you did. I always am.
 Lisa Stuccher is one of the newer vendors at HFM, and she can't be classified as only a produce vendor, although she sells her home-grown produce. Since she also sells homemade craft items such as ceramic refrigerator magnets from Peace Works, beautiful feathered/flowered hair clips and delightful "cute critters," I guess she falls somewhere in between categories! Which is totally fine with me. Unique to the market is a hand-bound, leather journal she made herself. The leather is soft and brown and very touchable. It looks like an antique, or a precious heirloom. Since the size is 5X7, it's just right to hold, perhaps to tuck in the tote bag and journal wherever you may be! She's already sold one, but would probably make one for you upon request.
 
What to do with all your tomatoes? Can 'em, freeze 'em and eat them raw. Want more? Try making a quick sauce: Cook tomatoes down to half their volume, then add enough water to restore the original volume. Add bay leaves, salt, pepper and fresh garlic, simmer for 30 minutes, then stir in herbs and olive oil.
Create a flavored salt: to season eggs, pasta or anything: Puree kosher salt with tomatoes in a blender, lays it on a sheet tray, and dehydrate for a couple nights (about six hours) in an oven with the pilot light on, or in a  100 degree oven until dry.
Cherry tomatoes? Roast 'em! This will give you cherry tomatoes that are about the size of raisins. You can stop short of the maximum cooking time, and have a juicier but still wonderful roasted taste.
Two pints of cherry or grape tomatoes, 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Oven at 250 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the oil; salt and pepper to taste.Line a baking sheet with a rack; place the tomatoes on the rack. Roast for 6 hours, until they look like big, red juicy raisins. Makes 1 pint.

REMEMBER IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE HOLT FARMERS' MARKET!! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Yes! Featuring Greenman's Farm Produce and The Soap Sisters!


Dennis Greenman is a staunch supporter of farmers' markets, being one of the original vendors at the Holt market, and a vendor at the Meridian market for 32 years. Greenman's Farm Produce is probably the largest vendor at HFM and offers the biggest variety of items including fresh herbs, the only vendor to sell these. Much of his produce is grown on his farm located at 1905 Eiffert  Rd where he also sells produce from his roadside stand.  Dennis will also sell items not locally grown, such as lemons or limes, for the convenience of his customers . One stop shopping is the goal.
While Dennis' day job is selling insurance for Farm Bureau, his second job is planting, growing, harvesting and selling produce. What keeps him going? "I enjoy what I'm doing. I like keeping busy," Dennis told me. " Also, I'm teaching my grandchildren how to work as they help me at the market." One of these is pictured above, holding the peaches. Isn't she adorable?  Stop by, say hello, ask questions, ask for a sample if the item you want is new to you. Dennis is very accommodating, and wants his customers to leave happy, and return the next week for more.
 
The Soap Sisters are another long-time vendor at the HFM. Pictured above are Sandra, the soap maker, and her daughter, Sammy. Another sister, Leslie found the cute picture that became their logo, featuring a blond woman, and a dark-haired woman  with glasses in a wooden tub! Too cute!  Because Sandra has the dark hair and glasses, and Leslie is the blond.
The sisters began their soap business a number of years ago when an illness showed them the scarcity of skin products that were made entirely from natural ingredients. So they set out to make their own using essential oils for the scents, olive oil and coconut oil, (no soy because this is not good for a woman with hormone issues)  for the base of the products. Sandra hand-carves each bar to fit the customer's hand! Then she uses the resulting "soap ends" to make sachets to be used to scent a drawer/closet or to be used in the shower as a scrubby. Of course I use their products, and love them. You gotta love these craft vendors; their products are works of love as well as excellence.
     Remember to check the bulletin board for recipes; this week's feature will be Judy Tuttle's ratatouille which uses many fresh, summer vegetables, and is easy to make...lasts for days and of course is DELICIOUS! Judy is one of the volunteers at the HFM, and is an excellent cook!
     NEW NEXT WEEK: The Twisted Pretzel: chocolate/gourmet pretzel treats and Big Daddy's Big Doggs, which feature, of course, hot dogs.
 
REMEMBER: IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE HOLT FARMERS' MARKET!   



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Exciting News!

Have you heard? The Holt Farmers' Market has been awarded a $10,000 grant that will help us create some new ways for customers to enjoy their time at the market. Although the grant covers items like improved signage, on-site compost unit for food and plant waste and a recycling receptacle...the item I am MOST excited about is the Portable Module (3 units) Mobile Demonstration Center. Yes! The market will now be able to do demonstrations of how to cook various foods, how to can produce, and so many more applications. The possibilities are virtually endless. The unit should be up and running in mid to late September. I'll send more details as I get them so stay connected!
     More news: because of the new and exciting things happening at the HFM, I've been told there are openings for several new volunteers to help out. Volunteers due a variety of things; my personal fav is spending a couple hours each Saturday at the market, schmoozing with the vendors, helping customers find what they are shopping for and helping wherever I'm needed. I love the positive vibes at the HFM, and I go home with delicious, fresh food and feeling high on life.
Did I mention fresh flowers as well? Divine Creations, tucked in the back of the bigger building, sells fresh flowers including my personal favorite, hydrangeas. But lots more as well, including wedding flowers and accessories, center pieces...the list goes on and on. Plus, this is the stand where you can pick up FREE coffee.
 
This week at the market the vendors will be selling Michigan apples, beets, bell peppers, sweet peppers, hot peppers, blueberries, greens, cucumbers as well as small ones for pickling, kale,sweet onions, peaches (probably Red Havens! so juicy and delicious!), potatoes, raspberries rhubarb, some strawberries...yes, the "season" is over, but not for these ever-bearing ones! summer squash, zucchini, winter squash, sweet corn and tomatoes galore! Plus a full line of fresh herbs. So plan your menus and buy fresh. Remember to ask the vendor if the item is locally grown, Michigan grown or from out of state.
REMEMBER: IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE HOLT FARMERS' MARKET!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Gone on vacation

I won't be writing a blog this week due to our vacation. We are going to Camp Minitonka on Lake Michigan and I am super excited! I haven't been to Lake Michigan yet this summer, and it's not summer for me until that happens. My husband is from the Bronx, however, and has said he'll try to have a good time camping...for my sake...and has said he'll try not to complain too much. Does that sound like a recipe for success to you? Yeah, same here. I mean, we're sleeping in a cabin, not a tent. What more could he want? 

The real downside to this vacation is that I won't be shopping at the Farmers' Market this Saturday! But I will get vicarious enjoyment from YOU shopping there. Lots of fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies...Mich. apples and peaches...maybe cantelopes, summer squash, zucchini....corn and tomotoes, of course. Hand-made, beautiful crafts and specialty foods. Just have a good time there and enjoy living in Michigan.

I'll be back in touch next Friday

REMEMBER: IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE HOLT FARMERS' MARKET..

Friday, August 16, 2013

Featuring two specialty vendors

Meet Marcie Bishop Kates, owner and CEO of Incu-Bake. What's that? Incu-Bake is a kitchen (business)incubator. Being the creative person she is, Marcie was searching for a commercial kitchen to use for her catering business, didn't find one, so decided to create one herself! She's changed her focus a bit from running a catering business to helping other entrepreneurs start their own businesses. To date, 59 food businesses have used her commercial kitchen to prepare their food items and have been licensed to do so.  A number of these sell their items at the Holt Farmers' Market and have been featured in this blog e.g. The Golumbki Gal. In addition, Marcie sells items for Incu-Bake graduates at her market stall, including wonderful dips, sauces, granola and much more. Stop by and see why we're excited about this vendor!
Willow Blossom Farms is truly a family  affair. Lorrie and Shannon are beekeepers, and Willow is their daughter. Mom makes all the products: lip balms, lotions, soaps, honey sticks all made with honey of course. Then she offers many forms of honey: liquid honey in plastic or glass containers; 8oz.,  half-gallons, full gallons, creamed or whipped. She sells honey lolli-pops, honey-pecans (newest hot item) and honey in the comb. Last but not least are her two oz. baby bear containers of honey...which are airplane legal. Meanwhile, Dad works outdoors with the hives, and Willow helps Mom sell items at the HFM. Stop by! you can't miss their bright yellow shirts..  
 I loved the delicious Super Sweet corn from  Greenman's Farm booth, picked that morning. My husband did, too. My favorite apples, McIntosh, also made it to my table, and delicious Michigan peaches. THIS WEEK: Red Haven peaches will be available! The ones I had last week were delicious, I'd give them an A. Red Havens are the A+ of Michigan peaches, in my opinion. So stop by the Holt Farmers' Market, and revel in the tastes of a Michigan summer. 
 
REMEMBER IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE HOLT FARMERS' MARKET!  



Friday, August 9, 2013

August abundance

Another long list of wonderful, fresh food available tomorrow, August 10, much of it grown locally, some items from other locations in Michigan and some from out of state. Remember to ask the vendors!
Michigan apples, and Michigan peaches; locally grown green beans, beets, bell peppers, hot peppers, blueberries and blackberries, lettuces, three kinds of onions: red, sweet and Vidalias; new potatoes: red, golden and fingerlings; fresh herbs, sweet potatoes, grape tomatoes as well as their larger siblings, zucchini and summer squash, and last but certainly not least: sweet corn, including bi-color Super Sweet corn, at the Greenman's Farm stand.

Instead of pics this week, I thought I'd feature some FAQs:
1. Why should I buy fresh  Michigan produce from the Holt Farmer's Market when I can get the same item, grown in Michigan, at the supermarket, for less money?
I would suggest two reasons:
     - at the HFM your money goes directly to the farmer, not to some mega-corporation.
     - at the HFM you can ask all the questions you want, and get really good answers, from the people who grew the food, and take pride in their products. They can tell you how they grew the item, how to store the item, how to prepare it. Try that at Kroger!

2. Why is the food at the HFM so expensive? I can't afford it!
I would suggest that the affordability of the produce at the HFM is a matter of perspective and values. When I shop at the supermarket, I see carts loaded with bottled water, pop, lots of packaged food, and maybe a few items from the produce department. Those few items from the produce department may indeed be cheaper than those at the HFM. Folks who value their health could decide that they don't need those nutrition-lite items in their cart, or  could find less expensive ways to satisfy those needs, and buy their produce at the HFM, where the produce has all the advantages listed above, plus the advantage of not having been shipped hundred/thousands of miles to get in that cart, and so it hasn't been irradiated/processed/GMOd so it can travel all those miles and arrive looking fresh.
You can tell what my values are!!

Here are some tips from the Foodsafety.gov website:
Food storage: Store fresh fruits like strawberries, lettuce, and  herbs in the 'fridge at 40 degrees or less. Keep high ethylene fruits like apples separate from other fruits to help prevent over-ripeness.
Food Preparation: Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on fresh fruits and vegetables. Produce that looks rotten should be discarded (and mention it to your vendor the next week!). Keep fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw separate form other foods such as raw meat, or poultry and from kitchen utensils used for those products.
Wash cutting boards, dishes , utensils and counter tops with soap and hot water between the preparation of those products listed above and any produce that will not be cooked.
Using plastic cutting boards? or other non-porous boards?  You can run them through the dish washer after use.
I'm excited to tell you about my recent experience with storing fresh lettuce, of course from the HFM. Two weeks ago, I bought a bag of mixed greens from the Lansing Roots Farm, which is connected to the Lansing Food Bank. I put them in the 'fridge vegetable drawer just the way they came: in a plastic bag...to which I added a half- sheet of a paper towel. I made a salad of them yesterday, and it was as fresh and tasty as the day I brought it home!!!
So, thanks for shopping at the Holt Farmer's Market, and thanks for reading this blog!

It's always sunny at the Holt Farmers' Market! 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Did I mention FREE coffee and FREE WiFi ?

Yes, get your free coffee at the flower booth, and then ask Misty, the HFM assistant, how to access the free WiFi. Then sit back and enjoy the fun, positive ambience of the Holt Farmers' Market.
Here's the list of all the wonderful produce you can see at tomorrow's market, 8-3-13:
green beans, prossibly  yellow wax beans too; beets, bell peppers, blueberries, broccoli and cauliflower; cucumbers as well as the the smaller variety for making pickles ( remember to order these in advance if you want more than a quart), lettuces, sweet onions, peaches, new potatoes, including reds, whites, golden and fingerlings; a few raspberries; ever-bearing strawberries, gooseberries, summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes, scallions and super sweet corn.
Featured today are two specialty vendors: 
Denise Brzozowski is the Golumbki Gal. She has made golumbkis, which are stuffed Polish cabbage rolls, from an old family recipe for years. So when the Great Recession hit and money got tight, she and husband, John, decided to take this delicious food to the next level, and make some money at the same time. They connected with Incubake (another HFM vendor) learned how to start their own business and moved forward, doing something they love doing. Their golumbki's come in three varieties: traditional, gluten-free and vegetarian, made with portobella mushrooms. While I was interviewing Denise last week, a customer came to the booth, someone who hesitantly had his first golumbki last week. This time, he bought 16 of them and said they were the "best ever!" Find Denise, John and niece, Rachel, in the larger HFM building.
Teresa Norton is the doggie-vendor at HFM. Her dog, Shayla, a Papillion, is the namesake of the business. Teresa has been making doggie treats for 15 years, and went commercial in 2012. She is licensed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture, a difficult license to obtain. In addition to treats, she makes doggie birthday cakes on order, and sells doggie toys made from re-cycled pop bottles, and doggie embellished bandannas. Teresa is located in the larger building.
 
REMEMBER: IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE HOLT FARMERS' MARKET!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Can You Believe It?!!

Michigan  corn already ripe and ready at the HFM ?? Yes, Sat. July 27, there will be Michigan corn available for you to purchase and enjoy. Locally grown new potatoes also will be there. And next week? Michigan apples and peaches. Unbelievable!  What with ever-bearing produce extending the season, and hoop houses bringing in the produce earlier than usual, we can eat healthy and delicious all market-season long.
So last week, I bought all fruits. We were having my husband's family over for a BBQ and swim, so I wanted to make a fruit salad of all Michigan fruit. I'm experimenting with gooseberries, not having had them as a child. Found them a bit tart, but the flavor is delicious, reminding me of plums.  I added them to the raspberries, blackberries, cherries and strawberries and people just raved.
What I've learned recently at the HFM:
     - raspberries soak up water whichr dilutes the flavor. So don't wash them...but ask the vendor if chemical pesticides were used on the berries. Several vendors don't use these.
     - cabbage rolls: FREEZE the cabbage first. This makes the outer leaves perfect for making cabbage rolls.
     -for easy raspberry jam: Using a 1:1 ratio of sugar to raspberries, boil the berries at medium heat, stirring constantly, for two minutes. Add the sugar and boil and stir for four minutes more. Cool at room temperature, and then refrigerate. Use within two weeks. or freeze. The cool thing is that no purchased pectin is needed; the berries have enough pectin of their own. Another cool thing: if the berries don't jell? Just re-do the process! How easy is that?
 
Fred Long of Fred's Jerky Products, LLC is the featured specialty food vendor featured today. Fred has been making his wonderful, preservative-free, no-additives, just beef and seasoning jerky for many years. His secret mix was created by his wife, who now brings in tasty no-bake cookies and two kinds of fudge for his booth. Fred has been selling his jerky for several years, and enjoys meeting his customers at farmers' markets, and having them visit him on facebook, which he updates daily.
Contact him: 517-543-7597; fredsjerky@yahoo.com.
 
Meet produce vendor, Deepa Iyer aka The Greens Lady because she truly LOVES eating greens. Kale is her fave. Deepa and Gwen Kato raise their produce at Rainbows End Farm, Fowlerville. They use only natural fertilizers, etc. because they are dedicated to building healthy soil, healthy food and healthy people (their slogan). Find them in the smaller building, and at: 517-223-1079 for info about raspberry picking; cell : 517-294-4014; rainbowsendfarm2004@gmail.com; and www.TheRainbowsEndFarm.com . New this year, in addition to fall U-Pick raspberries, hoop-house greens and Healthy Living classes, they are offering a Kids' Camp, where the kids will participate in growing food, picking ripe produce, making their lunches from their "pickings" and much more. Stop by their booth for more info.
 
REMEMBER: IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE HOLT FARMERS' MARKET

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Michigan's Abundance at the Holt Farmers Market, July 20, 2013

   The abundance of Michigan's produce will be flowing into the Holt Farmers' Market this Saturday: Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see the list of locally/Michigan grown goodies you can expect to see this Saturday.
 As for last Saturday, I may have bought a little more than usual, because there was so much to buy! My checkbook is safe when I shop at Kohl's or Younkers, but not so much at the market!  But I'm getting quite good at handling the fresh produce, and I'm happy to say I didn't have to throw anything out due my slowness in processing the items.  I froze some items  and happily ate the rest.
Sold-out: Rowe's Farm sold out of virtually everything again! So if you get there later in the day, as I usually do, feel free to stop and talk to Gary Rowe. Ask him about his kohlrabi. He's great to talk to.

Another sold-out: Rainbow's End farm sold out of carrots unexpectedly. They'll have more this Saturday, as well as lots of other chemical-free goods. I eyed their large cabbages, didn't get one, but will this week. Ask Gwen or Deepa how to make easy sauerkraut (tip: they don't use crocks anymore).
FEATURED CRAFTER: Elaine Ernst of
AUNT LAIN'S QUILTS 



Elaine's love of quilting emanates from the beautiful colors of her creations. " I have a GREAT time sewing my quilts. It is just  pure joy for me." It must be so, for she's been known to awake at 2:00a.m. with a great idea and get up and sew for hours to finish the inspiration. Elaine creates all her own designs, and all are sold ready-to-hang. She makes little wall quilts,  purses, and the utterly charming, all cotton dolls in the photo. Elaine has been sewing since childhood, when she learned how to sew on a treadle sewing machine. Her legs were tooshort to reach the treadle, so her father had to make an adjustment for her. You'll find her in the smaller building on the north side of the market.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS SATURDAY:
Swiss chard, cabbage, cauliflower (from Michigan's thumb) pickling cucumbers and "regular" cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash, Mich sweet cherries and blueberries, a few strawberries and red raspberries, black raspberries, blackberries, rhubarb and fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, mint, oregano, onion chives, garlic chives, AND at long last: candy onions, the sweetest onion grown in Mich.
TIP from Dennis Greenman of Greenman Farms: to order items in quantity, please order in advance. Pick up vendors' business cards for contact information.
 
 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

More Surprises and Featured Vendors

Surprises: Curly-cued garlic? Yes, there is such a thing!It is green, curly-cued and milder than regular garlic. Also is easier to chop for recipes. Strawberries? Still? Dennis Greenman of Greenman Farms will continue to have a few pints of ever-bearing strawberries throughout the summer. Rowe's Farm, returning for the first time Sat. July 6, was SOLD OUT by noon, before I even arrived at the market! And the French pastry vendors were sold out of their wonderful, gluten-free, delicate and delicious pastry-type cookies when I arrived, though they had plenty of their other pastries. I may have to get to the market earlier than my usual 12:30 time!
 
Country Products, owned by  Wilbur and Susie Hochstetler, Amish farmers of Charlotte (517) 543-2973, is one of the four produce vendors. They stock a wonderful variety of items, including fresh produce, organic grains, range-free chicken and eggs, honey, jams, maple syrup, butter and cheese, homemade noodles, grass-fed beef and more. Stop by and see Samantha Lass and Sherrie Siemon who work the booth and they will happily answer any questions you may have about the products. You will find them in the smaller building.  
  
                         
 
 The  HFM Salsa Lady is Sherrie Schenk, of Schenk's Salsa. Her award-winning, home-made personal recipe is a labor of love. She uses it for soups, chili's and many more items. "My salsa is not just for chips. I use it for marinades, stir fries and lots more, " she told me. Her booth features recipes she is happy to share with customers, and yes, her "Ghostly Hot Salsa" won the Board of Water and Light's  contest in 2012. You will find Sherrie and husband Mike in the larger HFM building, next to the Golumbki Gal, who, by the way, sells the salsa if  Sherrie can't be there. Pictured with Sherrie is her loyal helper, son Donovan.  
Schenk'sSalsa: Sherrie Schenk c. 420-6860 Mike Schenk c. 420-6883, shenkssalsa.com
 
 
 
 
 The Card Lady, Originals by Carol (Nevins) makes beautiful cards for all occasions, and sells them for practically nothing! Which translates to $2.00/practically nothing. As with all the crafters, she loves what she does, and will take special orders for just about anything. If she doesn't have exactly what you want, she'll happily make it for you and have it ready the next Saturday. So far, I have purchased birthday cards, Father's Day cards and graduation cards from Carol. She's located in the smaller building, usually next to Anna's Creations, although the craft booths are sometimes located in the tents outdoors. Carol is helped by her efficient, cute-as-a-button granddaughter, Olivia. 
 
Produce at the HFM, Sat July 13: New: Michigan blueberries, zucchini and summer squash, swiss chard. Continuing: gooseberries, ever-bearing strawberries, green beans, fresh herbs, lettuces, rhubarb and more. Expect to enjoy, and try something new.
 
REMEMBER ITS ALWAYS SUNNY AT THE HOLT FARMERS MARKET

 
 


Friday, July 5, 2013

July 6, 2013

 
 FRESH RASPBERRIES
(and other surprises, too)
 
... were available last Sat, which took me by surprise since it's a little early.There were plenty of lovely strawberries last week, too. So seldom the two berries are available at the same time. I also bought some delicious blackberries, which my husband just loved.
 
 Also good salad-making stuff: sure, fresh lettuce...but also fresh radishes. Their bright red color, and gentle, tangy taste add color and crunch to a salad. Plus additional greens: spinach and kale, and perhaps some Swiss chard and collard greens. If you're a newbie to greens, start slow. Although a bag of spinach looks like a HUGE amount, the bag actually cooks down to about two servings. Don't let the size of the bag intimidate you!
To put in salads: add some spinach leaves to your iceberg lettuce and you'll enjoy the taste, and before too long will be eating the salad without the iceberg lettuce at all.
To cook the spinach: put some oil in your non-stick pan, heat to medium heat, put in a handful of spinach leaves, stir a few times until the leaves are wilted. Then add more leaves and repeat the process. It's surprising how many leaves you can put in the pan to get a single serving! 
Kale tips: Try beating it up before adding to salads or cooking. Seriously! After washing the leaves, and before using them, take a leaf in hand, roll it, punch it, pound it until the leaves soften, and are pliable. You'll see a BIG DIFFERENCE in the kale leaves, and this process helps release the nutrients, and makes the kale easy to work with.
 
TIPS for shopping at the HFM:
 ASK THE VENDOR: how to handle the item, how to store it, how to cook it, and for recipes. Not all vendors will have recipes, so  check the HFM Bulletin Board. I try to put up new recipes each week.
ASK THE VENDOR: whether the item is locally grown (hint: the limes and lemons are not :) ), ask if the item is organic. They will happily answer any question you have!
Remember: It's always sunny in the Holt Farmers' Market!  


Friday, June 28, 2013

Holt Farmers' Market, June 29, 2013


Holt Farmers' Market, June 29,2013
 
 
 
 
Okay, so I didn't freeze my strawberries last Saturday. My son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, Eliana, drove up from Cincinnati and spent the week-end with us. They bought strawberries at the HFM, too, so I showed them how to wash the berries in water and apple cider vinegar ( 10 parts water to one part vinegar), so they'll last longer. Then we ate them as snacks. Yes, they were awesome. Beautifully red all the way through, delicious and sweet all the way through, juicy as could be. California berries don't even come close...although I admit to reluctantly buying them in the off-season. I don't know if there will be any strawberries sold tomorrow; I can only hope!
 
If not strawberries, there will be plenty of items to enjoy. And some fun activities as well. There will be music by Mark Grinnell (brother to Market manager, Chuck Grinnell...who is also a musician, I might add) from 11:00-1:00.  AND there will be the first ever Golumbki Eating Contest, starting at noon.
 
 
Each week I'll try and include some useful tips on topics like buying fresh produce, safe handling and storage, preparation of produce and a recipe or two. So this week's tip clarifies which fruits and veggies need to be refrigerated, and those that can be kept at room temperature:
REFRIGERATE: apples, beans,berries,broccoli, carrots. celery, cheeries, eggplant, peppers, leafy greens, zucchini, herbs and any cut produce.
ROOM TEMPERATURE: melons, onions, pears, peached, potatoes, beets, tomatoes, and winter squash.
 
Remember, if it rains tomorrow:
 
It's always sunny inside the Holt Farmers' Market 
 



Monday, June 24, 2013

Special posting: First ever Golumbki-Eating Contest

 
 
NEWS FLASH!
 
 
By special request, I am blogging about this event happening this Sat, June 29  at the Holt Farmers' Market: It's the first ever Golumbki-Eating Contest! Brought to you by the Golumbki Gal and the HFM.
 
What is a golumbki? While I can't tell you the answer because I haven't had  the pleasure of trying one due to having to eat gluten-free...they must be really good because they are wildly popular. The contest will be similar to a hot-dog eating contest, and the winner gets one dozen of these to take home,  a $24 value.
 
Want to enter the contest? email the Gal at golumbkigal@gmail.com. It will cost you a few bucks to sign up, but it's all in fun.
Want to watch the fun? Come to the HFM this Saturday at noon.
 
Want more info about this Gal? Visit her at golumbkigal.com
More posts later this week.
Paula



Friday, June 21, 2013

Strawberries #3

Yes! There were strawberries at the HFMarket last Sat, June 15, and probably will be more this Sat.June 22. One vendor brought in 160 quarts, and sold out by 11:00!! Luckily there was another vendor selling the berries, and even better yet, that first vendor was able to bring in more berries by 12:30. So I bought my two quarts....they were INCREDIBLE! So sweet and tasty, with red color all the way through the fruit, not that white stuff that the California berries have in the center.  Of course my husband and I ate them for snacks, put them in a Strawberry & Rhubarb Crisp ( see recipe for this in previous post) and had one Strawberry Shortcake.

This week I'm planning to freeze some berries. One easy way is to sort the berries, using only the ones that are firm, ripe and red. DO NOT WASH at this time. Spread evenly on a cookie sheet, and pop in the freezer. Once frozen, put them in freezer bags/ or containers. Wash before using.

For more ideas, the MSU Extension office is a great source. I will be putting one of their Food Preservation  print-outs on the bulletin board at the Market.

Also fresh at the market this Sat, June 21 are lots of greens! One of the vendors at the Rainbow's End table tells me she LOVES GREENS! Not a greens lover? Who better to talk to about WHY she loves them, get some recipes, and try some for yourself. You already know how healthy greens are, right? Putting them in a delicious smoothie, like the Monster Smoothie (yes, it's named that to appeal to kids, but grownups like it too), may make you a fan of greens, too. We're talking about spinach, of course, but also kale, swiss chard, and more. There will be recipes for swiss chard and more on the Market bulletin.

ALSO FRESH AND LOCAL THIS SATURDAY: Rhubarb and herbs and more.

AND THE HFM USES SOCIAL MEDIA!
The Holt Farmer's Market is on Twitter and , Facebook, has its own website, and a weekly email sent to those who sign up. So, there are many ways to stay informed about your local source of fresh produce, specialty food items made locally and locally made crafts. Stop by and enjoy!
 
REMEMBER:
It's always sunny in the Holt Farmer's Market.

   

Friday, June 14, 2013

More strawberries!!!

SO...this Sat, June 15, there should be more locally grown strawberries for you to enjoy! Weather permitting, of course ( I wonder how that recent hailstorm affected the berries!). You'll want to get to the market early, just to be sure the berries don't get sold out!
Strawberries are probably my fave berry, although I love raspberries and blueberries almost as much.
Check the HFM bulletin board for more recipes and tips about how to care for the berries once you get them home...if you don't want to eat them all that same day, that is. Here's a recipe that is a favorite at our house that includes both strawberries and another spring item: RHUBARB:

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp
(this is delicious with any fruit)
 
Line an 8X8 inch pan with chopped rhubarb and halved strawberries.
Topping:
     1/3 cup flour
     1/3 cup ground nuts/nut flour
     1/3 cup brown sugar
     2-3 Tbs cold butter/margarine
Combine flours and brown sugar. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter. Place on top of the fruit, bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.
Serve hot from the oven with a scoop of vanilla, or at room temperature, or cold from the 'fridge. This is scrumptious at any temperature!
 
More fresh produce:
     - Swiss Chard: Who knew?? Some doctors are saying Swiss Chard is the new spinach! Has more health benefits! So, check it out at the Market!
     - Fresh Herbs: oregano, mint, thyme and sage.To keep fresh      longer in your 'fridge:
      - trim the stems when you first get home. Place the herb in a   container of water, with a plastic bag over the top. Make sure the bag has some holes in it. Herbs will stay fresh for several weeks.
     -Asparagus: it's the end of the season; probably won't be a lot available this Sat 6/15
     - Lettuce is growing well and should be available in a couple weeks. 
 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Strawberries?

Good news: STRAWBERRIES! at least a few strawberries will be at the Holt Farmers' Market this Sat, June 8. SO strawberry lovers, get there ASAP!

BETTER NEWS: Plenty of strawberries will be available next Sat, June15. BUT they may sell out early, so plan to be there early. The market opens at 9:00.

Also freshly grown at a local Holt farm this week:
HERBS: thyme, oregano, chives.
PRODUCE: asparagus and rhubarb still available as well as plenty of other fresh veggies.
AND plenty of other goodies: the ever popular golumbkies, egg rolls, and beef strips, and kettle corn , grass-fed beef, and artisan bread for examples.
NEW  this season are Carries Cookies, Cupcakes with Love, Lu's Zucchini Bread, Sweet Little Somethings among others.
One of the cool things about the Holt Farmers' Market is that no two weeks are the same. Each week has a variety of vendors that you might not have encountered before. So expect and enjoy surprises.

Did I mention the wonderful crafts? Lovingly made by hand, in Michigan, you'll find amazing jewelry you won't find anywhere else, beautiful greeting cards, soaps with all natural ingredients that have wonderful scents and are good for your skin...the list goes on and on. So I'll stop here for now, and tell you more about market products in the weeks to come.

OH! also this Sat there will be music! From 11:00-1:00 Greg Adaline will be entertaining with karaoke/dj music.

Remember that it's always sunny inside the Holt Farmers' Market!!