Friday, September 26, 2014

Taylor Taylor

Yes, that's her real name. I think.(see pic below) Her mother confided that Taylor's middle name is Nicole, so  I inferred that Taylor is both her first and last name. I could be wrong about that. One thing I'm sure of is her music and her love of it, and her dedication to it. This very personable young lady, a senior at Okemos High School, who also play varsity volleyball, has played guitar since age eight. She writes her own songs, and loves to perform. This is her passion and her dream is to make it her career. Remember you met her first here at the HFM blog. Her music is on itunes, youtube and at As I was interviewing her, a market shopper had heard her singing, stopped by and bought a CD because "this young lady is going to be BIG," and wanted to be a part of Taylor's success. I hope so, too, because she is a sweet person who believes that "a philanthropic mind and love for music can change the hearts of those who listen."
Remember that many Saturdays the HFM has live music from 11:00-1:00. Check details on the market's website:

Lastly, I need to let you know this will be my last post for now. My circumstances have changed a bit, not in a bad way, but in a way that changes how much time I have available to do some fun things like this blog. Thanks for stopping by, feel free to view all previous posts below, leave comments there or at and enjoy the market. It's a place where good things happen!and..


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Friday, September 12, 2014

Tips 'N' Tales

 It has been so chilly these past two days, that it doesn't seem right to blog about sweet corn, does it?!! I can only hope there is some corn at the Holt Farmers' Market this Saturday because I'm just not done with it yet! And what about peaches? Tomatoes? I'm not done with summer, either, not that it matters to the powers that be. Anyway, I'll write about corn etc. for the last time this season, and next week get into more about autumn produce.
 TIPS: on storing: store corn in 'fridge in its husk. 
            best time to eat: as soon as possible after picking/buying it
            on safety: keep it away from fresh, raw meat,poultry and seafood both in your shopping bag and at home. Juices from raw meat etc. will contaminate corn...and all veggies...and that's BAD.
             to grill: Peel back husk and remove silk. Replace husk. Soak corn in cold water for 5 minutes (or wrap in aluminum foil if no husk). Put on hot grill for 8-15 minutes. 
MORE GRILLING: Yes, my other half has promised to NOT put away the grill yet, so: 
Grilled Eggplant
Put thick slices of eggplant, seasoned with garlic, herbs and olive oil on the grill for a dish as "satisfying as a piece of meat," says Chef Tsai. "Seasoning is key: salt takes the bitterness out of eggplant and accentuates the sweetness of tomatoes and other produce." 

TALES: Talking about grilling veggies: well, my other half loved eating summer squash, zucchini and peppers. We grilled them with olive oil and garlic salt and he LOVED them. I called the summer squash a "summer veggie" since he doesn't like squash. I think I can grill/roast any veggie, doused in oil and garlic, and he'll eat it. I will, too! They were really, really tasty. Who knew?

One more tale: About kale: so far this year I've eaten kale in a smoothie, liked it, plus I felt quite virtuous in doing so. I've also eaten it in salads where it provides an extra crunch without overwhelming the other flavors, and last night I made kale "chips" which I'm beginning to like. Easy enough: remove stems from kale, tear the leaves into small, chip-size pieces, put on baking sheet guessed it: sprinkled with olive oil and garlic salt. Baked for 10-12 minutes in a 400 degree oven, and voila! a healthy, crispy snack that you, too, can feel virtuous about eating! 
      Thanks for stopping by; hope to see you at the Holt Farmers' Market, if not tomorrow, than soon. You'll be glad you did.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Roast All Those Cherry Tomatoes!!

Since I only planted cherry tomatoes this year, I loved this recipe for roasting them. It's delicious and easy, so I wanted to share it with you (it's from The Washington Post, Jeanne McManus).
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with a rack and place the tomatoes on the rack. Roast the tomatoes for 6 hours, until they look like big, red juicy raisins. Makes 1 pint.
Tip: try to have the tomatoes as similar in size as possible.Otherwise the little ones burn while the big ones finish.
Also: Yes, it really takes six hours BUT you can roast them overnight if you have an oven that turns off when you tell it to. The tomatoes will not suffer if left until the a.m.

 Peaches? They have been so sweet and wonderful this season BUT I've been told that our long winter/cool spring weather this year has diminished their numbers! So please get to the market early to find them. I'll post recipes for a peach cobbler on the HFM bulletin board (don't know where that is? Ask a vendor or Misty in the coffee booth in the rear of the main building), and I'll give some to the vendors to include in customers' bags. Also, I'll put up a wonderful hand-out from the MSU Extension about peach preservation,  freezing the delectable fruit and canning them as well. 
Does anyone actually can peaches anymore? Short answer? Yes! Canning is experiencing a come-back! As people are discovering the joys of buying and eating locally grown foods, they want to preserve some of it for those long winter months. It's called "summer in a jar." While my 1950's mom canned peaches, tomatoes and made jam from berries, and I learned how to can by being recruited to help, and I have a water-bath-canner in my basement as I write this, I'm not into canning at the moment. I'm leaving that to others. But, please, if you are canning this summer, let me know your experiences by commenting at the end of this blog, or on the blog email at I'd love to hear from you! And not just about canning, tell us any experience you've had with the Holt Farmers' Market, good or not so much. Any feedback is always welcome! 
This from Judy Tuttle, the demo lady: Judy will be demonstrating how to fix a Watermelon Feta Salad this Saturday. Her recipes and samples are always part of the demo as well. She will be demo-ing at 11:30ish on Saturday. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014


If you haven't met Judy Tuttle yet, Saturday, August 30 is the date to do so. Judy is another volunteer and loyal supporter of the Holt Farmers' Market, and has been from day one. In her previous life, she was an employee of the Holt Fire Dept.(current location of the HFM) for 21 years, so she is a familiar face in the Holt area. So those who know Judy know what a great cook she is. Yes, that's her standing behind the new, mobile cooking unit that the market obtained (through a grant) just this year. On Saturday, August 23, Judy did a demonstration of how to cook one of her wonderful recipes, using HFM products, of course. 

The good news? If you didn't see her last Saturday, she will be demonstrating again on Sat, Aug 30, at  "11:30ish"she told me. She will be showing how she makes her wonderful Tomato, Peach, Feta and Red Onion Salad, using HFM products as available. She will give out the recipes, and have samples to taste. Just another thing to love about the HFM. Here's a heads-up: Judy has promised to share her wonderful Ratatouille soon, so watch for that as well. 

Other info: Judy told me she bought wonderful (everbearing) strawberries at Rowe's Family Farm in the a.m. They were all sold out when I arrived at 12:30. (Hint, hint!) Luckily for me, Nightengale's still had luscious peaches when I got there. Greenman's had some berries, but I can't promise they'll still be there Aug 30. Dennis G.  also had some lovely looking chard, kale and some smaller beets with their greens still attached. I like those beet greens! They seem a little sweeter than some others. 
I'm getting acquainted with eggplant, and enjoying the results. Here's a recipe I really like: tasty, fav type of recipe.

Roasted Eggplant with Warmed Feta and Honey
1 large eggplant, about 20 ounces
6 TBS. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups crumbles, mild-tasting feta cheese
Freshly ground black pepper 
1 1/2 cup honey, or as needed
1 TBS fresh thyme or oregano leaves, chopped for garnish
Preheat oven:400 degrees. Trim each end from the eggplant. With a vegetable peeler, partially remove the skin in alternating strips, creating a striped appearance. Cut the eggplant into 3/4 in.-thick rounds. PLACE  the eggplant slices in rows on a rimmed sheet pan. Generously brush BOTH sides of the slices with oil. ROAST for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned.  REMOVE the pan from oven, and turn the slices with a wide spatula. Return to the oven and roast for 10 min more until they're lightly brown and tender. Remove from oven and mound a rounded tablespoon of cheese on top of each eggplant slice. ADD a grinding of pepper to each. Return the pan to the oven for about 5 min, until the cheese softens. TRANSFER the slices to a serving platter. DRIZZLE each with the honey and sprinkle with a few fresh thyme leaves. SERVE hot. 

Friday, August 22, 2014


I can't claim today's catchy title is original. (What is BAC anyway?Hint: look at the end of today's blog). I'm copying it from a hand-out from the MSU Extension excellent source for info about safe handling of fresh fruits and veggies. But first, a few fun facts about plain, ordinary cucumbers. Yes! I didn't know they were so versatile! Got this off the internet; claimed to be a reprint from the NY Times, but you never know, right? I've tried some of these, especially the ones that are so whimsically funny, like polishing shoes (yes, it worked!).
 One cucumber has: Vitamins B1,B2,B6,Folic Acid, VitC, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc. Who knew?
    -got a big meeting/interview, and not enough time to polish shoes? Rub a slice of cucumber over the shoes; its chemicals provide a quick and durable shine that repels water!
     -no WD40? Use a cucumber slice on the squeaky hinge and voila!
     -grubs/slugs in your garden? Place a few cuke slices in a  small pie tin and they will go away! The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent you can't smell, but they can and it drives them out of your life.     I love it!
Okay, back to BAC business: For safe handling of produce:
1. Check to be sure the fruits and veggies you bought are free of bruises/any damage.
2. Clean: wash hands with soap and running warm water before handling. Rub firm-skin produce under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running water. Dry with clean cloth towel or paper towel.
3. Separate: MSU urges us all to keep all fresh fruits and veggies SEPARATE from raw meat, poultry and sea food in your shopping bags, in your refrigerator and use separate cutting boards for produce.
4. Cook or throw away fruits or veggies that have touched raw meat, poultry or seafood or their juices.
5. Chill: Refrigerate all cut, peeled or cooked fresh fruits and veggies within two hours.
6. Throw Away: fruit and veggies that have not been refrigerated within two hours of cutting, peeling or cooking. Remove and throw away bruised/damaged portions of fruits and veggies when preparing to cook them or before eating them raw. "If in doubt, throw it out."

Do I follow all these steps all the time? Can't say I do. But I sure appreciate knowing these steps and modifying them as I need to. (BAC is the catchy term MSU Extension uses for "bacteria" but you knew that already, right?). 
   Check back next week for interviews, tips, hints, info about produce, the Holt Farmers' Market and maybe a photo or two.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Thanks for coming back!

Because I do want to blog about Otto's Chicken, new to the Holt Farmers' Market this year, but widely known for their wonderful chicken items: from fresh whole roasters, thru packages of chicken legs,breasts,wings etc. down to items as small as chicken tenders, and then another roster of Specialty Chicken such as ground chicken, sausage and smoked chicken Leg Quarters and lots more. 
   The farm is in Middleville, MI (Gun Lake area), where their farm store is located, but they also sell in Holland, Kalamazoo, Royal Oak and the Lansing City Market. 

I was able to catch Pat in a rare moment when she wasn't busy and snapped her photo. "People ask me if these were 'happy chickens.' The answer is YES, because they were raised with no hormones, no growth promotants and no antibiotics,"she told me.Something else new at the HFM is that Otto's is open on Fridays from 2-5:00, and will be open every Friday through the winter as well. You can reach Otto's at: 269-795-7696 and:
      Now that corn and tomatoes are in abundance, and I'm quickly, believe it or not, getting tired of eating them as is, I'm finding easy ways to use them in recipes. For example, what to do with the ear of corn that got cooked but not eaten? SUCCOTASH: mix the corn kernels with cooked lima beans. SALADS: Add the cooked kernels with other veggies in a tossed salad. SALSA: Mix kernels with chopped tomatoes, onions and cilantro to make corn-salsa. MORE: Add cooked corn kernels to corn muffin batter, soups, chowder, chili and casseroles. FINALLY: Microwave Spanish Corn: 2 Tbs. butter; 1/2 c. green pepper washed, with seeds removed, then chopped; 1/2 c. onion, peeled and chopped, 2C. cooked corn kernels; 1 (16 oz.)can diced tomatoes (or fresh!), 1/4 tsp. oregano. Saute pepper and onion in butter until tender. Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart microwave-safe dish. Cover and cook on high power for 2-3 minutes or until bubbly hot. Makes 8 (1/2 cup) servings. AND this is an official 5 A Day recipe! I always feel quite virtuous when I make it. Plus, it is really good. 


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thanks for stopping by!

I am at the Cheeseburger Festival in Port Austin this week-end. I know, I'd never heard of it either until it was mentioned in the Lansing State Journal earlier this summer. And we're actually going there to meet my other half's employer. He was hired without actually meeting these people. So very 21st century:  they fax'd the application form, he finished it and fax'd it back, had the phone interview, was hired and has worked for them for over a year and has no idea of what they look like! and vice versa! Don'tchaalove it?
Anyway, here's a recipe to try and I'll be back next week:

Easy Cheesy Baked Tomatoes 
4 tomatoes halved
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 oz. shredded provolone cheese
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
Place tomatoes cut side up ( you might want to use firm tomatoes for this, perhaps Romas? Or the ones I got from Falsettas' Farm last week; they were from St. Joe region, because the ones here just hadn't  ripened yet due to the cooler weather we've been having) on a baking sheet. Mix other ingredients and put on top of cut tomatoes. Spray lightly with cooking spray and bake until the tomatoes are tender about 15 min. Enjoy!


Friday, August 1, 2014

Plethora of Produce at the Holt Farmers' Market!

Here is the Stone Circle Bakehouse, whose artisan bread is so good, it usually sells out before the market closes. So while I can't personally testify to the excellence of their bread, because it's full-test gluten,  the sell-outs speak loud and clear. The photo shows Dawn Pray and her trusty helper,Spencer Cosgrove. Spencer is nephew to the baker-owners, Kim and Kevin Cosgrove who started their business in 2008. Remember that year? The depth of the Great Recession. At that time, Kevin worked at the former Holiday Inn as a catering coordinator, who always had a yen to own his own business, and he loved to bake bread. He put all those ingredients together, mixed in some found money, started small, and now has a thriving bakery business! (I just love hearing about these local success stories! Finding a way to pull success out of a recession!). Anyway, Stone Circle also sells at Horrocks, Foods for Living, other farm markets and has a food truck in Mason. Oh! And their bakehouse is on Willoughby, where they have a wood fired oven. You'll find them in the main building, just beyond Greenman's Farms. Can't miss them!
Okay, I confess that I bought so much wonderful, fresh produce at the HFM last Sat ( the 26th) that I won't need to buy much tomorrow. While some women get otta-control buying shoes, my personal passion is fresh, local produce and I want to buy it all! So I didn't go THAT far, but I did get local corn (yay!), tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries (which I bought in bulk, to be washed and frozen for next winter's blueberry pancakes, which both my diabetic husband and this gluten-free gal, can eat! I've modified several recipes to make this happen), and Michigan cucumbers. Then I bought a bundle of a variety of broccoli that is quite small, three heads to a bundle. Got those at Rowe's Farm, who, by the way, was sold out of tomatoes and sweet corn when I got there at 1:00...he should have a bigger supply tomorrow, Aug 2. I bought jumbo-sized eggs at Greenman's and a wonderful Honey Rock melon at Falsetta's. Yes, it was from Indiana, but they always ripen before the Michigan melons and are just about as juicy and delicious as the Mitten State's. And, of course, I couldn't get out of the market without buying my personal faves: honey-roasted pecans from Laurie, the honey lady, and hearty corn tortilla chips from Ofilia's Burritos. 
That's it for today; stop by and check us out. I know you'll be glad you did.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Blues, Blues and more Blues!

Unfortunately, I'm singing the blues today. My two chronic conditions are flaring, leaving not enough energy to write my usual blog! Bummer! So this will be short and quick. 

You can expect to find blueberries at the HFM. I hope to buy a quantity of them, meaning $20-$30 worth. I did this two years ago, and froze them in aluminum foil packages, in the size I would use at any one time. My husband and I enjoyed them all winter long. I make killer blueberry pancakes, that we both enjoy. This is unusual, because he's diabetic and I'm celiac, so finding something we both can eat and enjoy is "priceless". Last summer, however, I didn't buy in quantity when young Justin, of Nightengale Produce, suggested I do so. I told him I just wasn't prepared to do that, thinking to myself I would bring more money the next week to make my purchase. Wrong! I did bring the extra cash...but the blueberry season was ended! So I had to buy frozen blueberries from the local Kroger/Meijer's. Not bad stuff, but just not the same enjoyment, and I kicked myself all winter. 
Here's a fun recipe for blueberry syrup
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, 1 cup sugar, 9Tbs. fresh lemon juice.
     In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine all the ingredients. Bring to simmer slowly, stirring until all of the berries have popped, aboutr 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
Next day: remove the mixture from the refrigerator. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer, or cheesecloth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Blueberry Soda
For one drink, fill a tall glass with ice. Add 3 Tbs. of the blueberry syrup, top with seltzer, and mix gently.

AND, of course, the syrup can be used straight up on your pancakes! Enjoy!
Okay, so this blog isn't very short, is it?! Once I get going, it's hard to stop. There's so much to love at the market. Oh! Did I mention music? One of my fave performers, Professor Geezer will be playing from 11:00-1:00. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014 Meat at the Market

Many people don't realize that they could buy their meat at the Holt Farmers' Market as well as their produce. But it's true! Break O'Day Farms sells organically raised chickens and rabbits, the well-known Otto's Chicken sells quality chicken in all sorts of quantities from nuggets to packages of thighs/breasts to whole birds. The newest meat vendor at the HFM is Lonesome Pines grass-fed beef. That's Jackie in the pic, the "farmer's wife" as she calls herself, and she's great to talk to. Theirs is a family business started several years ago when her Dad moved from Arkansas to Michigan. She and her husband owned acreage that had been idle for years, and Dad wanted to put the land to work. So they started with five brood cows in 2006, and now have 80 animals on the farm at any given time. Charley, their bull, is docile and friendly until a cow is in heat, of course. Then he does his job and the cows are inseminated naturally. While not certified organic, the animals are pastured and are not force-fed hormones, nor given routine antibiotics and are treated humanely. They even have names which doesn't happen on factory farms. They live a happy life until they are harvested and sold at farm markets. 

 Being family--oriented, their son is the herd manager, while Jackie and her farmer husband work full-time jobs during the week and sell at farm markets on the week-end. They love to have visitors to show people, both big and little, where their food comes from. They ask people to call ahead to ensure someone is available to give the farm tour.  517-853-1906 or c. 269-838-4395. The farm is located at 6600 Bivens Rd in Nashville, MI 49073.

Many more vendors will be at your service this Sat. Rowe's Farm Market is back, selling their produce, all grown on their farm. Gary told me they planted 4,000 tomato plants this spring!!! And while none may be ripe this week (but you never know ), he's got summer squash and much more to sell in the meantime. Another great guy to talk to; you'll find him on the south side of the bigger building. Plus, Cindy McElroy will be providing music from 11:00-1:00. 


Friday, July 11, 2014

I'm All About Berries July 11,2014

I'm all about raspberries today, so that you won't do as I did last Saturday. I bought a pint of the delicious, red, sweet-tangy fruit, came home and put them in the 'fridge and forgot about them, what with the holiday and all. Got them out on Monday, and they were moldy. None salvageable. So, LESSON LEARNED! Do as I say, not as I did: 
     - don't stick them in the 'fridge "until later"
     - instead: put them in the sink with cold water to cover and add          some vinegar. ratio: one part vinegar to ten parts water. White          or apple cider vinegar probably work best.
     - Math challenged? 1Tbs vinegar to 10Tbs water (which       
       equals 1/2cup+2Tbs.water). You take it from there.
     - Swish the berries in the water. Drain and THEN refrigerate. 
The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria. Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries almost two weeks. I'm putting this info on the HFM bulletin board along with some recipes, and more recipes will go in the shopping bags of those who buy raspberries. Remember how delicate they are; think Princess Raspberry.
Welcome to Jennifer of Jennifer's Crafting Creations. This is her first year at the Holt Farmers' Market, and she's loving it. Although she loves all sorts of needlework, she brings to the market items that are knitted or crocheted and likes to sell practical, usable everyday things such as scarves (check out the pic), booties, hats, gloves etc. Self-taught since age 10, Jennifer gets excited about designing items, and looks at her work as a wonderful, fun hobby. You'll find her in the smaller building, across from Fred's Jerky Products (and salads).

And, YES, there is more to the market than what's highlighted here, including more berries! Get put on the email list to get the complete listing every week; some vendors come every two weeks, for example.  
More connections: and


Friday, July 4, 2014

Winners All

I know I've written previously about Corinne with Break O'Day Farm, the one with free-range chickens, and their eggs, and the "laziest farmer around" husband. Right? But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to feature her again because she is such a winner! In many ways, of course, but most recently she won $500 for a recipe for a fruit pizza she submitted to a magazine! Who else do you know who has done this? Can't say I know anyone else. Go to her website and check it out: and click on "recipes".  I'm hoping she will demonstrate making her prize-winning pizza at the HFM on our new kitchen. She also makes a pizza with a cauliflower-crust and a pizza sauce that is made from beets, for people who can't have tomatoes. Both sound intriguing to me, so I hope she agrees to do it. Please help me persuade her; stop by her stand and chat and mention this blog and that you'd love to see her demonstrate. I think she's a little shy and may need encouragement. Thanks!
  Last Saturday, the 28th, I bought wonderful green beans, and had to pass up the lovely asparagus (surprised it was still available!) only because my husband, Den, asked me to. I also bought strawberries (!who knew??), blueberries, raspberries and some chard which will go in the oven to roast with oil and garlic. I am clueless whether to expect strawberries tomorrow...sorry! I can't give a head's up. I think the farmers are just "winging it" with the unusual weather we're having...a cool, wet spring, etc. etc. So be prepared to be surprised...and enjoy what's available. 

Dennis Greenman's stand always has fresh herbs, so here are a couple of helpful tips: since they are sold in bunches, and even the most prolific home chef can't use them up quickly, try cutting the ends as soon as you get them home. Stand them in a container of fresh water in the refrigerator, with a plastic bag with holes over the top. Snip chives over cooked potatoes, potato soup, salads or anything that would like a nice, mild-onion-taste boost. Mint is equally good steeped to make a refreshing tea, or in the bottom of a glass of I'm told. I've never actually had a mint julep, but if you have, let me know how you liked it. 
You can leave a comment at the bottom of this blog, or at  Would love to hear from you.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Today at the Holt Farmers' Market I arrived just in time to buy the LAST TWO quarts of strawberries available! Yes, I admit it  was close to 1:00, but Nightengale Farms only had one quart left, and Greenman Farm was selling their last 25 (!) quarts to a woman planning to make lots of jam. I asked if I could have just one, and she graciously agreed...luckily. If I'd had to fight her for it, a lot of wonderful, delicious, red strawberries would have gotten smashed in the process! What a mess it would have made! Just kidding. I'm actually a peaceful person. But it makes me laugh to visualize red berries flying through the air, getting smashed on the floor, in our hair, dripping down our faces, staining hands, police arriving, scandal at the market. Too funny!

The reality is that I got the strawberries, plus  a sweet Vandalia onion, two large Michigan apples (!) and asparagus from Greenman Farm. Happy day for me: I got the last gluten-free brownie from Cupcakes with Love. She promised she'd have more next week. 

Today's feature is Break O'Day Farm, where I purchased wonderful eggs from free-range hens fed with organic feed. Corinne and her helper also sell frozen chickens that were pasture raised, but not organic. If you look closely at the photo, you'll see a picture of rabbits. Yes, she raises and sell rabbits as well as poultry, all of which are hormone free and antibiotic free. Of course Corinne is creative as well...most of our vendors are...and she made the Break O'Day Farm sign above her stand out of fabric scraps. It looks even prettier seen in person. Her stand is usually the first one you'll see when you enter the larger building. Say hello, and check out her wares. Oh! She also sells home-made gluten-free baked goods. I had to mention that of course!
THIS SATURDAY AT THE HFM: Greenman Farms expects to have lots of Chard (also known as Swiss Chard, don't ask me why)and I've been told it's the "healthiest green around." Also, fresh mint, oregano, and chives. A few strawberries, perhaps, and a limited amount of asparagus. Rhubarb and NEW: there may be a few quarts of raspberries
HINT: if you want any of those probably-sparse items, get there early! Do as I say, not as I do! Right? I'll let you know if I get any of those raspberries when I arrive at 1:00. Also: live music from 11:00-1:00

Friday, June 20, 2014

Featuring Greenman's Farm and Gooseberries

What are gooseberries, you may ask? While I personally don't have a lot of experience with them...only one pie, some 30 years ago, which I remember as being tasty, and a little tart,  apparently some people are big fans of the greenish berry. Dennis, of Greenman's Farm, asked me to let people know that he'll have gooseberries for sale in the next couple of weeks. He informed me that people use them for pies, and jelly, and local restaurants have placed orders with him as well. Restaurants use the berries in salads, they drizzle the juice over sweet rolls for a delicious flavor and they find additional uses for the pulp, so nothing is wasted. Local afficianados will need to place their orders early! Call Dennis at 204-4827. 
In addition, Greenman's will have more strawberries on hand (there were plenty for sale last week-end)as well as asparagus, which is getting near the end of its season, chard, fresh herbs including basil, both garlic and onion chives (who knew there were two varieties of chives?? I learn new things every week at the HFM)oregano, thyme and basil and  many more items.
PLEASE NOTE: Nightengale Farms will also have strawberries!as well as other produce. Break O'Day Farm will have organic items, including chickens and eggs, and Falsetta Farms will be selling locally grown items as well.
Some ask me if all the items sold at HFM are locally grown, and/or organic. Short answer? No. Obviously the lemons, limes etc. are not. Vendors sell them in an attempt to be a one-stop shopping place for the customer. And organic? Many farmers grow their produce with little or no chemicals, but this does not qualify them for the official label of "organically grown". It's really a difficult certification to obtain, taking years to get. SOLUTION? Just ask the vendor what's locally and/or organically grown.
I could keep on writing, because I love the market and how it brings good, healthy food to Holt, but lengthy is not good! 
One more note: for the first time this season, we'll have music at the HFM! Yay! Ed, aka Professor Geezer, will entertain from 11:00-1:00. He's back by popular demand.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Yes, Strawberries Are Here! June 14, 2014

I always get excited when fresh, local strawberries are available at the HFM. Are they my favorite? Yes...until blueberries are ready, and they become my favorite...until raspberries come in know the rest! I guess it's that strawberries are the first berry to ripen, and so they are the herald of a summer full of good eating...including corn and tomatoes and so much more to come. So be sure and stop by early tomorrow. I don't know how much will be available tomorrow, so if you don't come in  until after noon, as I usually do, don't complain to me! Remember: do as I say, not as I do! 
Both Greenman Farms and Nightengale Farms have told me they'll have strawberries tomorrow.  

The photo feature for this week shows the folks who sell their "Grammie's Goodies." Now, I thought that "Grammy" might be the  
Three generations at Grammie"s Goodies
the smiling woman in glasses, even though she hardly looks old enough to be Kendra's mother, or the children's grammy. But the original Grammie, the one whose recipes are being used, was actually Kendra's Great-grandmother. That's five, and now, six generations of good eating! All I know is that Devin, age 7, loved getting a yummy Minion cupcake last week...made and designed by the children in the photo. So a lovely family tradition is being carried on. In addition to Minions, you can find wonderful yeast breads, cookies, cakes,  pies and specialty items at this booth. 
Also tomorrow: Corinne of Break O'Day Farms will be bringing whole frozen chickens fed only organic feed, as well as fresh eggs and some gluten-free goodies for people like me.
Finally: You can find rhubarb and asparagus (and recipes for same) at the HFM, as well as fresh spring- greens and herbs and more. If you absolutely can't make it to the HFM tomorrow, like you're sick in bed or something like that ( just sayin':) post a request in the comment box at the bottom, or email:  and I'll send you the recipes.

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Family Business for 70+ Years??

Falsetta Farms
Yes, the Falsetta family has been raising fruits and vegetables, and selling them at farmers markets since the 1930's. His grandfather started with the Lansing City Market when it was located in an empty field across the river from its present location. Yes, where the fire station is.
This was news to me, because when I was growing up in Lansing, my Dad shopped every Saturday of his adult life at the City Market on the east side of the river, and I'd never heard of it ever being located elsewhere. But that's one of the fun parts of the market: I always learn something new. Plus, as I told Tim and Trish Falsetta (pictured in the photo), my Dad undoubtedly bought from Tim's grandfather and father. Small world, right? 
Tim and Trish have been selling flowering plants, in flats and trays and in hanging pots. They had just what I wanted last Saturday: deep purple petunias and bright yellow marigolds. They also were selling Michigan tomatoes, grown in a local greenhouse. While Tim is the market man, his brother, Dave, does the heavy lifting of growing the produce. They will be selling cukes, peppers, corn and tomatoes from their own farm as they ripen. You can see they are two friendly people, and they are just waiting to make you happy, too. So do stop by, and  mention you've read about them in this blog,and that will put a smile on my face, too!

NEWS AND NOTES: Fred, of Fred's Jerky Products, has added a "Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad" to the items he sells. You can get it in a lunch portion or the larger portion for dinner. He makes it fresh daily, and it looks yummy. Also, his "jerky" is NOT what you might think of jerky. He makes strips of chicken and beef, with NO PRESERVATIVES, and it is delicious. He also sells cookies and fudge that his wife makes, and which I can't seem to pass up. You'll find both Fred and the Falsettas in the smaller building.

Also, Ofilias El Burrito has expanded her offerings to include Enchiladas with cheese, chicken and ground beef. She sells wet burritos, tamales and wonderful, satisfying, hand made tortilla chips with several salsas.
Finally, some tips for healthy eating from "scraps":
Onion skins can be simmered and the stock used in soups and stews
Carrot tops can be chopped fine and added to salads/cole slaw.
Chard stems can be chopped fine and sauteed with the chard leaves in garlic and olive oil. 
Celery leaves can be  diced and used in salads made of eggs, or sea food.


Friday, May 30, 2014

You Just Might Find Tulips... the Holt Farmers' Market this Saturday, May 31, but if not, you'll probably find other plants/flowers to put in your garden or flower bed. Many times vendors call at the last minute to sell at the market, and if possible, Chuck, the manager, accommodates them. In addition, the vendors he lists on his weekly e-mail will bring items we didn't know about/expect. This time of year, both might be flowers/plants. I'm planning on getting my tomato plants there tomorrow, even though no one has said they're bringing them to sell. I want to be prepared, because I've missed out in the past. Did I mention not buying bulk   blueberries last summer because I wasn't prepared? Thinking I would buy them the next Saturday...and by then, the vendor's season was over!! So, while I've been able to buy blueberries all winter at Meijer or Kroger, I would rather have bought the ones at the HFM. Blueberries are important to my hubbie and me, because I have a wonderful recipe for gluten-free blueberry pancakes (yes, I'll share the recipe in blueberry season). So, LESSON LEARNED: always be ready to find surprises at the Holt Farmers' Market!
     Two long-time vendors I've never mentioned because they are very popular and can sell out without any help:Ming Dynasty and JW Kettle Corn. Ming sells tasty spring rolls and egg rolls, with your choice of hot or sweet sauces, and JW Kettle Corn's name speaks for itself. You can't miss him making his delicious popped corn in front of the market, and Ming is inside, towards the rear of the main market building. 
     Some items you're likely to find tomorrow: 
fresh herbs: chives, oregano, thyme
produce: asparagus, rhubarb, spinach
     And, as always: free coffee, Wi-Fi and, we take all plastic money! See Misty, in the back corner booth, for all three freebies.

REMEMBER: It's always sunny inside the HFM.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Some new ones, some returning

Some Newer, Some Returning 

Holt Farmers' Market now has two chicken vendors; last year..sketchy at best. So we are happy to tell you about: 
  • Otto's Chicken, a well-established firm,is known for selling in Lansing, Royal Oak, and Kalamazoo markets, are now with us at the HFM. They have fresh chicken, whole roasters as well as already cut up for you in any form you'd like. They also sell specialty chicken such as ground chicken, three varieties of wings, sausage, tenders...the list goes on!  They use no growth promotants, hormones or antibiotics. Contact info: and 269-795-7696. 

  • Break O'Day Farm also sells chicken, as well as eggs, rabbits and turkeys. I love their flyer: "I may be the laziest farmer on the planet. I try to delegate the farm duties to the chickens. They eat lots of bugs, allowing us to grow fruits and vegetables without chemicals. They free-range, limiting my time pushing a wheelbarrow. If I could just teach them to shut the barn door at night, I'd never have to leave the house." Isn't that a riot? Also, the Carpenter family eats the food they grow, which is a wonderful testimony to why they sell quality products. Although they are not at the HFM every Sat (check the list of vendors that Chuck emails out every Fri) you can contact them at: and 517-420-5126. 
  • Returning this year, tho' not for long, is the Patisserie Saint Tart vendor. Yes, it's a French name and they sell French die for! Beautiful in appearance and delicious on the tongue, yes, I love them!  They frequently have some gluten-free for me, but that's not the only reason. We all love them, and are sad they will be moving to Japan (!!) later this summer. SO, be sure to sample their pastries before that happens.  Because I WILL say "I told you so" if I get the opportunity!
More next week;

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Who ARE these people?? They are Todd Delo (and friends) who bring you Big Daddys Big Dawgs every Saturday. They are hard to miss since they occupy the space in front of the market! They feature all-beef hotdogs, and this year they also offer brats. Note: all the condiments they use are MICHIGAN products. Isn't that cool? The Bloody Mary chips are the winningest item, but they also sell Great American Gourmet pretzels and more.
Why did Todd get into this business? A couple of circumstances dovetailed to make it happen: after 27 years in the automotive field, the recession hit which affected his job. At the same time, his young friend, Kristin, was studying Culinary Arts at the Capitol Area Career Center. They talked, and planned, got some help from Holt's Incubake and the rest will soon be history. FYI: Kristin is the other one wearing the attention-getting hat. Check them out; they will be able to tell you more details and will be happy to sell you their tasty products.
A  new vendor I want to mention: Ofilia's El Burrito. They have two locations in Lansing Mega Mall and the Lansing City Market, but they are new at the HFM. Although they have an extensive menu at their other locations, they are kinda testing the water at our place and offer their wonderful breakfast burrito...which must be good, because they keep selling out before I arrive at 12:30! However, I was able to buy some wonderful, satisfying hand-made tortilla chips and delicious salsa. I found the chips quite hearty, and was able to eat some, feel good and not feel compelled to gobble them up in one sitting...unlike Lay's products...okay, Fritos, which I truly can't eat just one. My doctor says that motto is true, and the company may well  have found just the right combination of fats, salt and carbs that turn off the brain's signal that tells us when we have had enough. So! It's not my fault if I can't eat just one, right? The company made me do it! My plan? To buy more of Ofilia's chips and less of Lay's.
ALSO NEW: We are all so excited about our grant-funded Demonstration Kitchen! Which, by the way, was designed and built here in Michigan by Burdick and Associates in Adrian. There are so many possibilities! So far we've done a couple demonstrations on how to prepare certain foods, one being Tabbouleh Salad (recipe on the HFM bulletin board). In the future, we may do kitchen skills demos, healthy cooking workshops, cooking classes and even wine and food parings!
Next week: More news about vendors and other things we're excited about at the Holt Farmers Market.
                                      And yes, It's Still Sunny in the Holt Farmers' Market!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Yes! Opening day for the Holt Farmers' Market was last Saturday, May 3

Opening day is always exciting: some new faces, and many returning  favorites. I bought Lavender Hand Balm from Rainbow's End Farm. Gwen is so knowledgeable, loves what she's doing, and is happy to share info about any of her products. I bought fudge from Fred's Beef Strips...sounds odd, I know. His wife makes cookies and fudge for Fred to sell in addition to the wonderful, preservative-free beef jerky strips he makes. Say hello to Fred; he'll let you taste a sample of the jerky, even if you don't buy any. Tip: the fudge is hard to pass up.  
I ordered five graduation cards from Carol, the Card Lady. I have three nephews, one niece and a next-door neighbor graduating this June! Expensive! But at least the cards, beautifully crafted and lovingly made, won't break my budget: most sell for $2-$3.   
One disappointment: I was SO looking forward to buying a bag of luscious spring greens; but due to the crazy spring we're having, none of the farms had any to sell! 
The good news? Greenman's Farm will have rhubarb, asparagus and fresh herbs for this Sat, May 10. These are all locally grown, and are typical spring vegetables in mid-Michigan.
   One of our newbies: Kolache Kitchen brings delicious Czech  baked goods to HFM. The Winklers, John and Loretta, are the vendors. John's sister owns the bakery in Owosso, and John says the Cream Horns are the best ever. The family recipe is generations old and may be available in the cookbook they sell; many of their recipes are. John also sells Pirogies, brats and kielbasa. When asked what made Czech kielbasa, etc. different from Polish-made, he answered, "Taste!!" While I'm not wanting to start a war between our Polish and Czech vendors, you'll want to try both and YOU decide which you prefer. Of course, you may like both. John's goods are works of love, of course, as are virtually all the items at the market. He wants to help keep the Czech heritage alive. Isn't it great to live with the diversity in America? 

I've barely touched the surface of what's exciting at the HFM. So, tune in next week for more. Better yet, stop by and see for yourself.