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.