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.