[From 17-Nov-2012] Third week of our first winter farmers’ market and it’s going great. So far, the weather hasn’t been bad, so it doesn’t seem entirely radical to have freshly harvested greens and carrots this late in the season, but it’s still quite a novelty at our market. One other small farm is doing the same season extension stuff for the first time this year, which is cool, it makes the idea of fresh, local food well past the usual outdoor season seem…doable. Which it obviously is. After the last few years of ending the market, outdoors, on the last Saturday of October, being up and running this late in the year feels excellent, and going till Christmas will be fun. Only downside of being indoors here is the rather ghastly lighting, but like most things, you get used to it, and warm is good. On the stand today (and almost sold out by mid-morning): carrots (Nelson), spinach (Bloomsdale), mizuna, mustard, arugula, everything harvested yesterday.
Around 1:25 p.m. and it’s just about time to head out from the farmers’ market, which officially ends at 1. This season, we’ve been storing the entire farm stand in the communal cage where vendors can leave stuff from Saturday to Saturday. The stand is quite the compact set-up, once it’s torn down and stowed away…efficiently. On the dolly, there’s the 10′x10′ E-Z UP canopy, half a dozen folding metal sawhorses and the plywood boards that turn them into tables, a pair of chalkboards, rough cut cedar display trays (a strip of four, and singles), pieces of 2×4 used to prop up the trays, and a plastic water jug used as a canopy weight (we normally have four, but this year we’ve been lashing the canopy legs to one of our neighbors, so weighting the four corners isn’t necessary). The only thing missing, besides the veg, of course, is our market box, which is a bin containing scales, bags, signage and so forth. Most farms come to market stand and all, as we did until last season’s start of…commuter farming—living off-farm—when logistics made leaving this gear at market a lot simpler. Anyhow, this huge exhibition hall houses the indoor market on Saturdays, November through April, and the big parking lot outside is where the summer outdoor market is located. The cage, a chain link fenced corner, is out of sight to the right. And that’s just about ALL the details. :)
Friday’s harvest to Saturday’s market is the way it is! We still go direct from field to stand, with no cooler in between, and that seems to work out. And the stand itself hasn’t changed much in the last few seasons: raw cedar bins on boards on sawhorses, baskets up front, under the 10′x10′ E-Z UP canopy. What’s new is our latest in DIY veggie sign technology: the usual cards printed in marker with description and price, but now mounted with tape on long, thin coffee stir sticks, stuck right in with the produce. Anyhow, good weather, a decent turnout, a fine morning all round!
Tags: Asian greens
, farmers' market
, green onion
, market stand
, Swiss chard
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We’ve been faithfully bringing the matching pair of chalkboards to the farmers’ market since we bought them at an office supply box store in mid-summer, but it’s what to put on ‘em that’s the puzzle. Today’s new message: “Eat good food”! The other one (out of sight on the left) has been a standing quote from Will Allen: “We need 50 million more people growing food, on porches, in pots, in side yards.” A little odd, perhaps, for the market? Maybe, but there they are. Promotional words on chalkboards is the plan. It’s a work in progress!
Cloudy, coolish weather continues, and the growing’s so slowwww… At the farmers’ market today, instead of all-new main season veggies, it’s kinda more of the same. No super-early tomatoes (Stupice!), not even BEANS (not even the super-early yellow wax beans…). But the root crops are doing well with the rain, and their colors are…refreshing. Here, purple Purple Haze carrots, and radish-red Chioggia beets, freshly misted, drenched with…color. That’s nice… :)
You can’t go wrong with baby carrots, it seems. They are, well, cute (I’ve heard people say that way more than once). So you can buy them and eat them, or maybe stick ‘em in a clear vase full of water for a while (idea!)… In any case, these Nelson carrots are not only fun to look at, and small, they’re pretty tasty! Nice crunch, and good sweetness for summer. Because of the kinda slow-growth in this cloudy weather, we took the time to do a second carrot thinning, just to harvest these (often, at this point, they’d be bigger, and we’d start digging up whole rows).
Also along for the ride, and sold out quite early, baby beets, mostly the candy-striped Chioggia (below), with a few red Kestrel in there. And, a couple of varieties of lettuce, the super-red Granada oakleaf and the butterhead Kendo. Both have a strong, bold taste, able to hold their own in sandwiches or…anywhere else. Plus, not in sight, all-lettuce mesclun (well, baby leaf mix).
Along with the last of the Sugar Ann snap peas, that was it for a fairly rainy, kinda rained-out Saturday at the farmers’ market… Still, fun!