Farmers Market Report: November 3, 2012
What's happening at the farmers markets this week
By Kate Thornberry, 6:06PM, Thu. Nov. 1, 2012
The cooler temperatures we had last week didn’t dip low enough to kill off the hot weather vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant (it wasn’t too great for the basil, though.)
even better news, the cool weather develops the sugars in vegetables, so the tomatoes and peppers are going to be sweeter right now than they are at any other time of year. Eventually we will get a front that will kill all the hot weather plants, but for right now, tomato flavor is optimum!
I bought several flats of tomatoes from Ottmer’s Family Farms, fennel from Johnsons’s Backyard Garden, sweet peppers from Finca Pura Vida Farm, and garlic from Sand Creek Farm, and have made four batches of Marinara this week to use all winter (altogether it made about 20 pints). If you have time or the inclination, now is the time to put up tomatoes or marinara.
In Other Almost Unbelievable News: two different vendors at the Barton Creek Market have had sweet corn in recent weeks, and it is really sweet and delicious. Sweet corn doesn’t really grow all that well in this Zone (we are Zone 8 but heading toward Zone 9 what with the warming trend) so when farmers manage to coax any out of the ground, it’s close to a miracle. Those two vendors are Winfield Farm and Fruitful Hill. I can’t promise there will be sweet corn this week (because the vendors themselves didn’t know if they would have it) but be on the lookout. It is likely they will, since it didn’t freeze.
If your family makes cornbread stuffing for the turkey, Richardson Farms has both your turkey and fresh, organic stone-ground cornmeal. I bought a bag for my dressing. Since cornmeal keeps well, I advise picking some up while they have it, the flavor is really outstanding. (In fact, Richardson Farms fresh-ground wheat and cornmeal have ruined me for any other brand, even the good ones. You could make cornmeal mush out of Richardson’s cornmeal and it would be a gourmet treat.) Speaking of Thanksgiving birds: Dewberry Hills Farm will have extra large chickens available for Thanksgiving, and Smith and Smith has turkeys available for pre-order as well.
Fete Accompli, which is dispensing beverages at Barton Creek, Downtown SFC, and the Triangle, has added their insane hot chocolate with house-made marshmallows to it’s line-up of fresh aguas frescas. It is just that time of year, where they are going to have both hot and cold drinks because you just can’t predict whether it is going to be hot or cold. (It was plenty cold last Saturday morning I think the forecast calls for warm weather this week.)
The Smoked Salmon Folks Celtic Seafare should be back at Barton Creek this Saturday; I finally bought a package of their smoked salmon, and, unsurprisingly, it was fantastic !!! It put the lox at Central Market and Whole Foods to shame in both the freshness and flavor departments, and I don’t say that lightly. Also, depending on the sourcing, the price fluctuates, and it was several bucks cheaper last time that the first day when they were using flown-in Scottish salmon. They plan to source the salmon from wherever it makes sense on a weekly basis. They are also expanding out into several other products like smoked salmon mousse and bagels with lox and cream cheese.
Mill-King Dairy has finally started making Greek Yogurt! Right now the only flavors are plain and honey, but as a Greek Yogurt fan I could not be more thrilled. I bought a container of the plain last week and it was naturally sweet and tart and the flavor was perfect. The consistency is still a little loose for Greek, but they are working on it. If you loved Texas Daily Harvest Greek Yogurt, be sure to try Mill-King’s out.
Caeda Farms at Barton Creek has gorgeous, inexpensive cilantro.
Downtown News: Tecalote Farm has beautiful French Sorrel! I used to have a French Sorrel plant, but the drought of 2011 killed it. Also, there is a new salad greens vendor, Bar W Farm and Ranch, and they are selling fresh local salad greens in those convenient plastic box containers.
In season: winter squash of all kinds, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, okra, salad greens, lettuce, cilantro, green beans, field peas, zucchini, yellow crookneck, cucumbers, beets, turnips, turnip greens, small broccoli and cauliflowers. Apples and late figs, some late persimmons. Onions and potatoes are available too, although I am sure they were dug earlier and then stored.
Scarce, but if you get there early you might get some: sweet corn
See you at the markets!