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The Farmers’ Market Report: Dec. 28-29, 2013

By Kate Thornberry, December 27, 2013, 9:45am, On the Range

It is the last weekend of 2013, so this is your chance to buy some of the good-luck foods for New Year’s Day: cabbages and greens, pork, whole fish, cornmeal, and sauerkraut.

Black-eyed peas, the most popular Southern good-luck dish for the New Year, is a hot-weather crop, so unless you bought some fresh in September and put them in the freezer, you will just have to make do with dried or canned. However, you can simmer them in home-made stocks from The Wooden Spoon, a new vendor at the Barton Creek and Bluebonnet Markets. The last four weekends have been hard on all the farmers’ markets. For some reason, even though we have had plenty of lovely weekdays, every Saturday in December has served up inclement weather. Finally, tomorrow promises to be sunny and 65 degrees. It is difficult to predict how many farmers and vendors will be coming out this weekend, but market organizers are expecting most every farmer to be there, because they all need to make some money before the end of the month, and December has been a bear. I went to the markets last Saturday, but the pouring rain was so drenching that I couldn’t take any pictures; the lens of my camera just fogged up. I wanted to buy twenty pounds of oranges from Johnson’s Backyard Garden, so I parked by their stand and walked all the way across the Barton Creek market, and by the time I got to the Full Quiver stand, I was as wet as if I had fallen in a swimming pool. These pictures here are from the Sunday Bluebonnet Market on South Lamar. As you can see, there are greens galore: cabbages, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, turnip greens, Bok Choy, lettuce, and arugula. Greens, of course, symbolize money, the old folding green, so if you want lots and lots of money in the New Year, you are advised to eat lots and lots of greens on New Year’s Day.

I don’t know if sauerkraut falls into the greens equals money formula, but it is on the list of lucky foods, and the best anywhere is the lacto-fermented kraut sold by Full Quiver Farm. Cornbread is another lucky food, and Richardson Farms has the stone-ground locally grown organic corn meal you need to make it. Richardson sells at the Barton Creek Market, the Sunset Valley Market, and Downtown (all on Saturday). Richardson Farms is also a great table to buy pastured pork.

The custom of eating pork or ham on New Year’s is based on the idea that pigs symbolize progress, because of the way they push forward when they are rooting in the ground. Full Quiver Farms sells pastured pork, as well. If you want to buy cured pork, Flying Pig Provision Company (Barton Creek and Bluebonnet) has ham and bacon, the finest anywhere. (I myself will be buying a ham.) The idea of eating fish on New Year’s Day comes from the Orient, especially the idea of eating a whole fish. K & S Seafood (Barton Creek and Mueller) always have whole fish, straight from the Gulf, only a day out of the water. Or, perhaps some smoked salmon from Celtic Seafare?

It is not advised to eat lobster on New Year’s Day, because they move backwards, so if you eat them, you could be inviting setbacks. Undoubtedly, it is fine to eat them on New Year’s Eve though! And most certainly a hot lobster roll from Garbo’s Lobster Truck (Saturdays at Barton Creek Market) should be perfectly safe, luck-wise.

In other news, Dewberry Hills Farm (Really Good Chicken™) will be at the Sunset Valley Market this Saturday. In addition to chests full of breasts, whole chickens, legs, feet, and stock bones, they have one extremely large ten-pound chicken, which will be sold first come, first serve basis.

Dai Due will not be at any markets until January 11. In closing, here is a photo of Christmas cookies I made with Indian Hill Farm pecans and Vital Farms eggs, for lack of any other photographs, due to the rain.

See you at the sunny and warm Farmers’ Markets!

 

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