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Farmers’ Market Report: Jan 25-26, 2014

By Kate Thornberry, January 24, 2014, 9:20am, On the Range

The local greenhouse tomatoes are pouring into the Farmers’ Markets, and here is the photographic evidence. These are the heirloom tomatoes sold on Sundays at the Bluebonnet Farmers’ Market at the South Star of Texas table.

These beauties are heirlooms sold at the Downtown SFC Farmers’ Market, where typically at least four varieties are sold, including Cherokee Purple and Green Zebra. My favorite one is a red and yellow bicolor tomato, which could be either Arkansas, Georgia Streak, or Gold Medal.

Caeda Farm at the Barton Creek Farmers’ Market has perfect round red greenhouse tomatoes, possibly Early Girls, but they might be Geronimos. In any case, there is no need to buy a flavorless supermarket tomato; these local beauties are at all area markets and the chilly weather is making them extra sweet.

Curious Confections, who sell at the HOPE Farmers’ Market, are continuing to offer their irresistible King Cakes this weekend, along with the fresh croissants and Pain au Chocolat. This Sundays specials will include Orange Cranberry Coffee Cake, Apricot Scones, Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts, Amaretti Cookies, Almond Toffee, and Tiffin bars, an English confectionery staple made with milk, dark chocolate, golden syrup, raisins, marshmallows, and pecans.

Duck molting season is over, so I am excited to tell you that Munkebo Farm is once again selling duck eggs at the Downtown Market. Duck eggs are so superior to chicken eggs that I never willingly go back. Munkebo also sells quail eggs and goose eggs, which are also excellent.

Cake and Spoon bakery continues to do a brisk business at both the Downtown SFC Market and the Cedar Park Market at Lakeline Mall. Cake and Spoon’s tarts are the absolute best (the Lemon and the Lime are strongly recommended!).

Also regularly at the Downtown Market lately is Coco Puro Kakawa Chocolates. These are some of my favorite chocolates ever: roasted cacao beans, dipped in successive layers of white and dark chocolate. Coco Puro is now also making a variety of chocolate bars and treats from premium chocolate in addition to the renowned beans.

It is citrus time in Central Texas, and citrus fruits are the only local fruits available right now. Indian Hills Farm (Downtown and Sunset Valley) and Caeda Farm (Barton Creek) both have Meyer lemons for sale, and at the Mueller Farmers’ Market, there is an unusual variety of lemon that may be Ponderosa lemon, but they look and taste more like a Pomona sweet lemon. In any case, it is quite an achievement to grow them in Austin, and they will be for sale this Sunday, as well.

Also at Mueller is a new vendor, Wendy Town Farms. Operating out of a residential backyard in East Austin, Wendy Town Farms grows broccoli, lettuce, radishes, kale, swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, and herbs. Growing food in your backyard can become a life mission; after all, that is how Johnson’s Backyard Garden got started, and it is now one of the biggest organic farms in Central Texas. Welcome to the Markets, Wendy Town!

Last week while writing about the two maple syrup vendors at Barton Creek Market, I believe I got their names switched. Anna Aldridge represents Aldridge Urban Farm, and she sells maple syrup from her family’s farm in Michigan. She also sells home canned goods; I have bought her raspberry jam and it is wonderful. Right now she has Lemon Marmalade, Orange Marmalade, Pear Butter, and Apple Butter.

The HOPE Market is also welcoming a new vendor this Sunday: Valley West Farm. Valley West is in Johnson City, and they will be bringing salad mix, spinach, purple radishes, daikon radishes, and green onions.

 Windy Hill Farm, extremely fine purveyors of local goat meat, will be selling at the HOPE Market this Sunday. Featured this week is ground goat meat; they will also be selling the last of the beef they will have until March.

Windy Hill is also crowd-sourcing a steer! Check out the link- if I am reading it correctly, it is quite a deal. As of this writing, they have raised nearly half of the money they need and they still have 18 days to go.

Imagine my embarrassment when I walked into the Mueller Farmers’ Market last Sunday and saw that Dai Due was there, selling their awesome grub, when I had broadcast in last week’s Report that they weren’t doing Mueller anymore. It must have been a last minute decision..yeah...that’s the ticket.  Anyway, Dai Due is back at Mueller on Sundays! (And at the Downtown SFC Market on Saturdays) Here is what they will be cooking up:

Breakfast & Lunch at the Market   

Breakfast Sandwich Country Style Breakfast Sausage, a scrambled egg, and Stryk cheddar on a Gougere roll;

Griddled Boudin with a fried egg and kale salad;

Pork Pierna Taco Dorado with marinated red cabbage, cilantro, and crema;

Pon Haus with molasses and a fried egg;

Pear Shrub and Cafe a la Olla.

In the “Butcher Shop”, Dai Due has a metric ton of sausages this week: Rose Veal Pepperwurst, Kale Sausage, Head Cheese, Rose Veal Kielbasa, Hot Boudin, and Wild Boar Bangers. Jesse will also have Preserved Meyer Lemons and Lemon and Fennel Chutney for sale.

Though the weather is icy and snowy and freezing today, the weatherman forecasts that Saturday will be a fine day with temperatures in the 60's, and Sunday will be even warmer.

See you at the Markets!

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