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Farmers Market Report: April 5-6, 2013

Gorgeous Spring weather makes for perfect produce
Kate Thornberry, 9:30am, Fri. Apr. 5, 2013

My vote for Best Tomatoes: Flint Rock Hill Farm at Sunset Valley.
The weather doesn’t get any better than this! Four to six inches of rain, cool (but not freezing) temperatures, and sunny and breezy to boot! This is the weather that vegetables adore, and it is still too early in the season for the bugs to be wreaking havoc. All the produce at the Farmers Markets is going to be absolutely gorgeous this weekend.

Fruitful Hill Farm, which has long been a regular at the Barton Creek Market, is now selling at the Sunset Valley Market as well. Fruitful Hill will be bringing eggs (come early for the eggs), strawberries, red beets, garlic, dinosaur kale, broccoli, carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, collard greens, fennel, Romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, cabbage, Louisiana shallots, cilantro, yellow bunching onions, and turnips to both the markets this week. They will also be bringing squash blossoms (!) to the Barton Creek Market. I think this is the first appearance of summer squash this year; I wonder if they are growing it in greenhouses?

Speaking of strawberries, Boggy Creek Farm is at their peak of strawberry production and will have plenty to sell this weekend. Growing conditions have been better out at their Milam County farm, so the strawberries are going to be coming from there, rather than the historic East Austin farm. Sadly, this means there will be no “Pick Your Own”. This weekend the Boggy Creek Farmstead and the Dog-Trot House will be on Preservation Austin's tour of Historic Homes/Historic Gardens. Patrons of the farm stand can donate $5 to Preservation Austin, and tour both of the farm houses on Saturday from 10am-4pm.

What was for sale at the Peeler Farms table at the HOPE Market last week
Dewberry Hills Farm will not be at the markets this weekend due to the fact that they have run out of chicken to sell, and must wait for all the little Easter chicks to grow up. (What few there are, that is; apparently there is a nationwide chick shortage this week! Maybe because of Easter?) But Peeler Farms is going to be at the HOPE market this Sunday, and Peeler Farms also sells wonderful, delicious chicken.

Barton Creek Market and their Sunday Market at Highland Mall will be continuing their “Bring a Friend” program, wherein, if you come to their markets with a friend, you will both get a $5 coupon for the following week’s market! It doesn’t even need to be a new friend! It can be the same old friend you always go with. (Your friend must be human, though. Dogs don’t count! I tried, but they weren’t buying it.)

Too bad the Easter Bunny doesn't have a friend to go to the market with

Texas French Bread, a bakery that has been fabulous for the last thirty years, used to have shops all over the city. Now, you can only get their superior breads and scones and cookies at their 29th Street location, and at the Farmers Markets (Downtown and Sunset Valley). Texas French Bread really does make a superior product, but they don’t get a lot of notice (maybe because it seems like they have always been around?). Check out their Orange Scones, and their Walnut Scones. They are the best!

Chef Jesse Griffith slinging the hash at the Downtown Market
What will be cooking at Dai Due? This week the “hot” menu includes Lamb Meatloaf on ciabatta with marinated artichokes, red onion and mint mayonnaise; Chorizo and Egg Taco with charred onion salsa; Sweet Potato Poutine with a fried egg, chorizo, boar gravy and Mill-king curds; Hairston Creek Asparagus with smoked boar pancetta, a fried egg, brioche toast and hollandaise; and Toulouse Sausage with butter beans, collards and pickled leeks.

The “cold” Butcher Shop will be featuring Chicken and Artichoke Sausage ($12 lb.) and Lamb Meatloaf ($20 each, serves four).

A Variety of Swede Farm's Goat Milk Soaps
In addition to their amazing goat cheeses and milks, Swede Farm Dairy also makes Goat Milk Soap. I bought a bar back around Christmas, but didn’t get to using it until a few weeks ago. I’ve got to tell you, it is possibly the very finest soap I have ever used, and I am a total expensive soap snob of the first water. Swede Farms Goat Milk Soap lathers quickly and lasts forever, just like a triple-milled French soap. It is hard to believe that it is a home-made farm soap!

Greens ought to be especially good this week. All the rain will have sweetened the lettuce, too. See you at the Markets!

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