Farmers' Market Report: April 5-6, 2014
Pictured above are bouquets by Prickly Pair Farm at the Mueller Farmers' Market. Before I get into the thick of it, I want to mention that this Sunday is Farmgrass Fest ’14, a bluegrass festival taking place at Simmons Family Farms from 2-8pm. All proceeds from the festival will go into a medical emergency fund for Central Texas farmers and ranchers. The lineup of bluegrass performers is star-studded, and includes MilkDrive and the Lost Pines. The weather is anticipated to be glorious on Sunday. If sitting in a grassy field out in the country, listening to amazing bluegrass while the soft breezes ruffle your hair sounds like a great time to you, be sure to come on out.
Dewberry Hills Farm (Really Good Chicken) will be at Sunset Valley this Saturday. As I have said before, if you want some of that fine, fine chicken, be sure to email Jane and reserve one. I have learned my lesson after last week, when I sauntered up to the table thinking to buy a chicken, but they were all sold out at 10am. This week, I have reserved a chicken, and I encourage you to do the same.
It seems that no sooner had I mourned the loss of the great big heads of celery I used to buy from Finca Pura Vida farm (who are no more), than I learned that there are other local farmers who have taken the celery challenge. It is a very tough crop to grow around here because it needs lots of water and cool temperatures. I’m afraid that those are two things always in short supply in these parts. However, at the Mueller Farmers Market, Bernhardt’s Farm has great big beautiful bunches of celery. The local product is so very superior in flavor that I recommend buying one and freezing what you don’t use for soups later in the year.
Speaking of eggs, Smith and Smith Farms were the victims of a devastating hailstorm last week that pretty well flattened their chicken farm. Nearly all of their chickens, which were out in the pasture as chickens ought to be, were killed by softball sized hailstones. Most of their outbuildings were destroyed or blown clear away.
Up at the Cedar Park Farmers’ Market, Amy Landau’s three sons, ages 11, 9, and 7, will be selling handmade rubber band bracelets and action figures to raise money for Smith and Smith. You can also go donate directly at this online fundraiser to help Smith and Smith pick up the pieces and begin again. This is a case where help is desperately needed, so please give if you can, even if it is just a buck or two. It could make all the difference.
Over at the HOPE Market, Windy Hill Farm is having a special this week on goat shanks, goat bellies, and goat brisket. I've never cooked goat brisket, so that’s what I’m getting. Did you know that the Texas cowboys practically lived on goat meat while riding the range? It is the true cowboy fare.
The HOPE Market has also added a new vendor: Rohan Meadery. As all LOTR fanfolks know, Rohan is by far the coolest kingdom of Middle Earth, I can’t believe Gondor can even pretend to be more important. All hail mighty Rohan, and let us drink a toast to Eowyn with frothing tankards of mead.
Curious Confections will only have hot cross buns for three more weeks, so act accordingly. On their rotating menu this week, they will be featuring lemon breakfast tarts, blackberry oat bars, grapefruit scones, Steen's marshmallows, honey sesame cashew nuts, coffee bean cookies, s’mores cookies, and treacle tarts. Treacle tarts are a British staple dating from the 19th century, and beloved of Harry Potter. If you or your kids have ever wondered what they taste like, this is your chance to find out!
Breakfast & Lunch at the Market
Breakfast Sandwich with Hairston asparagus, fried duck egg, City ham, and herb mayonnaise on a gougere roll;
Ossabaw Pork Tinga Taco with onion, cilantro, and radish;
Achiote Boar Rib with duck confit tamal, crema, and cilantro;
Shrimp Étouffée with Texas Gulf rice and wild onions;
Strawberry Ice Cream Mill-king milk, Organicare eggs, and local strawberries;
Cafe a la Olla and Celery Soda.
See you at the markets!