The Austin Chronicle

Farmers Market Report: October 21st, 2012

By Kate Thornberry, October 19, 2012, 1:16am, On the Range

Now that the cooler weather is back, it seems easier to believe that it’s October! Everything is still available, as it hasn’t dipped down close to freezing yet. Cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, even basil is still available.

But the great news is, it is that special time of year (it only happens once!) when tomatillos, jalapenos, poblanos and cilantro are ALL AVAILABLE! Yes it is CHILE VERDE TIME!

Simmons Family Farm was the first to display tomatillos and jalapenos together, but if I remember correctly Johnson’s Backyard Garden comes in strong with the tomatillos too. Dai Dui Butcher Shop, which sells at the Downtown Market in Republic Square, will be selling their special Chorizo Verde this Saturday, their most popular sausage. It’s made with Ground Full Quiver pork is mixed with a puree of fresh cilantro, poblano peppers, jalapenos, fresh oregano and spices. ($11 lb.) Dai Due will also be selling an incredible array of other products including preserved lemons, watermelon pickles, veal sausage with sage and lemon, venison pepperwurst, and “Breakfast and Lunch at the Market” which I am just going to cut-and-paste:

Biscuits and Gravy with Country Style Breakfast Sausage.  Add an egg if you like. Chorizo Verde and Egg Torta with refried beans, crema, radish and Red Hatch salsa. Wild Boar and Oyster Gumbo with smoked sausage and Gulf Coast rice. Red Chile Duck Taco with duck chicharrones, cilantro and onion. Cafe a la Olla Boiled Mexican coffee with sorghum syrup, brown sugar, anise seed and cinnamon, served with Mill-king milk.

Contrary to earlier reports, Dai Due Butcher Shop will NOT be selling at the Mueller Market on Sunday, due to permitting issues.

Speaking of the Downtown Market, Dewberry Hills Farm Organic Chicken will be at the Downtown Market ONLY this Saturday, as Jane will be having surgery on Friday to repair the arm she broke on October 6th, and will most likely be down for the count. But Terry will have some lovely birds, as well as breast packs and leg packs to sell. Dewberry Hills chicken really is the standard of excellence in tender, flavorful, locally raised organic chicken.

The surgery is going to set Terry and Jane back roughly $10,000, as middle-aged farmers rarely are eligible for either government healthcare assistance OR private health insurance plans. (More than a third of Texans have no health insurance, not because they are indigent (the indigent actually can get healthcare) but because they are ranchers, farmers, self-employed, or work in restaurants or other small businesses that don’t provide any benefits. In other words, you probably know more people with no realistic access to healthcare than you think!) Terry has set up a donations page and I encourage everyone to send in a little something, every dollar will count.

Mom and Pop's Popsicles at Sunset Valley has branched out into Aguas Frescas ! This is thrilling for me, because I just love nearly all flavors of aguas frescas, and they are harder to find than I like. Mom and Pop's are only $3, and last week they had watermelon, horchata, and  hibiscus mint.

Although I don’t usually cover the Cedar Park Farmers Market, I do want to mention that this Saturday they will be hosting a special "Local Artisanal Cheese & Wine Celebration". The festivities will start at 10 AM, and will feature pairings by Antonelli's Cheese Shop featuring cheeses from CPFM regulars Pure Luck, Dos Lunas, Eagle Mountain, Full Quiver and Mill-King along with wines from Flat Creek Estate. The celebration will also feature chef demos, live local music and lots of "cheesy" fun activities for the kids!

Barton Creek News: well I went to try to buy some of that Smoked Salmon by Celtic Seafare last week, but they weren’t there! I found out that they will only be doing the market every OTHER week, as thier salmon is (get this!) flown in from Ireland! Well that surely is worth the extra two bucks! They SHOULD be at the Barton Creek Market this Saturday.

Smith and Smith at Barton Creek has Thanksgiving turkeys for sale! Be sure and sign up early if you can, they sell out fast. Richardson Farms may still have a few, but organic turkets really are at a premium.

Johnson’s backyard garden has the first fall fennel for sale! It’s beautiful, young and tender. This weekend might be the perfect time to put up or freeze some marinara, all the ingredients are there: tomatoes, peppers, fennel, onions, and garlic, not to mention oregano and basil. Looks like I will be making marinara and chile verde this week!

See you at the Market!

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