The Austin Chronicle

Farmers Market Report: Jan. 19-20

By Kate Thornberry, January 18, 2013, 8:00am, On the Range

The Sunday farmers markets were tough last weekend, weather-wise, due to that icy polar wind just whipping across town.

In the summer, the big Mueller dome is a huge benefit, keeping the sun from roasting everyone and everything; during a cold front, though, it must have been ten degrees colder under there than in the parking lot. At the Highland Mall Market, the wind just blew all the tents down and froze the vendors where they stood. The HOPE market, surrounded on all sides by ramshackle buildings, fared best. It was sunny and reasonably pleasant. But enough about last weekend! This weekend will be sunny and in the sixties (close to 70˚ on Sunday) so, it will be perfect! Perfect Farmers Market weather.

Because of the cold, your best bets are going to be root vegetables (carrots, beets, turnips, rutabagas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, radishes, green onions) and cold-resistant vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. And of course, hothouse vegetables like tomatoes and lettuce. Johnson’s Backyard Garden will still be selling organic grapefruits and oranges from the Valley, and a few vendors such as Sand Creek (Barton Creek Mkt.) still have bags of this years crop of pecans.

Dewberry Hills Farm will be selling their chicken at both Sunset Valley Market and the Downtown SFC Market on Saturday, and they have plenty o’ chickens this week. They will even have some boneless and skinless for a lucky few.

Dai Due Butcher Shop (Downtown SFC and Mueller on Sunday) will be featuring Chicken and Bacon Sausage ($12 lb.), Antelope and Horseradish Burgers ($12 lb.), Salt-cured Wild Boar Belly ($7), and Ancho Back Bacon ($8). Their hot food will be as follows:

Biscuit and Gravy with Country Style Breakfast Sausage. (downtown only) Shredded Chicken Torta with refried beans, cabbage, escabeche picada and crema.   Roast Duck and Stuffing with a fried egg, duck gravy and endive.   Chorizo and Egg Taco with cilantro and jalapeno salsa.    Chicken Menudo Rojo with pickled cabbage, lemon and cilantro.  Cafe a la Olla. Boiled Mexican coffee with sorghum syrup, brown sugar, anise seed and cinnamon, served with Mill-king milk.   

It is also a great time of year (when it has been cold) for seafood, especially oysters! K & S Seafood (Barton Creek and Mueller Markets) have fresh Gulf Oysters for $10 a pint, and sometimes have oysters in the shell as well. In spite of the bad weather last week, at the Mueller Market K & S practically sold out of all their seafood, because it is jut marvelous at this time of year.

Lily Pad Farm also has divine tilapia from their aquaponic farm, as well as some of the best lettuce to be had. On January 26th, Lily Pad Farm will be giving a free seminar on aquaponic farming, be sure to reserve a seat if you would like to learn about this Texas-friendly way to farm.

Confituras will be absent from the markets this weekend, due to winning a 2012 Good Food Award for their Bourbon Brown Sugar Peach Preserves! I think Stephanie McClenny is out in San Francisco collecting her award and taking a much deserved respite from the jam-pots.

See you at the Markets!

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