The Austin Chronicle

Farmers Market Report: May 11-12, 2013

By Kate Thornberry, May 10, 2013, 10:45am, On the Range

Lightsey Farms was planning to bring in the very first few peaches of this year’s harvest to the Downtown SFC Market this Saturday, but reports of area-wide hail in Fredericksburg during Thursday night’s storms have caused concern whether there will even be a peach crop this year.

A nearly ripe peach crop and a record hailstorm certainly don’t mix. The crop was already expected to be small due to a late freeze on March 26th.

Summer vegetables are continuing to come in, with tomatoes and cucumbers joining the ranks of yellow squash and zucchini. At Barton Creek Market, Hillside Farm will be bringing field-grown tomatoes and Fruitful Hill will be adding cucumbers and tomatoes to their steady supply of squash.

Chisholm Lane Farm will be bringing this year’s first beans to the Highland Mall Market on Sunday: Romano beans and purple wax beans.

Lettuces and greens are still going strong due to the cool weather; Farmer Johnson still has parsnips and a rainbow of varieties of carrots, in addition to the unbelievably gorgeous cauliflowers pictured above. As of last week, he was still carrying the huge bags of organic juicing oranges and grapefruits, too.

Dewberry Hills Farm will be at both markets this Saturday (Sunset Valley and Downtown). Last week they sold out at both markets, so either call and reserve some chicken or get there early! Barton Creek News: STAR market has begun making salsa fresca, and it is fantastic. Very finely chopped tomatoes, onions and peppers, with lots of cilantro and a hint of cumin. My husband wants you to know that it is his favorite salsa, ever (he likes it even more than the salsa I make from our garden.) Definitely a winner, and an entirely different style than Concha’s wonderful jarred salsas.

Concha’s seafood is off a strong start at Sunset Valley and Downtown. This last week I enjoyed two huge filets of flounder, and they were super fresh and sweet. I have never had fish so good in any restaurant, not even when I’ve been at the coast. Concha’s Seafood sells their fish already filleted (at least the snapper and the flounder I have tried were already filleted) which is an added plus. Lest you forget, Full Quiver Farms sells a variety of lacto-fermented vegetables, including kimchee and sauerkraut. I’ve been enjoying IO Ranch Lamb’s sausage topped with Full Quiver’s sauerkraut and melted pepper jack cheese lately, and their kimchee was so pretty last week I got a jar of that, too.

J.J.’s Good Things (sold at the Richardson Farms stand at Barton Creek) is selling a variety of pickled eggs along with her new hot sauces. She’s got beet juice pink pickled eggs and regular bar room plain. Extremely pretty and very tasty! The new bakery at Barton Creek, Bounce Bakery, specializes in gluten-free products, and they seem to be off to a good start. They are making bread from the somewhat more difficult grains, teff and tapioca. These grain are more difficult to find and work with but they are also more rewarding: Bounce’s breads have the taste and texture of light, soft whole wheat sandwich bread. They also are selling gluten-free blueberry muffins. Downtown News: Flying T Ranch, a brand new vendor, has joined the Downtown market. Their specialty is quail eggs, which are much sought after for Japanese cuisine. Pogue Mahone Pickles will begin doing the Downtown Market this Saturday as well.

Several seasonal vendors will be returning to the Downtown Market this Saturday as well: Teo Gelato, Jim-Jim’s Water Ice, and Wunder-pilz Kombucha will all be there this week.

Downtown is also adding a new food purveyor, The Vegan Yacht (it is true, Dai Due Butcher Shop doesn’t provide much for the vegan shopper!). The Vegan Yacht will be serving sustainable vegan plates consisting of a grain, an entree, a soup, a salad, and dessert. This week’s menu is Spicy Peanut Soup, Kale and sunflower seeds with cilantro hemp dressing, organic brown rice, Coconut Curried local vegetables, and raw carrot cake bites. The Austin Honey Company has honey in the comb! This is a hard product to find and it can be very pricey, as well as seasonal (beekeepers usually harvest the comb only once a year). Their filtered honey is very rich and flavorful too, but honey in the comb is the absolute best and very reasonable compared to national brands.

Sunday is Mother’s Day! Texas Lavender has a whole line of lavender products that make wonderful gifts: lotions, creams, essential oils, calming mist, liquid soap, sachets, and linen spray for sheets and pillowcases. Cocoa Puro Chocolates is selling a large 12-ounce bag of their award-winning cacoa bean confections for Mother’s Day as well (and it would be my selection...for myself I mean!)

See you at the Markets!

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