The Austin Chronicle

Farmers’ Market Report: February 8-9, 2014

By Kate Thornberry, February 7, 2014, 11:20am, On the Range

Though it is freezing today, Saturday is going to be sunny and near 70 degrees in the afternoon, if you can even believe it. These cold snaps have been very hard on area farmers; if you like the fact that Austin has Farmers’ Markets, come out this weekend and show your support.

We’ve got to make it worth their while to schlepp all that greenery to town every week! Broccoli, if I haven’t mentioned it, is at its absolute peak right now. Practically every farmers has loads of it, and its so flavorful. Freshly picked organic broccoli, grown under chilly conditions, is almost sweet, and has easily twice the flavor. Engel Farms continues to bring fresh, super sweet strawberries to the Downtown and Cedar Park Markets; I have yet to get my hands on any, as they sell out very quickly. But those who are fortunate enough to know, say they are exceptional.

Windy Hill Farm has added three different varieties of goat sausage to their regular goat meat offerings, including Spicy Links and Breakfast sausage. Goat meat is one of the most sustainable meats, and goats are much easier on the Texas environment than cattle. In other news, Windy Hill Farm’s crowd funding campaign is a success- they raised more than the $3,000 they needed, and there are still a few days left. It has been wonderful to see Munkebo Farm back at the Downtown SFC Market. I love all their alternative eggs, though I have to admit the duck eggs are the ones I cannot live without. But the quail eggs are a complete must if you love Japanese cooking, and there is nothing like a goose egg for making quiche. Over at the HOPE Farmers Market, Wild River Ranch finally has hydroponic heirloom tomatoes big enough to bring to market. The heirloom tomatoes sell out quickly, the demand is greater than the supply, so these should be a going proposition for Wild River Ranch. Curious Confections (also at HOPE) will be bringing a whole different batch of goodies this week: Chocolate Macarons, Chocolate Sugar Cookies, S’mores Bars, Chocolate Strawberry Marshmallows, Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies, Banana Blueberry Bread, and Currant Scones. They will naturally have their three staples, Butter Croissants, Pain au Chocolat, and Individual King Cakes. Though I believe the King Cakes will only be available until Mardi Gras. Curious Confections will also be debuting a chocolate bar this weekend: The Menage a Trois Bar: Belgian chocolate, filled with caramel and sprinkled with sea salt.

The Peached Tortilla trailer will be joining the HOPE Market this Sunday, and will be there every Sunday in February with their exciting menu of tacos, sliders, and fusion creations that reflect their Asian and Mexican influences. IO Ranch Lamb (Sunset Valley and Downtown) has an incredible selection of Dorper lamb cuts, including the traditional “Leg O’ Lamb” such as the one pictured here. If you want to be sure to have a nice one for Easter, it might not be a bad idea to get one now and sock it in the freezer.

Celtic Seafare (Barton Creek) will be featuring Gravlax with Dill and Black Pepper and Cold-smoked Salmon at the Barton Creek Market this Saturday. Sebastien will also be bringing Salmon Candy, Salmon Bacon (it tastes like bacon!), Hot-smoked Salmon in Lemon Pepper, Asian Plum & Black Sesame Seed, Wildflower Honey, Natural Oak Roasted, and Plum & Chipotle flavors.

He will also be bringing two brand new products: Irish Smoked Oysters, and Smoked Queen Scallops. I hope the Irish Smoked Oysters hold out until I get there. Aldridge Urban Farm (Barton Creek) has begun bringing home made preserves in addition to their small-batch maple syrup. This flavor looks intriguing: Carrot Cake Jam, made with pineapple, pears, carrots, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Austin Gelato makes their treats from local low-temperature pasteurized milk. These bars they make are amazing, covered with high-quality chocolate and local pecans. Their espresso gelato is out of this world. It might not seem like the right season for gelato, but you have to figure in that when you buy it, it won’t melt on the way home in the car. You can buy it and successfully get it home to eat later.

While you are at the market, warm up with luscious hot chocolate with home made marshmallows or spicy hot cider from Fete Accompli. They will be at the Barton Creek Market on Saturday, and may be Downtown, as well.

The Barton Creek Farmers Market is welcoming a new vendor: Meridian Hive, who make mead and fruit wines from local honey and fruit.

Bodacious Cupcakes, who make organic cupcakes, are a recent addition to the Bluebonnet Farmers Market.

Dai Due is back at the Mueller Markets on Sundays, and continues at the Downtown Market on Saturdays. Here is this week’s menu:

Breakfast & Lunch at the Market

Potato, Leek, Bockwurst and Sauerkraut Hash with a fried egg; Achiote Beef Taco with potatoes, chard, queso fresco, and pickled acelgas; Sprouted Wheat Pancake with ham, applesauce, and pecan butter; Beef Chili with cornbread, cheddar, and green garlic; Cafe a la Olla and Angelica Root Tisane.

The Dai Due Butcher Shop will be featuring Potato and Garlic Sausage, Kasekrainer Sausage, Beef Liver Sausage, and Pork Rillettes with Balck Garlic, Chile Pequin, and Lime.

See you at the Markets!

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