The Farmers’ Market Report: April 12-13, 2014

Rhubarb, artichokes, asparagus, lamb roasts, and dog shampoo

The first fresh rhubarb of the year (Photo by Rebecca Wood)
This week marks the beginning of not just rhubarb, but artichokes, too! The miraculously late spring we've been enjoying has meant longer seasons for the cool weather crops, and some late arrivals, like these.

Those young stalks of rhubarb pictured above are from the STAR table at the Barton Creek Farmers’ Market, and Mr. Star says that he will have even more this Saturday. Mr. McKemie of McKemie HomeGrown says that he will keep having asparagus until it gets hot, which means we have at least another week or two. I haven’t gotten to the market early enough to get any for two weeks; it really is true, you have to get there at 9 on the dot.

The HOPE Farmstand (Photo by Jessie Curry)
At the HOPE Farmers’ Market on Sunday, the HOPE farmstand also has asparagus. Same situation though: not that much of it, and it sells out quicker than quick. In the photo above, the asparagus is on the right. Can you see it?

Hairston Creek Farm will have organic strawberries, lettuce, green garlic, spinach, and onion scapes at the Cedar Park Farmers’ Market, the Sunset Valley Farmers’ Market, and the Mueller Farmers’ Market.

Artichokes from Johnson's Backyard Garden (Photo by Rebecca Wood)
The artichokes are coming in; JBG has small ones at all area markets, and there are a few other farmers who have planted them. Two Happy Children Farm expect to have some in a couple of weeks; they had several acres devoted to artichokes this year, but sadly, they are north of Austin and those late freezes we had really did a number on them. Farms south of town, like Johnson’s, fared better.

However, Two Happy Children will have strawberries, kale, spinach, cabbage, carrot, brussels sprout greens, spring onions, and cauliflower. (I didn’t know you can eat brussels sprouts greens.) 2HC sells at Cedar Park and Barton Creek.

Strawberries at Sunset Valley (Photo by Rebecca Wood)
Engel Farms (Downtown, Hope, Cedar Park, Mueller, and Sunset) reports that by the end of the month they will have peaches! The earliest varieties are looking good, and fortunately that hailstorm we had here in town didn’t go over their orchards. This week they will be bringing strawberries and brussels sprouts.

Speaking of strawberries, they are at their peak right now. Not only are they available fresh, by the pint and quart, at all area markets, but they are showing up in all kinds of guises. Confituras is currently making the most amazing strawberry/vanilla bean jam; Winfield Farm at Barton Creek is selling their strawberry, rhubarb, and ginger jam; Austin Gelato has chocolate-covered strawberry sorbet pops; Dai Due is serving sprouted wheat pancakes with strawberries, ricotta, dried lemon, and honey; New World Gelato has strawberry gelato, strawberry sorbetto, and strawberry margarita sorbetto.

Confituras at Sunset Valley (Photo by Rebecca Wood)
IO Ranch Lamb (Downtown, Sunset Valley, and Lone Star Farmers’ markets, will be bringing extra bone-in lamb legs, boneless lamb legs, and racks of lamb to the above markets in anticipation of Passover and Easter. IO Ranch lamb is the gold standard, from lanolin-free Dorper sheep.

Dewberry Hills Farm will not be appearing at the markets this weekend. All is well, the chickens just aren’t big enough yet.

Dewberry Hills Farm half-chickens (Photo by Rebecca Wood)
Speaking of chickens, the fundraiser for Smith and Smith Farm, whose entire farm was flattened by softball-sized hail a few weeks ago, is going well! Folks have started to lend a hand, but there is still a ways to go. They are facing replacing their whole flock, and rebuilding all their chicken shelters. Please donate if you can.

The Peached Tortilla, who were at the HOPE Market last Sunday, will be at the Cedar Park Market this Saturday. You may remember their JapaJam Burger from last week's report. Garbo’s Lobster Truck, who are at the Barton Creek Market on Saturdays, will have watermelon/lobster ceviche this week, in addition to their incredible lobster rolls.

The theme for April’s SFC Markets is “Greens, Eggs, and Ham,” which is a pretty good description of April’s bounty. As Suzanne Santos proclaims, “Let us celebrate local, pastured eggs, abundant lettuces and braising greens, all things pastured pork, and everything made with these local, healthy ingredients!”

These Pogue Mahone pickles would be good with that Mushroom Reuben (Photo by Rebecca Wood)
I would like to interject a quick roundup of SFC news: The East Austin Farm Tour is this weekend; the Farm to Plate Dinner is almost sold out, so buy tickets now or regret it later; and lastly, SFC put up this very intriguing recipe for a Mushroom and Local Sauerkraut Rueben, which looks amazing. I often have Full Quiver Farm sauerkraut aging in my fridge; this looks like an great way to use it.

I am a big fan of Kiskadee Chocolates, in particular their drinking chocolate. But they also make bean-to-bar chocolates, and this Sunday at Mueller they will be selling cinnamon cayenne, pistachio/dried cherry, 60% dark, 85% dark, sea salt/almond, and cacao nib bars. You can also purchase their chocolate salami (chocolate, dried fruit, and nut roll) and hazelnut/chocolate spread, if you get there early. That spread goes fast.

Over at the HOPE Market, Regal Ravioli will be the food truck this Sunday. This week’s special will be kale ravioli with cashew cream and roasted garlic.

Sugar Snap Peas from Wendy Town (Photo by Jessie Curry)
Wendy Town Farms will be bringing fresh sugar snap peas to market, along with lettuce, rainbow chard, spinach, green onions, tomato plants, and fresh and dried herbs.

Wendy Town will also be selling handmade mustard, made from their own mustard seeds. Varieties include Herbed Stout Mustard, Spicy Herbed Mustard, and “Better Than Yellow” Mustard.

Fresh prepared mustards from Wendy Town (Photo by Jessie Curry)
HOPE is also welcoming a new vendor: F-Stop Farm, a new urban farm in East Austin. This week they will be selling green leaf lettuce, rainbow chard, collard greens, herbs, kale, and eggs.

Curious Confections will only be making hot cross buns until Easter, so this weekend is your second-to-last chance to get some. This week's menu also includes almond croissants, apple turnovers, peanut colada energy bars, green tea scones, black cherry marshmallows, coffee caramels, chocolate crackle cookies, ribbon cookies, and white chocolate raspberry brownies.

British "Flapjacks" (Photo by Rebecca Wood)
Speaking of British baking, over at the Barton Creek Market and the Bluebonnet Market, the other British bakery Let’s Get Pie will be selling chocolate-dipped flapjacks, tiny mince pies, and almond cake pies.
Dog shampoo from So.A.P. (Photo by Rebecca Wood)
Also at Barton Creek, Caeda Farms will be selling Texas bouquets of unusual merit, and the South Austin People Soap Company is now selling dog shampoo and laundry shampoo. The dog shampoo, called Dirty Paws Natural Dog Soap, contains eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, patchouli, and neem tree oils, all of which discourage fleas.
Rio Hondo Clean Cane Juice (Photo by Rebecca Wood)
Finally, if you have been reading this whole report just to find out about the fresh-squeezed sugar cane juice, here is the lowdown: The company is called Rio Hondo Clean Cane Juice, and they crush the sugar cane right at the stand. They are at the Barton Creek Market, and you can taste the juice, if, like myself, you have never tried it. Fresh from the sugar cane, the juice is about as sweet as a pleasant drink, and with a little lime juice it is wonderful. I know there are plenty of relocated Valley folks here in Austin, and this product is going to be a real taste of home. In fact, they sold out of fresh sugar cane juice while I was taking the above picture, and it was before noon. A wonderful new product, although I do believe it is seasonal.

From Dai Due (Downtown and Mueller)

Breakfast & Lunch at the Market   

Lamb Mixiote Taco with habanero pickled onion and cilantro;

Ossabaw Pork Rib with celery root kraut and creamer pea stew;

Sprouted Wheat Pancake with strawberries, ricotta, dried lemon, and honey;

Ossabaw Pork Grillades and Baked Grits with parsley;

Ossabaw Pork Torta Milanesa with avocado, ham, queso Oaxaca, chipotle mayonnaise, and onion;

Cafe a la Olla and Celery Soda.


See you at the markets!


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Farmers Market Report, STAR Farmers Market, Barton Creek Farmers Market, McKemie Homegrown, HOPE Farmers Market, Hairston Creek Farm, Cedar Park Farmers Market, Sunset Valley Farmers Market, Mueller Farmers Market, JBG, Two Happy Children Farm, Engel Farms, Confituras, Winfield Farm, Austin Gelato Company, New World Gelato, Dai Due, Pogue Mahone Pickles, Dewberry Hills Farm, IO Ranch Lamb

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