Friday, January 11, 2013

This Week at the Farmers' Market

As we get into January, the variety of vegetables that are available at the Market is starting to get a little bit thinner. January and February can be a difficult time to grow vegetables because the days are shorter and the temperatures fluctuate between cold and very mild (like tomorrow's forecast).   That's not to say that there aren't any vegetables. Throughout the rest of the winter, we can expect to have lush greens, beautiful root crops, plenty of sweet potatoes and winter squashes and a few special greenhouse grown tomatoes and flowers.

If you are looking for a little break from kale, winter time can be a great time to explore other things at the Market that you might not have thought about before.  For example, the Market has a great selection of locally and humanely raised meats.  Just last week, I was talking to someone who is new to Durham about the Farmers' Market.  He asked me what kinds of meats are available at the Market.  I listed them off: beef, pork, chicken, goat, lamb, bison, duck, veal, turkey, and in the spring there will be rabbit, cornish game hens, and quail. As I was finishing the list, his eyes widened and he said, "Whoa, I think I'm going to have to check this out!".

The farmers who raise animals work so hard to raise their animals in good conditions so, they want to make sure that the whole animal gets used and sold. The selection of cuts ranges from the usual to the uncommon. On a weekly basis there are roasts, chops, ground, steaks, bacon, chicken cuts such as breast, wings, thigh, etc.  The more uncommon items include organs, tongue, pig, chicken and duck feet, skins, oysters (and I don't mean the kind you find in the ocean), fatback and lard. The farmers and their crew are always happy to share cooking tips and recipes for cuts of meat that you may be unfamiliar with.

Because of USDA and safety regulations, meats at the farmers' market has to be held in coolers or freezers to make sure that it maintains a safe temperature.  Since the meats are a little bit hidden in the coolers, people often don't know that they are available.  Our meat producers do their best to list their meats on signs and lists at their tables.  In the hustle and bustle of the market, the signs can be easy to miss. So, if you are ever looking for a specific item or vendor, please feel free to stop by the Market's info/t-shirt table at the center of the Pavilion and we'll point you in the right direction.

See you at the Market!
Erin Kauffman
Market Manager

Fresh this Week....
VEGETABLES:   Asian Greens, Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Collards, Creasy Greens, Daikon Radish, Escarole, Fennel, Frisee, Fresh & Dried Herbs (Cilantro, Dill, Mint, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Parsley), Green Onions, Gourds, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Leeks, Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Napa Cabbage, Peppers - sweet and hot, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radiccio, Rutabega, Radishes, Rapini, Salad Mix, Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Turnip Greens,  Greenhouse Tomatoes,  Winter Squash and more
MEATS AND EGGS:  Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon/Cabrito, Lamb, Pork, Veal
Duck Eggs & Chicken Eggs
CHEESES: Fresh and aged cow and goats milk cheeses.
FLOWERS & PLANTS: ORIENTAL LILYS, Landscaping Plants, House Plants
SPECIALTY ITEMS: PECANS, Raw Honey, Flour, Cornmeal, Grits, Baked Goods including Pies, Breads, Cookies & Pastries, Fermented Foods, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Pastas, Perogies, Wool
CRAFTS: Pottery, Jewelry, Handmade Baskets, Woodwork, Photographs, Hand-dyed Clothing and other items, Handmade Clothing, Goats Milk Soaps, Body Butters, Lotions, Yarn, Roving, and much more...

Produce availability depends on weather conditions 

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