Friday, March 1, 2013

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Market

For the first time in a few weeks, the Saturday weather forecast is not for a cloudy, cold, wet day! Since we've gotten a good amount of rain during February, I've tried to gauge how the farmers are reacting to it. In general, they seem to be happy that we are getting rain that is filling up the ponds, creeks and streams that they will use to irrigate their fields when we hit dry spells later in the year. One downside of the rain is that it has been hard to get into field to prepare them for their spring and summer crops. Not only is it risky to take a tractor out into a wet field (because of the high likelyhood that it will get stuck), but even venturing out into wet fields on foot, can compact the soil and make it less hospitable to plant roots later in the season. And compacted soil does not drain well. The goal that most farmers work towards is to have a "loamy soil". Loamy soil both holds water and drains well so that roots can get plenty of air. To learn more about Loam click HERE!

March is an exciting time on farms! The days are getting longer, spring and summer are right around the corner and there is lots of work to be done on the farm. Planting seeds in the greenhouse, preparing the fields, selling CSA subscriptions, and having babies are just some of the things that are happening at farms around the Piedmont! In the last couple of weeks, I've visited several vegetable farms and seen greenhouses packed with trays of little tiny seedlings of kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, onions, celery, lettuce, and so much more that will soon be ready to plant in high tunnels (unheated greenhouses) and outdoor fields. I've also heard that at Elodie Farm and Celebrity Dairy it is kidding season and there are lots of baby goats! Brit from Celebrity told me that they have 140 babies. So, to share these exciting farm happenings, some farmers are planning events at their farm so that you can come join in the joy of springtime on the farm.

Here are a few upcoming opportunities to visit farms...

Shearing Day at Stoney Mountain Farm, Sunday, March 10th, 11am to 5pm.
Shearing day will feature 2 different methods for shearing John and Olga's 75+ flock!  

Open Barn at Celebrity Dairy, Saturday & Sunday March 9th & 10th, 10am to 5pm both days.
Meet the new baby goats!

CFSA Piedmont Farm Tour, Sat & Sun April 27 & 28, 1pm-5pm both days
Visit over 50 local, sustainable farms!

Last week, I told you about the guinea eggs that are now available at the Market and this week, I got an email from Brit Pfann from Celebrity Dairy telling about his wife, Fleming, growing up on her grandmother's farm in Creedmoor and their guineas. It was so good that I thought I'd share with you:

"The guineas were the doorbell and driveway alarm for the farm.  Her grandmother had a flock of guineas, and one of Fleming's jobs as a little girl was to seek out where the guineas hid their nests (they're very good at this), and to collect the eggs.  Egg collection was done using a metal spoon, and being very careful to leave no human scent on the eggs or nest - as this would spook the birds, and they'd move to a new nest site, and you'd have to find it all over again!

Her grandmother reserved the guinea eggs for her pound-cakes - claiming that she could make a richer cake with them."

See you at the Market!
Erin Kauffman
Market Manager
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Upcoming Events and Spring Schedule

March 23: Chef in the Market - Katie and Justin Meddis from Rose's Meat Market and Sweet Shop will have a sausage making demonstration.  Starts at 10!

March 30: Chef in the Market - Chef Katie Coleman from Durham Spirits Company will be cooking with seasonal veggies!

April 6: OPENING DAY! The Durham Farmers' Market's 15th Season officially begins on Saturday April 6th! Hours shift to our summer schedule of 8am to Noon!  Chef Amy Tornquist and Kyle Wilkerson from Watts Grocery will be doing the annual Market Kickoff Chef in the Market appearance!

Wednesday April 17th: WEDNESDAY MARKET OPENS! Fun opening day events are still in the works!!

Fresh this Week....
VEGETABLES:  Asian Greens, Arugula, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, 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, Mustard Greens, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radishes,  Salad Mix, Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, Shiitake Mushrooms (dried), 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
Guinea Eggs, Duck Eggs & Chicken Eggs
CHEESES: Fresh and aged cow and goats milk cheeses.
FLOWERS & PLANTS: Tulips, Daffodils, Icelandic Poppies, Anemones, Landscaping Plants, House Plants
SPECIALTY ITEMS: 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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