Friday, May 17, 2013

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Market

The next few weeks are what I like to call "almost summer". The mornings feel like spring and the afternoons feel like summer. In "almost summer", there are all kinds of summer things starting to come into the market -- cucumbers, beans, zucchini, potatoes, fava beans and soon cherry tomatoes, blackberries, blueberries and peaches will start to show. At the same time, the temperatures are still cool enough that spring crops such as spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, strawberries, peas and lettuce abound! The almost summer season is when the variety of items available at the market is at its absolute peak!

At all times of year, I try to keep track of what is left on farmers tables at the end of the Market. Recently, there has been lots of lettuce left over. This is mainly due to the sheer volume that is available. So, in the interest of eating in season and supporting local farmers, below I've shared an interesting recipe for Lettuce Soup! Lettuce Farmer Mark Hockney from Tiny Farm brought this recipe to my attention last year and it is a great way to enjoy the seasons bounty in a very creative way!
It is also that time in strawberry season when the berries are getting sweeter, juicier and more abundant. At my house, that means it is time to make strawberry jam. So, this morning, with a strawberries that I got at the Wednesday Market and some rhubarb from my freezer, I'm working on making a small batch of strawberry rhubarb jam with a recipe that I found on the Food52 blog. Strawberries at the Market is easy to find, but it you are looking for rhubarb, you'll need to get to market extra early because it sell FAST!

In exciting canning and food preservation news, the Durham Farmers' Market was chosen with 29 other market's in the country to participate in the Discover You Can Learn Make Share canning education program!! This summer, DFM will be holding canning demonstrations and workshops to help people learn to can and make canning recipes using fresh local produce to enjoy and share with friends all year long. The Farmers' Market Coalition and Jarden Home Brands have provided DFM with the tools to support canning education programs that illustrate the simple steps of safe home canning processes! Shanna and I are currently working on planning a series of workshops and demonstrations with our Market's great canners. Starting next week, we'll have information at Market about the workshop schedule and information on home canning.

See you at the Market, bright and early!!
Erin Kauffman
Market Manager

Recipe of the Week

Lettuce Soup from

3 TB Butter
1 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced
4 Scallions, trimmed and diced
4 garlic scapes, chopped or 2 cloves of garlic diced
2 TB coarsely chopped parsley
2 TB coarsely chopped chives
1 TB fresh thyme leaves
2 Heads Lettuce, end trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 medium Red Potatoes, diced and peeled
3 cups Chicken Stock
1/4 cup Heavy Cream plus extra for garnishing
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium Dutch oven or soup pot, heat butter over medium flame until foam subsides. Add onion, scallions and garlic scapes; sauté over medium-low heat until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add parsley, chives and thyme; sauté for 1 minute. Add lettuce, stir and sauté until wilted, about 1 - 2 minutes. Add potatoes and stock; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, covered, until the potatoes are very tender, about 10 - 15 minutes.

2. Process the soup with an immersion blender or transfer in batches to a blender or food processor. Add cream, salt & pepper: taste and adjust seasonings. Simmer for another 5 minutes or so, to heat through and reduce to desired thickness. Serve hot, garnished with a swirl of cream, scattered thyme leaves and fresh chives.

Upcoming Events and Spring Schedule

Saturday May 18th: Master Gardener Volunteers, 8am-Noon. The Master Gardeners come every third Saturday of the month and are available to answer your gardening questions.

Saturday May 25: Farmer Foodshare Benefit concert with the youth band from Emanuel Iglesia Church! The music will be located in the Leaf starting at 10am. More information soon!

Wednesday May 29: Storytime with Cynthia Raxter, 3:30-5:30pm. Local storyteller Cynthia Raxter will be at Market telling stories to little (and big) kids about growing up on a farm in western NC.

Fresh this Week....
VEGETABLES:  FENNEL, GARLIC SCAPES, A Few FAVA BEANS, A Couple of ARTICHOKES, CAULIFLOWER, CUCUMBERS BROCCOLI, ZUCCHINI, GREENHOUSE GROWN RED PEPPERS, Asparagus, Asian Greens (Bok Choi, Mizuna, Tat Soi), Arugula, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Collards, Greenhouse Grown Cucumbers, Dandelion Greens, English Shelling Peas, Fresh & Dried Herbs (Cilantro, Dill, Mint, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Parsley), Green Onions, Green Garlic, Gourds, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Napa Cabbage, Potatoes, Pea Shoots, Radishes,  Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms,  Spinach, Sugar Snap Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Greenhouse Grown Tomatoes, Turnips, Turnip Greens, Vitamin Greens and more
MEATS AND EGGS:  Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon/Cabrito, Lamb, Pork, Veal, Rabbit
Duck Eggs & Chicken Eggs
CHEESES: Fresh and aged cow and goats milk cheeses.
FLOWERS & PLANTS: VEGETABLE and HERB SEEDLINGS including tomatoes; FLOWERS: Peonies, Dutch Iris, Agrostemma, Batchelors Buttons, Sweet William, Icelandic Poppies; Landscaping Plants, House Plants
SPECIALTY ITEMS: Creamed 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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