Part of my job as Market Manager is visiting the Market member's farms and businesses. Every year, as a way to preserve the integrity of the Market and ensure to our customers that our vendors are growing and producing everything that they are selling, the Board of Directors randomly selects a handful of our member's farms and businesses to visit. Occasionally, I get to go on one of these visits. During these visits we see the crops that they are bringing to Market growing in the fields; we see the animals that they are raising; we see and talk about their methods of production - farming, baking, crafting, etc; and we see their productions facilities and store rooms. We periodically check on these things to make sure that everything and above board so that you can KNOW that when you shop at the Market you are getting the locally raised and produced food and goods that you were promised.
During these visits, while looking at the technical parts of the farm and business, we (the visitors) also often get to hear stories about the history of the farm and the farmer's connection to the land. On farm visits we usually learn about the lay of the land, the watershed and irrigation and often talk about soil health, crop rotation, inputs and farming methods. And on almost all types of visits, we often get to hear about the motivation for why the farmer farms, the baker bakes, the crafter crafts. I can speak from experience when I say, there is nothing prouder than a farmer in her fields or a cook in his kitchen. (PS - Farm Tours are a great way to get to see the farms and hear the stories too!)
This week, I had the chance to see two farms - Lil Farm and Abanitu Farm. I saw them both after the rain and near dusk and they were each lush, productive and beautiful. One thing that I saw on both farms were vines FILLED with Sugar Snap Peas! I'm sure that lots of farms are now flush with Sugar Snaps. These peas are only in season for the short few weeks during the brief the window between spring and summer. As soon as it gets hot, peas fade away until next year. So, during this short pea season, make sure you get to enjoy them before they disappear! They are good in so many ways - in salads, in stirfrys, or straight from the box that you bought them in!
One way that you can briefly extend the season is by making Refrigerator Sugar Snap Pea Pickles. These pickles don't get processed and sealed, so they aren't "shelf stable", they have to stay in the fridge to stay fresh and they can last for a month or two. Below are a couple of recipes that I've enjoyed in the past. I hope you enjoy them too!
Quick & Easy Pickled Sugar Snap Peas from LearnToPreserve.com
Quick Pickled Sugar Snap Peas from SeriousEats.com
See you at the market!
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Vegetables: FAVA BEANS, ZUCCHINI, SUGAR SNAP PEAS, Asparagus, Asian Greens (Bok Choi, Tat Soi, Mizuna), Arugula, Beet Greens, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Collards, Culinary Herbs including Cilantro, Thyme, Oregano, and Greek Oregano, English Shelling Peas, Fennel, Green Garlic and Garlic Scapes, Green Onions, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, New Potatoes, Pea Shoots, Radishes, Salad Mix, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Summer Squash, Greenhouse Grown Tomatoes, Turnips
Meats: Beef, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon, Pork
Eggs: Chicken and Duck Eggs
Flowers: Iris, Sunflower, Agrostemma, Snapdragons and mixed Bouquets
Plants: Vegetable and Herb Seedlings, House Plants, Landscaping Plants
Specialty Items: Creamed Honey, Mustards, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits, Goat and Cow Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods - Breads, Pastries, & Pies, Preserves, Gluten Free Baked Goods, Fermented Items, Nut Butters, Pasta, Tempeh, Herbal Teas, Herbal Salves,
Crafts: Wood Crafts, Pottery, Goats Milk Soaps