Friday, May 3, 2013

This Week at the South Durham Farmers' Market

This Week:

  • Music By: The Durham Bullhorns 
    8:30a - 10:30a  
  • Education: Cinco de Mayo inspired face painting and more! 9am - 12pm 
  • In Season: Radishes, Carrots, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Asparagus, Flowers, 

Did you know that there are more Durham-based farmers at The South Durham Farmers' Market, than ANYWHERE else? Now that is local!  

Cooking With Your Neighbor
One of the biggest concerns when I started eating mostly from the farmers market was what I would do on the weeks that I couldn't go to the market on a Saturday morning and buy fresh veggies - like last month when I was vacationing in New Orleans.  My trip lasted over the weekend, so I missed the Saturday market.  Also, to make things more difficult, I broke my arm while on vacation, requiring that I make my dinner - literally - single-handed.

 SDFM produce is often picked on market day - meaning many varieties will stay fresher longer than grocery store counterparts.

I started looking through my fridge to see what was available, and was shocked to see that the lettuce that I bought from Sassafras Fork Farm two weeks earlier was still good and crispy! In my pantry I still had two sweet potatoes that I bought several weeks earlier at market - and in my freezer I had some ground beef that I always keep around for emergencies. Next thing I knew I had a healthy and delicious meal on my plate...all from the market where I had not shopped for two weeks.
It's amazing how far some of this food can go!

~Rhiannon Kincaid, SDFM Community Board Member

I Love Chevre in the Springtime...
In farm to fork parlance, the first step towards enjoying a fantastic fresh chevre begins with a pregnant goat (or two goats on a date, if you want to be specific). And while this is also true for both cows and sheep, goats tend to have a much more regulated reproductive cycle, where female goats are only bred in the Fall, and all baby goats, or kids, are born in the early Spring during a period called “kidding season."  This schedule, and new spring grasses, has a huge impact on milk quality and flavor.

To call this time of year hectic for goat farmers is an understatement akin to calling summertime in Arizona balmy.  And kidding season isn’t just about helping to birth goats and letting nature take it's natural course - it means there are new baby goats

that need to be bottle fed twice a day for around eight weeks, vet checkups, new mama goats to milk, and lots of cheese to make.  The whole experience is probably best expressed by Prodigal Farm’s Facebook post: “The definition of hubris: wishing all your does would have their babies in one week. Seemed like a good idea last fall…but bit us in the rear… with more than 100 babies born in 10 days.”

Still, while this can cause a lot of stress for goat farmers, it’s fantastic for consumers. After the momma goat gives birth, her grazing and milk production skyrockets and she begins making the highest fat, most nutritious milk of the year. And that milk is then transformed into creamy, distinctive cheeses that reflect the region and fields in which they are created. This is the cheese that is available now at market and deserves a dedicated spot right next to your strawberries and asparagus.

You can visit Prodigal Farm’s “goatbabies" during their May 19th Open Farm Day (1 – 5 p.m.) or by volunteering for feedings by contacting them at All feeding volunteers must be at least 12 years old and able to withstand the sheer cuteness of 100 baby goats frolicking in an open field. Or you could skip the farm work altogether and dash right to the eating part each Saturday morning at SDFM.

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