Friday, June 21, 2013

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Market

Happy Solstice! Happy Summertime!

With the arrival of summertime, come summertime storms. For most of us, we only think about the storms when they are coming toward us and storming on us. Sometimes, there is a little bit of cleanup to do afterwards. Then they are quickly forgotten.

This week, I got an email from Ken Dawson, the owner of Maple Spring Gardens, about the storm that quickly swept through the area last Thursday. When I opened the email, I had all but forgotten about the storm. He included these pictures of the damage that his farm sustained, including snapped limbs on tomato, basil and squash plants, hail damaged zucchini, and plastic ripped off of their high tunnel greenhouses. His message was short. It said that the damage from that storm will result in a reduced yield for the next few months.

It is amazing how one weather event can have an impact on our dinner plates months down the road. For example, this year, blackberries were no-where to be seen until last week which was unusual. I asked Matt from Wild Scallions about the blackberry crop. He told me that the cold weather in spring delayed the flowers from blooming on cane crops (blackberries, raspberries). He said that he was happy that his blackberries didn't bloom before the cold and then get killed in a frost. So, the yield is still good, it is just later than normal. Another example, the extremely wet weather that we experienced in the spring right at the time that was best for farmers to plant peas. The soggy weather kept farmers out of their fields and some folks that usually have peas in the spring had few or none.

There are lots of conditions on a farm that farmers can control to protect against some risks including crop failures or disease. Farmers do things such as planting a diverse array of crops, taking pest control measures, increasing the health of their soil, or just plain planting a little extra. But, there isn't much a farmer can do to protect thier crops when violent or unusual weather sweeps through their farm. Unlike massive mega-farms, small diversified farms are not eligible for crop insurance, so they always have to try to be ahead of the game by planning, saving, and have contingency plans in place.

All of this supports my general thesis that farming is a risky business. But, all of the farmers that sell at the Durham Farmers' Market (and other markets around the country) do it because they love it! And for that, we love them.

See you at the Market, bright and early!!
Erin Kauffman
Market Manager
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Upcoming Events and Spring Schedule
Saturday June 22nd: Durham County Beekeepers 8am-Noon Celebrate National Pollinators week with the Durham County Beekeepers! They will be at Market this Saturday from 8-Noon with their demostration hive and information about beekeeping and the honey harvest.

Wednesday June 26th: Quick Dinners from the Market Demo with Anne Everitt from Triangle Food Fight, 4-6pm. Anne will be cooking a healthy, gluten free, quick recipes using cucumbers the week!

Saturday June 29th: Chef in the Market, Shane Ingram, Four Square, 10am Chef Shane Ingram will be back cooking up tasty, local food!

Saturday June 29th: CANNING DEMONSTRATION! Shanna Bierman, DFM's Assistant Manager will demonstrate how to make and can Kosher Dill Pickles! 9-11am in the Pavilion.

Fresh this Week....
FRUITS: BLACKBERRIES & DEWBERRIES, BLACK RASPBERRIES, CANTALOUPES, Blueberries, Raspberries, Peaches, and the very last few Strawberries of the season.
VEGETABLES:  PADRON PEPPERS, OKRA, TOMATILLOS, CORN, FIELD TOMATOES, Artichokes, Asian Greens (Bok Choi, Mizuna, Tat Soi), Arugula, Beans (Green, Yellow and Purple), Beets, Beet Greens, Broccoli Raab, Cabbage, Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards, Cucumbers, Dandelion Greens, Fresh & Dried Herbs (Basil, Cilantro, Catnip, Dill, Mint, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Sorrel, Parsley), Eggplant, Fava Beans, Fennel, Frisee, Green Onions, Green Garlic and Garlic Scapes, Gourds, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Napa Cabbage, Onions, Potatoes, Pea Shoots, Radishes,  Salad Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms,  Spinach, Swiss Chard, Greenhouse Grown Tomatoes, Turnips, Turnip Greens, Zucchini, 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 GOAT milk cheeses.
FLOWERS & PLANTS: Vegetable and Herb Seedlings, Bedding, House, and Flower Plants, GLADIOLUS, Echinacea, Sunflower, Dahlia, Lily, Godedia, Campanula, Calendula, Zinnia,
SPECIALTY ITEMS: RAW HONEY, 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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