Friday, January 10, 2014

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Market

Well, the first Market of the year was certainly frigid. Then, by Monday night, farmers experienced record low temperatures -- even colder than the low of 9 degrees that we had here in town. Tomorrow, the temperature is forecast to be in the 70s. What a wild weather week!

On Tuesday, I saw a bunch of our farmers at a meeting. They sat around the table and compared the low temperatures on their respective farms. One farmer said the temperature got down to 4 degrees at his farm in Timberlake.

Several vegetable farmers have told me that the main thing that they've dealt with during the polar vortex was keeping their greenhouses heated. For some that heat their greenhouses with wood, it meant staying up all night long in order to feed the fire and keep the temperatures high enough to keep their plants safe. At this point in the year, some farmers have greenhouses full of tender seedlings and plants. Others, including Roberson Creek Farm and Lyon Farms, have tomato plants (which do not tolerate freezing weather) growing and bearing fruit in their heated greenhouses. The loss of any of these could have resulted in thousands of dollars in lost sales. For a farmer that survives on a very slim profit margin, that kind of loss can be devastating.

When the temperatures are as low as they have been, most plants just don't grow. They aren't necessarily killed by the cold temperatures, they just use all of their energy to survive. Even some plants that are in greenhouses just sit there during the cold weather. I know that some farmers will be taking this week off from Market because their crops haven't grown enough. There will be plenty of vegetable farmers at Market tomorrow, but due to the weather this week, the harvest may be a little bit different than a usual January market.

The only news that I've heard from our livestock farmers came from Olga Elder of Stoney Mountain Farm. She told me that the main issue that they had to deal with during the freezing weather was having to work to ensure that the water troughs didn't freeze over. Otherwise, I'm hoping that no news is good news coming from the livestock farmers. I'm sure that all of the animals (just like us humans) are happy that the weather didn't stay that excessively cold for too long!

As always, the Market will be open tomorrow will be open rain or shine! Its looking like it will most likely be rain tomorrow. We're expecting about 35 vendors to be there tomorrow with a wide range of products from vegetables to eggs to meats to tempeh and more!

See you at the Market,
Erin Kauffman
Market Manager
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Fresh this Week....
VEGETABLES: Arugula, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Cress, Collards, Daikon Radish, Dandelion Greens, Delicata Squash, Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, Escarole, Fennel, Fresh & Dried Herbs (Cilantro, Oregano, Thyme, Parsley), Frisee, Green Onions, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mache, Mustard Greens, Potatoes, Pea Shoots, Pumpkins, Radishes, Rutabega, Salad Mix,  Spaghetti Squash, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Sweet Potatoes, Tat Soi, Greenhouse Grown Tomatoes, Turnips, Turnip Greens, Winter Squash, and more
MEATS AND EGGS: PORK, Beef, Quail, Lamb & Mutton, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon/Cabrito, Veal, Rabbit
Duck Eggs & Chicken Eggs
CHEESES:Fresh and aged COW and GOAT milk cheeses.
PLANTS: Bedding Plants, and House Plants. 
SPECIALTY ITEMS: Tempeh, Gluten Free Baked Goods, Raw & Creamed Honey, Pasta, Flour, Cornmeal, Grits, Baked Goods including Pies, Breads, Cookies & Pastries, Fermented Foods, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Wool

CRAFTS: Pottery, Woodwork, Photographs, Hand-dyed Clothing and other items, Handmade Clothing, Goats Milk Soaps, Body Butters, Lotions, Yarn, Roving, and much more...

FLOWERS: A FEW Anemones, Dried Bouquets
Produce availability depends on weather conditions 

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