Claytons farmers market

4,508
32
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hey all,

There is a great articale on the cover page of chef talk by Julie Ridlen.

It's a great perspective of what it takes to put together a first class farmers market.

I hope we can all take the time to read it,and more importantly try to support our local farmers. after all they are the shepards of gods work (or mother nature)depending on what floats your boat.

Thanks Julie for sharing with us
cc
 

isa

3,236
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Joined Apr 4, 2000
Fascnating article indeed. Now I can't wait until the outside markets open. Interesting to see how different our respective market can be.

I wish ours had that much to offer. There are rarely demonstrations by chef. One indoor store had an importer of spices and lukury items a few weeks ago but it was a first. I do hope he will be back he had some fascinating items.
 
9,209
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Joined Aug 29, 2000
Very good article, Shroomgirl. Looking forward to meeting you soon. I drive almost an hour to Madison in season to enjoy their market; as far as I know, they don't involve the chefs as you do. What a wonderful service you are giving the community!
 
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Joined Oct 15, 2000
Hey shroom,
I specialed your shrooms with tarragon and bourbon tonight. I of course credited it to "ala shroomgirl." I added some lightly smoked chicken. Very good!!! I think I sold about 15 of them. Thanks!!!
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
You are welcome, wish I'd known....you aren't too far from St. Louis are you? Say how did the election go.

On another note....all markets are different...each is set up with a mission statement I hope....ours is a chef run market with the specific goals of
1)intorducing chefs to farmers
2) teaching the chefs and public how to cook local seasonal foods
3) providing a Farmers only market..."you sell it, you raise it" <this is usually where the real differences come into play>
4) our goal is organic and sustainable farmers, educating the chefs and public what that entales.
5)Basically this is an educational market.

So when you visit your local markets see it with a scrutinizing eye....are these farmers, are they selling only their products, what are their growing practices, are there chefs involved (at least buying from the market)
Farmers love talking about their farms just ask.....
I can tell you most markets would love to have chefs interact....it is not a huge time commitment to do a cooking demo....
 
137
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Joined Oct 15, 2000
Shroom,
I lost but did not embarrass myself. I was only about 50 votes shy of the winner. I am also AT LEAST 20 years younger than the winner and I had virtually no budget to work with for the election. I did, however, get my name out there and got a lot recognition both for myself and the restaurants I cook for. I believe I may actually be developing a following, albeit, a small one. Galesburg's farmers market will be opening soon and I can't wait. The powers that be have decided to nix my cooking demonstrations for this year,but want to do it next year. Oh well!
They HAVE put in some new guidelines for this year that should be very cool. 75% of the items sold by an particular vendor MUST be grown locally and are preferably organic. This will weed out the ones buying grocery produce that looks real pretty but tastes like the box it came in. It will also give the local guys (and people like me)a chance to help the public understand that picture perfect is by no means always better. Oh man, I can already taste the tiny BLUE new potatoes and the Silver Queen sweet corn.
ps. I'm about 3.5 hrs north of you between Peoria and the Quad Cities. (Moline, Rock Island, etc.)

[ May 06, 2001: Message edited by: mofo1 ]
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Oh man their loss on the demos, it can only improve the numbers....
Cooking Demos:
1)bring in folks wanting to learn how to cook
2) Chef Groupies....(I admit it I'm a cook and a groupie)
3) Help sell whatever is being demoed
4) Hopefully start a newspaper column with the recipe used at the demo
5) bring in folks to the restaurant
6) If you bump it up with a Gift certificate for a drawing then all the better for you and the market.

I really can't fathum why they'd want to wait...it takes nominal $ to start....actually I bummed equipment our first set of demos cus we had no fundage.
We got the farmers to contribute produce and we didn't hand out samples just recipes...

Now the chef gets $100 for 2 demos he supplies the equipment (I have 2 burners) he needs for the demo as well as samples for 100 per demo...he connects with the featured farmer and buys from him. I get $50 gift certificate from the restaurant for a market drawing. They get outrageous PR, cus we're cool and have loads of schedules printed in the community. And to top it off the State is giving me $2000 for this project!!!!I don't see a down side here. Oh yeah except having to write and edit recipes from guys who don't get um to me before 10PM Friday for a 8am market. But hey I'm working on that one to see if it can't be streamlined and timely.
Mofo find out what the hold up is it may be a really insignificant problem that can be worked around.
I love that your featuring local produce and organic sustainable....It's important folks know that bananas don't grow in Mo or Ill and it's really ok....
 
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Joined Nov 17, 2000
Shroomgirl: Great article! We will be in St. Louis on Saturday for the Van Gogh Exhibit. I hope to be able to come to the market, too. I haven't quite figure out how to get there, but surely I can find a map online to take me there. :D
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Clayton Farmer's Market is 5 minutes from Forest Park....Now remember our hours are 8-noon
Get off HWY 40 on Brentwood head North go to Maryland (couple miles) turn Right go a few blocks 4or 5 we're at Maryland and North Central....can't miss us.
Ask for me or I'll be mainly at the demo booth
 
386
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Joined May 11, 2001
I'll definitely check out Clayton Farmers Market soon. My car is currently not in any condition to drive more than a few miles, but once it's fixed, I'll be there ready to absorb everything. Thanks for the directions. I don't go to St. Louis very often, but I do know the Brentwood exit.
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Steady customers, the flower vender did great. The meat guys were slow, really slow.
We had asparagus, baby beets, japanese turnips, radishes(easter, french breakfast, pink ones, white ones etc...)salad greens, baby greens, bedding plants, eggs, lamb, herb jelly, arugula, rosemary, shiitake and oysters, honey and candles, bedding flowers and plants, omelets...pretty yummy. baked goods, cheeses....
soft opening which was ok but totally unexpected I thought the world would decend on us...I've been on NPR (3hours) drive time on a major oldies radio show, we made full page with picture in several publications, calenders in others.3000 schedules at Clayton restaurants. Guess I'm so immersed in it that I see the volume going out, I think folks just need to realize we're back.
The chef doing the tour was alittle scared but did an incredible job...1 hour of discussing different things on the market.
the demos were spinach salad and rhuhbarb crisp....the farmer that raised the spinach talked at the second one.
Yep, setup was easier this time. Breakdown harder, cus we thought it would be easy to do and let everyone bug out.
Gearing up for this week, we have our organic cotton t-shirts, caps with stitched logo, aprons to sell. Bev booth is lined up with cold tea, coffee reg and decaf, herb tea, meramec grape juice, water.
We're pulling out the Weber to do the meat samples...
I got Amish guys calling to come
I found an organic blueberry farmer!!!YES!!!
so life is good....and stress is not too high.
Thanks for asking.
 
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Joined Mar 13, 2001
WOW! Congratulations Shroom!

Your involvement in this is amazing.


Organic blueberry farmer!

Nice find. Keep it up!

:D
 
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Joined Nov 17, 2000
Shroomgirl: Darn, I missed getting to the market Saturday. Traffic was a nightmare and parking was nonexistent at the museum. It didn't set up a great atmosphere for further exploration of St. Louis, if you catch my meaning. But I've been promised a trip to the market in the summer. I checked out the market on the site you posted in another thread. It looks really great! :D
 
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Joined May 6, 2001
That's great Shroomgirl. I can't wait to chek out your farmers market, it will be a week or too for ours to start up.


Svadhisthana :D
 
386
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Joined May 11, 2001
Finally found this post. I'm just adding this message so it's near the top again and I won't have to take an hour trying to find it when I forget the directions again. I might go this Saturday.
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Should be a great week, bring your ice chest!!! The meat is incredible, I have been eating the brats with farm eggs and chanterelles for breakfast.
Berries, Berries, berries.....I just got the demo recipe...get this 5# goat cheese 1/3cup truffle oil, 1/2 cup roasted garlic.....sounds like a recipe every home cook would use. Sometimes I just shake my head and sigh.
Look me up Risa, every farmer will point me out as I run by.
 

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