Farmers Markets

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by seattledeb, May 4, 2001.

  1. seattledeb

    seattledeb

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    Just read a good article on Farmers Markets in this month's Cooking Light issue. The woman in the article said something about the ever decreasing amount of farmland in the US and the importance of buying locally/seasonally, and knowing where your produce comes from. I know I want to buy organic whenever possible.

    Our big market is Pike's, and I'm not sure how often (once a month?) they have a special organic (or used to) section at the market (in the street).

    Does everyone have a close, good farmers market they frequent?

    [ May 04, 2001: Message edited by: SeattleDeb ]
     
  2. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Well, why Yes, SeattleDeb. Starting Sat May12 I'm closing off a street in the middle of OLD TOWN CLAYTON and lining up farmers on both sides of the double yellow line. Oh Baby this market is special...Cooking demos where a featured farmer talks and answers questions with a chef who is cooking his products (is this not a really cool thing.)
    Tours given by a different chef, he talks about what he does with the different items on the market....live music, fresh omelets, dieticians giving free nutritional information, master gardeners answering organic gardening questions....gift certificates to the restaurants given away. Visiting authors and chefs.....info on sustainability and the differences in organic and sustainability....many volunteers that recieve market money for working a shift....whew!!!!check it out on www.saucecafe.com under chef's collaborative click on the eggplants to see Clayton Farmer's Market Pix. PS Nicko just put up an article I wrote on the market.
    I write about my farmers so you'll get a sense of being there.
     
  3. kimmie

    kimmie

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    You remind me of Alice Waters. Keep it up, it's too important!

    ;)
     
  4. greg

    greg

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    Shroom, I've seen some nice compliments on this board, but that has got to be the be all and end all of them! BTW, I agree with Kimmie! :cool:
     
  5. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Thanks guys!!! Alice Waters is my hero.
    You'll love the latest idea...I have a Go Food booth that rents for $100 a Sat. Well I'm letting Junior chefs (any groups, either from ACF or our Community College F&B, or Deiticans or James Beard Group juniors for competition....raise money by selling prepared food...(we have a small grill if they want to do charcuterie) The stipulation is that 80% of the food needs to be from the market!!!Get the incoming used to working with farmers and fresh seasonal produce...plus they raise monies for their projects. I love this one.

    Also I've started inviting legislators to the market to see a place that the farmers are actually able to make a living. It still really gets me when I talk to a farmer's wife who leaves home at 6am returning at 8:30pm, who has 3 children from 6 mos to 12 years...you think chefs have it rough...farmers wifes that work outside of the farm then come home to farming and families THAT in my mind is a strong woman.
    My personal goal is to make a "market" whether it is wholesale to restaurants or at the farmer's market that allows these farmers to make a living JUST farming and not working elsewhere unless they want to.
    These people represent a future environment I want to be around....I want to live in a community that supports sustainability through diverse symbiotic farming...ie having goats eat grass nubs so your cows don't get pink eye( milk too), having chicken tractors to clean up vegetation debry and leave high nitrogen poop(eggs too),
    having bats to eat bugs so your garden flourishes, piggies eating rhizomes so that you aren't overunidated by Johnson grass (bacon too)>
    All this done without using chemicals or stripping the land of nutrients....these practices add to the soil and wellbeing of a farm....This is the difference between large organic monocrop (earth depleating) companies and Sustainable farming (trying to be self-sufficient on your land as much as possible).
    Most of you don't know OTA (Organic Trade Association) who is quoted alot in the media is large organic farms with a spokes person.
    Or that NOP (National Organic P???) or NOSB are our gov't agencies set up to advise our gov't on organic practices....there are no small farmer's on the committee the only farmer is CEO of a $24m company.....SO any policies coming out of Washington DC are with a biais to large monocrop organic companies, who want into the lucrative organic market....I still shake my head in amazement that this proliferates....who is watching them....They would turn our country into a mass production farm and alter the soil....This is better than GMO's which are (I have no words I can print here) Why aren't we helping the sustainable symbiotic farms flourish, why as a country do we finacially support companies that create pollution and unhealthy food???? The more I understand the more I work to see that these small farmers proliferate....I'll work on a way to easily replicate the market or educational info that makes chefs and the general public aware of what is coming down, and how changes can be made. SOAP BOX> I've been told many can't follow my thought processes, if you guys don't understand something please ask....
    Thanks again, I need the good vibes coming in...
     
  6. seattledeb

    seattledeb

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    Agreeing with the above...you make me want to make a stop in St Louis...great article too! Thanks Shroom.
     
  7. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    If you've a mind to in your community visit your farmer's market, talk to the farmers/brokers find out which are which...
    Where the produce, meats etc are coming from....then make a deal to take what you can use at the end of market so they go home empty. Or do cooking demos at your market...only takes a couple of burners (you know the omelet single propane jobs) and then whatever your making...have the farmer talk with you....ask questions about their farms....like do they have pastured animals, do they use growth hormones or antibiotics.
    Do they foster birds and bats? do they use chicken tractors? What do they feed their critters
    Go visit the farms, take your kids you'll love I guarantee. It will make you apprecite what an organic sustainable farmer does and the effort that goes into his products. I was on a radio show yesterday where the chef opposite me took 1/2 his crew to a farm for a morning to work and see what goes on...they talked about it for monthes and didn't waste as much.
    Have picnics on the farms and invite other chefs
    Ask farmers to do a special grow for you.
    Do a Farmer Dinner.
    Take a class out to a farm and do alittle cooking demo
    Get involved with the farmers and involve any publicity you can, it will only increase the "coolness" of buying local organic.
    If your doing demos or classes talk about your new farmer friends and the differences in their premium products....tell why the price may be higher than brokers selling seconds or mass produced flavorless food
    How the farmer hand picks and doesn't stack heirloom tomatoes cus they'll burst.But the shelf life and general lack of initial waste makes it fiscally a better buy.
    Or just Buy local sustainable....$$$ is an action that keeps them in business.
    Ummm think I'm supposed to be typing schedules and beverage forms...gotta go...glad your interested...talk it up...chefs have clout now, people will follow your lead.

    [ May 08, 2001: Message edited by: shroomgirl ]
     
  8. momoreg

    momoreg

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    Shroomgirl,

    I read your article on the front page, and it is inspiring to read how much work has gone into this project, and how successful and rewarding it's been. I wish I was passing through St. Louis. Your market would be my first stop! It sounds like a very gratifying job. Please continue teaching us and everyone out there how we can all contribute to the cause. It is very important to educate people on the whys and hows of supporting local farmers.

    <<<<<<Positive vibes>>>>>>>
     
  9. seattledeb

    seattledeb

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    Had a wonderful morning at our little Gig Harbor farmers market. Bought one dozen Pacific oysters, two lbs clams, blackberry honey, and several herbs to start my garden. Sunny morning, rain expected this afternoon (fingers crossed, we need it).