Free Raised Bed Workshop April 1st

Plan to join us Saturday April 1st from 10 am to 2 pm for a potluck lunch and a hands on raised bed workshop for all skill levels at the Grayson National Bank conference center in the Gywnn shopping center next to FoodCity

. We’ll talk about planting dates, spacing, interplanting and succession plantings. Using information from the best national and local gardeners you’ll learn to apply these techniques to a single raised bed or a full sized market garden. Hope to see you then! We are able to offer the workshop free of charge thanks to our FMPP grant from the USDA. The class is limited to 50 people. Please email Michelle Pridgen at independencefarmersmarket@gmail.com to register. Don’t forget to bring a dish to share.


Pre-season Vendor Meeting and Potluck lunch

Friday April 7th

Plan to join us Friday April 7st from 11 am to 2 pm for a potluck lunch  at the Grayson National Bank conference center in the Gywnn shopping center next to FoodCity

Learn about becoming an IFM vendor,sign up for the season and enjoy a potluck lunch with your fellow vendors. Please bring any scales you plan to use at the Market so they can be certified by VDACS.

Some recipes from 2016-finally!

Chef Jen Cooks August 5th:

Gazpacho:
Hand mince the onion and rinse in cold water.( rinse anytime to you plan to eat an onion raw) Chop garlic and hot pepper in a food processor until fine. Add tomatoes and cucumbers and pulse until chunky or desired consistency. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, minced parsley and basil.

Squash with tomatoes and shiitake powder:
Saute sliced squash, chopped onions and minced garlic in a blend of butter and olive oil until squash is tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add chopped tomato and a tablespoon of shiitake powder from Baywood Organics. It adds flavor and thickens the sauce.

Pico de gallo:
Hand chop and rinse onion. You want ½ to 1 cup onion. Chop 2 cups of tomatoes and 3 Tablespoons minced hot peppers. Mince 2 cloves of garlic, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro and salt to taste.

Quesadilla:
Can be made with corn or flour tortillas. Put the tortilla in hot pan, oil the pan If you are using corn tortillas, but not for flour, top with a mix of grated muenster and cheddar. Top with another tortilla, brown and flip. Toast until just starting to brown and cheese melts. Think grilled cheese sandwich. They can also be stuffed with almost anything: avocados, pico de gallo, sauteed veggies or cooked meats.

Veggie Quesadilla:
Saute thinly sliced squash, onions, peppers and garlic until tender. Follow recipe above adding a bit more cheese on the sauteed vegetables.

Beef Quesadillas:
Chop onions and saute until lightly caramelized. To the hot pan add finely chopped or ground beef seasoned with salt, pepper and ground cumin. Stir over medium heat until done. Follow recipe above adding a bit more cheese on the cooked meat. Substitute pork or chicken. This is great with leftover meats.

Homemade chips:
Cut corn or flour tortillas into 6 or 8 pieces and fry in favorite oil. Jen uses pork fat from pastured pig. Remove from oil when crisp and golden, drain well. Salt

Roasted tomato salsa:
Place whole tomatoes on a hot grill and roast until blackened. Mix in a blender with cilantro, peppers, garlic, salt and apple cider vinegar . Leave a bit chunky. Pour in bowl, add hand chopped and rinsed onions.

Pork burgers with veggies:
Chop green onions and mince garlic, place in a bowl with grated summer squash and a pinch of shiitake powder. Add ground pork and mix well. Form into patties, season with sriracha, salt, pepper and grill until done.

Sauteed squash and brats:
Slice squash and saute in a mix of butter and olive oil. Slice brats and saute until done. Mix together and top with pico.

2017 Schedule

Happy New Year!  Here’s the Independence Farmers Market schedule:  all Market days are Fridays unless noted otherwise.

May  12- Grand Opening

May 26-Herb Day.  Chef Jen cooks with herbs

June 9-1st of 2 Fiber Days

June 30-Kids Day.  Join Cowboy Don,Ranger Amelia,4H, BRDC and more for fun for the whole family

Tuesday July 4- Town Parade

July 21-Berry Festival.  Enter the Berry pie contest and enjoy delicious sorbet and everything Berry

July 28-Take a Break from the Interstate HWY 21 yard sale

August 4-Tomato Festival.  Free tomato tasting, enter the salsa contest, and join the fun of the Monster Tomato Weigh-in.   It’s also the 2nd Fiber Day

August 7-13- Farmers Market Week

September 8-Pepper Day. Enjoy a free pepper tasting

October 13-Apple Festival and end of the Market season.  Enter the Apple Dessert Contest and join in the Community Cider Pressing.

October 20-Post season vendor meeting and potluck

November 24-1st Winter Market and Christmas Tree Fund raiser

Saturday December 2-2nd Winter Market and Christmas Tree Fund Raiser.  Enter the Chili contest and stay for the Christmas Parade.

 

November and December Events

Please welcome Abby Williams Nicolo as our new On-line Market Manager as we also say good-bye and many thanks and good wishes to Penny Bergeron our past manager. Friends of the Market may already know Abby as our Kid’s Corner Coordinator. Come greet Abby and join us November 16th for the first On-line Market Open House. Sample products and get ideas for holiday entertaining. Tim Mansfield will be sharpening,so bring those knives,scissors, chainsaw chains etc….

Beautiful pesticide-free Christmas trees and wreaths from Brookgreen Farm are available again this year for pre-order on the On-line Market. This is one of our largest fund-raising efforts for the Market. We appreciate your support and are pleased to be able to offer such a high quality product.

Join us   Green Friday, November 25th and December 3rd,  11 am to 3 pm at Town Park for our Winter Markets and Christmas Tree Fundraisers. Enjoy free kids activities, listen to Christmas carols sung by the Highland Camerata at 12:30, shop for delicious local products  and beautiful crafts, and pickup your pre-ordered Christmas trees and wreaths.  In addition December 3 features the 2nd Annual Chili Cook-off.  Free to enter, $5 to taste and vote for your favorite and $25 to the winner!  Bring entries to the Market from 11-11:30.Tasting starts at 11:45 and the winner will be announced at 1:30.  Be sure to stay for the Christmas Parade, it starts at 3pm.

September and October Events

Chef Jen  will be cooking on Pepper Day September 9th.  We’re thinking about a Chef Jen cookbook as a fund raiser for the Market.  Stop by the manager tent and tell Michelle if you’d be interested.  Enjoy our annual free pepper tasting.  Did you know that ALL peppers change color?  Taste green and ripe varieties side by side and discover the wide range of flavors and heat found in peppers we can grow in our region.  Ashe County pimento was mentioned in a recent issue of Garden and Gun magazine, here’s your chance to try it before it becomes famous!

September 16th is the final Fiber Day of the season.  Thanks to all our fiber vendors for creating this special day at our Market.  Be sure to come and shop for these amazing locally produced artisan crafts.  Many of vendors also raise the animals that produce the fleece that goes into these products.

 

October begins with the last Cooking Day of the season on October 7th.

The Market season closes with the Apple Festival.  Bring your apples to the Market to press-don’t forget to bring containers- or purchase cider that we’ll be pressing as a fund-raiser for the Market.  Apple Fest also features an apple dessert contest.  Bring your entry to the market by 10 am,  Judging at 11 am.  The top prize is a $25 gift certificate to the Market!

November and December feature our Winter Markets and Christmas tree fund raisers on November 25th and December 3rd.  We’ll be offering organically grown trees again this year.  Jen, Gesh and I personally select each tree and we are very picky.  We pick  nice fat ones (my favorite) and taller skinny ones( favored by Gesh and Jen)  They are fresh and locally grown in Grassy Creek by the Joyce family.  You can reserve your trees on the on-line Market.

 

Recipes from June and July Cooking Days with Chef Jen

COOKING DAY- June 1st:

Biscuits and gravy:

Jen started the morning with biscuits and gravy. She made the biscuits at home.  Heartmoss Farm sausage was browned until done. Add a handful of flour and stir until the flour is browned and fat is absorbed, making a quick roux.  Add milk gradually while stirring until thickened. Season with white pepper and serve on a biscuit.

Sirloin Tips with Shitake mushrooms:

The sirloin (Little River Farm) was tossed with flour and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Sautée the meat and mushrooms in butter with chopped green onions until the meat is browned. Add stock or water to cover and simmer until the meat is tender adding more liquid as needed.

Roasted Cauliflower:

Heat the grill or oven to 400 degrees.  Toss cauliflower with olive oil, salt, pepper and a big pinch of curry powder and place in a single layer on a pan and roast until browned.

Stuffed Nasturtium Flowers:

Blend together one parts sour cream and 2 parts cream cheese until smooth.  Add honey to taste and pipe into nasturtium flowers.

Quick Pickled Sugar Snap Peas:

Mix in a small saucepan 1 ¼ cups vinegar and 1 tablespoon each salt and sugar.  Bring to a boil and dissolve the spices.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/4 cold cup water.  Pack a quart jar with sugar snap peas that have been washed and stems and strings removed.  Add 4 cloves garlic and 2 dried red peppers or some red pepper flakes in a sterilized quart jar. Pour in the vinegar mixture and keep in the fridge for 2 weeks before using.

Chorizo and White Bean Salad:

Soak 2 cups cannellini beans overnight in enough water to cover by 2 inches.  Pour off water and add 2 cloves of garlic and fresh water to cover. Bring to a boil and then simmer until tender.  Always salt beans after cooking or they will toughen.  Brown the chorizo (Olivia’s legacy) and mix with the cooked beans.  Fill a serving plate with fresh lettuce, top with bean mixture and a dollop of sour cream.  Top with dressing.  Jen’s dressing used a pint each of homemade roasted tomato sauce and sweet red pepper sauce, apple cider vinegar to taste, a dash of sriracha sauce and a drizzle of honey.

Lamb Sausage Meatball Sandwich:

Roll lamb sausage (Heartmoss Farm) into balls.  Brown until cooked through.  Add equal quantities of tomato and sweet pepper sauce and simmer until thickened.  Grate mozzarella on French baguette and toast (Stickboy’s in Boone) .  Top with meatballs.

Chicken and Vegetable Stir fry:

Cut the chicken into small, uniform size pieces and sauté in butter.  Remove from the heat.  Chop vegetables; add olive oil to the pan if needed and sauté.  Jen used carrots, sugar snap peas, mushrooms and squash.  Add the chicken back to the pan when the veggies are almost done.  Season with a dash of sriracha and serve with a sprinkling of chives.

 

COOKING DAY JULY 1ST

Roasted Carrots:

Heat the grill or oven to 400 degrees.  Remove carrot tops and reserve for pesto. Toss scrubbed carrots with salt, pepper and olive oil.  Place in a single layer on heat proof pan and roast until golden brown.  Turn once after 10 to 15 minutes and roast the other side until fork tender.  Most vegetables can be roasted.

Carrot Top Pesto:

Put carrot tops, 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, several tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a pinch of Aleppo pepper (Penzy’s spices) and salt into a food processor and puree.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.  You can add grated parmesan and or nuts if desired but omit lemon juice if you do.

Cole Slaw:

Shred a small head of cabbage.  Shred 2 or 3 carrots.  Add the juice of a lemon, an equal amount of extra virgin olive oil, salt to taste, a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Taste and add a bit of honey or sugar.  You can also add onions, chives and garlic if desired.

Kale Chips:

Heat the oven or grill to 250-350 degrees. ( higher temps will roast faster and need closer attention) Remove the stem and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake on a sheet tray in a single layer for 10-20 minutes.  Flip and continue to roast until crisp.  You can add other seasonings if desired.  Try garlic powder, cayenne, parmesan, lemon zest, onion powder or seasoned salt.  Experiment!

Quick Cucumber Pickle:

Combine in a bowl or Ziploc bag: thinly sliced cucumbers, your preferred vinegar to cover (apple cider, rice wine or white), a bit of honey or sugar, salt and herbs.  Try one or 2 of the following: garlic, chives, parsley, cilantro, green onion, even seaweed.  Cover and leave at room temperature for a few hours for flavors to come together.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Tzatziki:

Combine in the food processor: 8 ounces plain yogurt, 2 peeled and sliced cucumbers, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, the juice of ½ a lemon, salt and pepper, a tablespoon chopped fresh dill, 2 cloves of garlic and a dash of sriracha sauce.  Process until smooth.   Jen served this over raw tender baby  beet greens and Heartmoss lamb burgers.

Blue Cheese Dressing:

Combine in a bowl: ¾ cup sour cream, 1 1/3 cup mayo, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire, ½ teaspoon dry mustard, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper, 4 ounces blue cheese and a dash of sriracha sauce. Blend until smooth.  Best made the day before.  Best with assertive summer greens.

 

 

 

Tomato Festival Kicks off August at the Market

The 5th annual Tomato festival on August 5th is a  great way to start the month of August at the Market.  Enter the Salsa contest and win $25!  No fruit salsas allowed this year, it’s the tomato festival after all!  Bring a quart of salsa to the Market by 10 am.  Tasting begins at 10:30 am.  The people’s choice wins the contest.  Results will be announced at noon. You can also enter the Monster Tomato weigh-in.  Bring your tomato by 11.  Weighing begins after the salsa winner is announced.  Wagon Wheel Farm set the bar pretty high last year with their enormous 2.98 pound tomato.  Don’t let that discourage you, tomatoes seem to running smaller this year and the winner receives a $25 gift certificate to the Market.  Chef Jen will be cooking fresh and delicious food and it’s your opportunity to try all the fabulous tomatoes being sold at the Market in the free tomato tasting.  It’s always fun to see and taste all the different varieties.

National Farmers Market is week is August 8th-13th.  Visit the Market on the 12th to show your support!

The third Friday, August 19th is a monthly Fiber Day.  Visit with your favorite fiber artists.

JULY AT THE MARKET

We close out June with the 5th annual KIDS DAY on the 24th.  Don’t miss this fun-filled day of FREE and FABULOUS kids activities and give-aways featuring Cowboy Don, Ranger Amelia, Miss Ellie, Grayson County 4H, Blue Ridge Discovery Center and the Virginia Department of Health.

July 1st is Cooking Day with Chef Jen-she’s planning lots of simple veggie recipes.  It’s also Wellness Day featuring the Virginia Department of Health and Dr. Karen.  We’ll also be in the 4th of July Parade in Downtown Independence.

The Wednesday Evening Market is now open  every Wednesday from 4-7pm.  The On-line Market is also open for your shopping convenience.  So many opportunities for fresh, local  products!

July 17 is the Berry Festival and our 3rd monthly Fiber Day.  Start your ovens and plan to enter the Berry Pie Contest!  We’ll be selling delicious berry sorbet as a fund-raiser for the Market.

 

July closes with Take a Break from the Interstate HWY 21 Yardsale .On the 29th the Farmers Market will include yard sale. items as well as our usual array of fabulous local products.  Saturday and Sunday will see the lot filled with vendors selling a little bit of everything.

June Events at the Market

Friends of the Market,

It’s finally June and starting to feel like summer!  Lots of produce is coming into the Market and Chef Jen is ready to cook this Friday, June 3rd.  To date the menu includes carrot top pesto, grilled kale salad, beef  with shiitakes,  edible flowers, curried beets and carrots and ….June 10th is Herb Day featuring Ellen Reynolds of Beagle Ridge Herb Farm.  June 15th marks the Grand opening of the Wednesday Evening Market from 4-7pm and the reopening of the On-line Market.  June 17th is the  2nd monthly Fiber Day. June closes out with the 5th Annual Kids Day on June 24th.  Don’t miss the weekly Kids activities each Friday with Abby from 10-11am.

If you missed the cooking demonstration  and recipes for the Rooted in Appalachia Roadshow, here they are…

Miss Pattie’s favorite Stirfry:

1/2 cup of 5 vegetables:  Pattie chose peas, cauliflower, broccoli, green onions  and mushrooms and  1/4 cup of soy sauce.  She washed and chopped the veggies to small bite size pieces and sauted in a little oil until tender and seasoned with soy sauce.

In addition, Michelle added 2 quick and fun recipes for raw carrots:

“Dirt Dip” from Martha Stewart Living  featured roasted kalamata olives  over a ricotta cheese dip.  Dry the olives for 3 hours in a  275 oven.  Process in a food proceessor until finely chopped.  Set aside.  Mix 1 cup ricotta with 1 tablespoon heavy cream and whip.  Top with olive “dirt” and serve with baby vegetables.

Sesame Carrots featured grated raw carrots drizzled with 1 tablespoon roasted seasame oil and 1 teaspoon lemon juice and topped with roasted sesame seeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Market Time!

Friends of the Market,

May is finally here and it’s almost time for the Grand Opening of the Independence Farmers Market at Town Park.  Join us May 13th from 9am to 1pm for delicious produce, locally raised meats and eggs, fresh baked goods and beautiful crafts.  There will be plants for your gardens, both ornamental and edible and the kids can plant seeds in eggshell cups.  After the  Market, walk across the street to the office warming party hosted by Grayson Landcare.  Come see the new office and enjoy baked goods by the talented young cooks at the Grayson County Cate Center.

May 2oth is the first of our monthly Fiber Days.  Save the date, it’s every third Friday.  We close out the month on the 27th with the Rooted in Appalachia Farmers Market Roadshow sponsored by Appalachian Sustainable Development.  There will be kids activities,  cooking demonstration and more and it’s all free!

The Independence Farmers Market is pleased to be able to accept Senior Farmers Market coupons this year and we continue to offer up to a $25 match for SNAP purchases for fruits and vegetables.  It’s like getting FREE vegetables and fruit. We are able to offer the Double Dollar program because we are a member of the Wholesome Wave National Nutrition Network.

Hope to see you there and be sure to bring a friend.