Know your food, your farmer and producer. Connect, learn, create a relationship.

Point Labaddie Farmers Market
Thursday, May 16, 2018

Although the market is quickly approaching this afternoon and I have a busy morning contacting a few more vendors and making last minute “tweaks” for the market today, I have a few thoughts to share with you about local, seasonal food, food purchased directly from the producer, making those connections and the growing pains for a new market…..
Although it is NOT MY GIFT, I will try to keep this short and elaborate over the coming days and weeks. It IS my gift to be passionate and to do my best to educate, inform and inspire the farmers market community.

First of all, as a new market makes it’s mark in this community I continue to ask that you stick with us and have patience as we grow and as the season progresses. Actually that has been the case with established markets all over the area this season. It has been a slower, wetter, colder, delayed season for producers. We have had some very beautiful and super tasty early season produce. The produce that does well in the cooler, early season weather has been above and beyond gorgeous and tasty. Other spring and early season veggies needed a little more warmth and sunshine to peek out of the ground and prosper. They are now popping and we shall see and enjoy more local, seasonal produce. Meanwhile, please continue to visit, make purchases and ENJOY the produce, meats, honey, mushrooms and other local items each week.
I have had a few vendors that I know quite well and love and trust comment to me that they hesitate taking the time and effort to set up and attend a new market with no proven customer base or sales. And I understand. I have customers asking and commenting about the vendor and market growth and I understand that as well. I will have to say that the first week of market was such a positive experience and positive vibe! Everyone was very supportive and had a great attitude. So let’s ALL keep it up and continue the momentum over the next few weeks and soon it will be hopping and popping! THANK YOU. THANK YOU!

Today we will have salad mix and lettuces, sprouts, broccoli, peas, snow peas, spinach, sorrel, arugula and maybe a few surprises. Cultivated ginseng plants are on the vendor list today. That’s quite unique. Local, raw honey and morel mushrooms will also be available.

Next on my mind is about creating relationships with your food producers and the importance of knowing where your food comes from and who grows it and produces it….
” Dude, I really DIG this soil”
SOIL health and soil biodiversity is a crazy, geeky, interesting FACT that we all need to know about and is VITAL to all of our food health, nutritional value, tastiness and beauty  (meat, eggs, honey,veggies, everything). Nowadays, organic, certified organic, CNG (certified naturally grown), NonGMO, Bt, genetically modified etc etc are all popular and sometimes confusing terms. Some of these words and terms are regulated by the government or other agencies and some have no control or regulation on how they are used or what they mean.

Over the last year or so, I am seeing, hearing and liking some other words and terminology that have more meaning to me when speaking to a producer and wanting to know their production methods. Words and terms like “sustainable”, “biodynamic”, “soil regenerative”, “permaculture”, “agroecology” are all words and terms and production methods that could be considered above and beyond organic. If that is a practice and term that is important to you when you purchase your food, you may want to learn more about the others. Additional terms that you might be familiar with or want to know are “pastured”, “humanely raised”, “100% grass fed”, “holistic” and…..you let me know and I will do my best to inform and educate in further posts or messaging.

I have always made the best attempts possible to bring a variety of vendors that will supply the market customer with EVERY possible, seasonal, local variety of produce and farm product each week. Customers have various priorities, needs and budgets when planning menus and purchasing food. I want the customer to feel welcome and to encourage asking me questions if a vendor is busy or not available. I have visited many farms and have talked a great length with the producers so that I am educated and informed about what they do and how they do it. All varieties and levels of producers will be at the market. They are all great folks, making, producing and growing quality, delicious food for you to purchase and enjoy. I have  and will continue to purchase my food from all the vendors at the market throughout the season. We can, pressure can and preserve as much food as possible throughout the season and enjoy local, farm fresh food throughout the year. I will be sharing some of those ideas, recipes and inspiration as the season progresses. Strawberry season is around the corner and strawberry jam is on my list. I am popping the last few jars of last year’s reserve, so it’s now time to make more!

Today at the market we have Stuart Farm, Rosy Buck Farm, Farrar Out Farm, Alpacas of Troy, St Louis Mushrooms and Foraged Foods, Weidner Farm, Stella Grace and a few other vendors that I am going to get proper names and titles for that will include local, produce, cultivated ginseng plants, jams and jellies and more. The phone calls, texts, messages, visits and word of mouth among vendors is growing faster than I can keep up with for the moment.

 

Stay Tuned and Many Thanks for your continued support.
René, Market Manager