Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Market in Winter

In winter the market rests, but it is still open. Unless the weather is very cold there will be a few vegetables from the hoop houses. The apple vendors are almost always there. The beef/buffalo and the egg vendor are almost always there too.

In winter we continue to go to the Market, Kerrytown shops and the Peoples Food Coop every Saturday just as we do in the warmer weather. It is only that more of the purchases are from the indoor shops in the winter than in summer.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner from the Market

Our Thanksgiving dinner items from the Market:

Turkey - Our family Farm
        Stuffing bread - Millpond Bakery
Herbs - our own garden
Apples for the Pie - Kapnick Orchards
Apple, cranberry lettuce salad - Wassem Fruit Farm &
        Brines Farm lettuce
Butternut Squash (not shown) Donahee Farms
Leek casserole (not shown) Garden Works leeks

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


It is November and time to talk turkey. The Market is a great place to get a local turkey. Ernst Farms and John Hochstetler (Our Family Farm - an egg vendor) sell turkeys at the Market. You can also order a turkey from Gary Kunneman (TMZ Farms - the beef buffalo vendor). Ask any of these vendors for order details, but do it soon the order deadline is close.

What is the distinction? Ernst Farms and Our family Farm raise their own turkeys and sell them at the Market as a product they produce. Gary Kunneman can deliver a turkey from another local grower. This does not meet the Market requirement that items sold at the market be produced by the vendor. Therefore he does not sell the turkeys at the Market, but you can place an order with him and arrange delivery or pick-up.

Of course, Gary can sell you beef or buffalo for Thanksgiving or Judy Hannewald (Hannewald Lamb) will sell you a rack of lamb if you prefer that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

October at the Market

Shop at the Market and support your local ghoul
Photo by Mary Morgan - Ann Arbor Chronicle

Monday, October 12, 2009

Peppers and Chilies at the Market

We had an interesting improvised dinner from the Market this weekend that I thought I would verbally share.

It started when John, the Our Family Farm vendor, offered us a good deal on peppers. it seems the cool wet summer had made his peppers or chilies slow to ripen and now the danger of frost is near. So John had a excess of of many green peppers; bell peppers, wax peppers, jalapenos, and even green Thai chilies.

It is common in Mexican and Thai cuisine to use green chilies when a green sauce is desired, so it seemed logical to make a green dish. We did a variation of the Italian peppers and pasta but instead of using different colored bell peppers we used the variety of green ones we got from John.

The recipe is simple; saute the peppers, onions, and garlic in olive oil, add chopped tomatoes for color. We used all the types of peppers we had. The mild bell peppers, the jalapenos, even the Thai chilies. I sampled small pieces of each type of pepper so that I did not get the mixture too hot. I wanted it warmer than the traditional Italian dish but not super hot. John's peppers seemed quite mild so I used more jalapenos and Thai chillies than I would normally expect to use in this type of dish.

In keeping with the green theme we served it with spinach pasta, topped with grated Parmesan cheese and garnished with parsley. (Pastabilities Fettuccine and Parmesan from Sparrow's Market, parsley from our herb garden.)

It was really good! The process of improvising with available fresh ingredients is one of the things I like about the Market. It reminds me of past home cooking from the garden. To me, this is much more interesting and fun than searching for specific ingredients in the supermarket and measuring them to conform to a printed recipe.

We got the balance of the taste of the peppers and the heat of the chilies just right, but of course that is personal preference. In this case, I liked the result better than the standard dish that was the original basis. This won't always happen but when it does it is very rewarding and that is why I am sharing this experience. Sorry, no pictures, we ate it all.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall and apples at the Market

Alex Nemeth introduced another variety of apples to the market this fall, the Wolf River Apple. This is not a new hybrid, it would be more accurate to consider it a heritage apple. It originated as a seedling on the banks of the Wolf River near Fremont Wisconsin about 1880.

It was long considered a very good cooking apple. It appears to have fallen from commercial favor because the apple does not store well. Fortunately the trees have remained available.

One of the characteristics of the Wolf river apple is that it is very large. OK, that isn't a full sized bushel basket, but the apple is large. This means you don't have to peal very many to make a pie.

Alex told us the story of a friend of his that used to take the Inter-Urban to Toledo with her mother. Her mother often bought her a baked Wolf River Apple on the Inter-Urban. My mother also used the Inter-Urban to travel to Toledo where she met my father. I don't know if she ever bought a Wolf River baked apple or not, but when I heard the story and saw the apple I had to try them.

The recipe we used was just to core the apple, fill the core space with brown or maple sugar; bake and periodically baste with the sugar syrup. When my mother baked apples she cut them in half, cored them leaving a depression in the center. Then she filled this with brown sugar and often raisins and walnuts. I am going to try that method next time.

Here is a link to a blog by Alex and Agnes's daughter nemethorchards.blogspot.com

Sunday, August 2, 2009

August at the Market

August is the beginning of the peak harvest season. Summer vegetables are there such as


HERBS, and EGGPLANT. The summer fruit is also there


Saturday, May 2, 2009

May at the Market

It is now May at the Market. Spring is in full bloom.

Dennis Sparr is back with many flowers and plants.
Linda Hormes is making her selection.

Early spring food has also appeared.

Asparagras from the Merry Berry Farm

and Ruhbarb from Alex Nemeth

Monday, March 2, 2009

First Spring Flowers at the Market

These daffodils were at the Market February 28. A little warmer March weather and they will be joined by many others.

Puzzy willows may not be generally considered as a flower, but they really are the flower of this shrub. Bruce Upston stated that these are field grown, not assisted by a green house so they are the first true native Michigan flower of the season at the Market.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine's Day Dinner from the Market

The Farmers Market may not seem a likely place for the basis of a fresh locally grown dinner in February, but it is possible. We didn't start with the goal of an all local dinner but we were surprised how close it came.

First course was fresh salad greens from Brines Farms. I think february 14th was the first time Shannon Brines was at the Market in 2009. The earlier absence was hardly surprising considering the temperature and snow. I was quite happy to see his hoop house could keep a crop even under the January adverse conditions and deliver fresh greens with just a bit warmer weather and some sunshine.

The main course was an elk steak. The steak came from Gary, the beef/buffalo vendor at the Market, through his speciality food distribution company. It was not local and is not available at the Market. Gary has been at the Market all winter representing TMZ Farms and substituting a cut of beef or buffalo from them would have kept the main course local and from the Market.

The final element of our dinner, was dessert from the market. Two alfajores from Maitelates of the Market were an outstanding conclusion to a simple, but elegant diner, primarily from the Market.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Late Winter at the Market

There are two primary reasons to shop at the market, local and fresh products.

In the middle of Winter the meat and egg vendors are the only farm vendors meeting both of these criteria. But Millpond bakery and Maitelates , the chocolate cookie person, were there last week with fresh local baked products. Maitelates now sells jars of Dulche de Leche, a creamy caramel, that is wonderful as a sauce over Hagen Daz vanilla ice cream from Sparrow Market.

All three apple vendors are very consistently there selling local farm produce from storage. One vendor was there with stored root vegetables. A few artisans also come all year. Throughout the coldest days of Winter there has been 10 to 20 vendors at the Market every Saturday.

Last Saturday, Gary the TMZ beef/buffalo vendor was using the very cold weather to complete the freezing of some freshly packed beef and buffalo. Of course we bought some. At the time another customer asked "What does buffalo taste like" Gary referred the question to me, and the short answer is beef. A more complete comparison is here.

The Ann Arbor Chronicle has more information on Maitelates.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Market in Winter

The Farmers Market changes after January 1. The Saturday market is still open but the Wednesday Market does close. The Saturday Market becomes very peaceful. In general the apple vendors, the egg vendors, meat vendors, and some bakers will continue to come unless the weather is very bad.

The food vendors at the Market on Jan 3, 2009 included:

Alex Nemeth - apples
Kapnicks Orchard - apples
Wassem Orchard - apples and jams
Our Family Farm - eggs and honey
TMZ Farms - beef and buffalo
Millpond Bakery - breads
Fusilier - eggs
Hannaweld - lamb
Brines Farm - fresh salad greens
Maitelates - chocolates
Kern Road - jams and jellies
about 4 artisan vendors