Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Gaining Ground Farm’

sandwich after tailgate 1Fresh + ingredients you won’t find in grocery stores. That is the beauty of our tailgate markets. My sandwich ingredients from today’s tailgate market:  ripe purple tomatoes, crispy white cucumbers, and pan-roasted Italian sweet pepper on a bed of sweet basil, and from the grocery store – organic cream cheese, balsamic vinegar, and local artisan bread.

Yes, you can buy basil and purple tomatoes from the grocery store, but are they this fresh and from people who farm in our neighboring counties? People with kids that they are raising. People with land payments. People we know. Will my meager purchases help send their kids to college? Well, no, not exactly. But each little purchase adds up.

I pray that when they count up their money at the end of each market, it is enough to sustain them and their families. Cause these are some hard working folks. Heros. Their food tastes like it came from my home garden. Just look at the color of that tomato. I mean really look. Soak it in. This food brings me to my knees.

I have missed this food during my recent period of busy-ness. I have missed the people too. Manysandwich after tailgate grilled have been so kind to ask about my recently married daughter. Some conversations have made our eyes well up with emotion. Together, all of us have watched these tailgate market children grow and blossom. Suddenly the baby is a seventh grader is a college student is adventuring in Europe is being married or becoming a parent. Again I am on my knees with wonder, and so grateful that I am sailing along on this lovely planet amid this miraculous journey.

Back to sandwiches. This is important – sandwiches taste so much better when they are made on good bread. It is worth the splurge to get good local bread if you are a sandwich-eater. Pan-roast the peppers. Pile the ingredients to the edge of the bread and grill in a skillet with your choice of fat (I used olive oil).

pistachio shortbread sweetheart bakeryPistachio shortbread cookie for desert from Sweetheart bakery.

Purple tomato from Green Toe Ground Farm. White cucumber from Full Sun Farm. Peppers from Gaining Ground Farm. Basil from Mountain Harvest Organics. Bread from Annie’s Naturally Bakery.

Read Full Post »

Been kinda quiet on the blog front here…especially in the bountiful middle of summer. Right? Well… I bought a house and moved. That is

This is what my life looks like right now (actually last week). Demolition in progress.

This is what my life looks like right now (actually last week). Demolition in progress.

time  consuming, especially when you start tearing out parts of your house. So I am more or less camping in my new house for a while. Before I moved, I was a few blocks from a wonderful Saturday market. Even on Saturdays when I was working, I could quickly grab a few things when the market opened and make it to work on time.

I am going to have to be a little more organized to pull that off now. My new house is closer to the Wednesday Weaverville Market, so I anticipate becoming a regular at that market. I also get an occasional delivery from some Mars Hill farmer friends. Plus this week I bought two pints of blueberries while I was a work – out of a farmer’s trunk.

On the Fourth of July, The North Asheville Tailgate Market was cooking – with customers everywhere and fresh local food piled up in the farm stands. Truly marvelous. Here are some pictures of that market:

NATM July 4 2015

Beautiful!

The line at the Full Sun Farm Stand!

The line at the Full Sun Farm Stand!

Full Sun Farm Eggplant

Full Sun Farm Eggplant

Sweetheart Bakery Mini-Pies

Sweetheart Bakery Mini-Pies

Gaining Ground Farm Stand. I made red, white, & blue potato salad with those fresh-dug potatoes.

Gaining Ground Farm Stand. I made red, white, & blue potato salad with those fresh-dug potatoes.

Ivy Creek Family Farm. Can't remember the name of these striking, almost black, flowers.

Ivy Creek Family Farm. Can’t remember the name of these striking, almost black, flowers.

Read Full Post »

 

Super-fresh Green Chard from Full Sun Farm

Super-fresh Green Chard from Full Sun Farm

 

By the time I got to the Tailgate Market last Saturday, Vanessa was out of spinach. She suggested green chard as a substitute, and even gave me a bunch of Full Sun Farm green chard to try out. This chard embodies vitality. You can SEE it – even in the photo.

We sautéed Gaining Ground Farm onions and once they were clear, added this super-fresh green chard. Once the chard cooked down a bit, we added the East Fork Farm eggs and scrambled until the eggs were just tender. What a great way to start a Sunday morning!

Scrambled Eggs with Full Sun Farm Green Chard

East Fork Farm Scrambled EGGS with Full Sun Farm GREEN CHARD

 

Read Full Post »

Tailgate Market This saturday - Even Though I Arrived Late

Tailgate Market This Saturday – Even Though I Arrived Late

Fall excelled this Saturday with a perfect market day. Because I was late I missed out on some goodies, but look at this luscious bag-full I gathered before the farmers started packing up.

Spinning Spider Garlic Dill Chevre, and a buttery harder cheese from Three Graces Dairy called Castenets

-My favorite Roots & Branches crackers – Olive Oil and Rosemary – to go with the cheese

McConnell Farms Granny Smith Apples for a rustic galette inspired by Mark Bittman

Cathy Osada’s Pound Cake for a tea party to celebrate my friends’ new home and promote good mojo for the upcoming paper signing

-Ultra-fresh green chard gifted by Vanessa of Full Sun Farm to experiment with in lieu of spinach (gardener alert – she says it is VERY cold hardy)

-One dozen eggs from East Fork Farm (not pictured)

-And…the most essential of ingredients – onions from Gaining Ground Farm, one was irresistible  because of its soft red color

Read Full Post »

Chopped Parsley

Chopped Parsley

On a lemony-fall Sunday morning, this LOCAL breakfast brings out my parsley love. As with most herbs, parsley is packed with anti-oxidants and according to a Chicago Tribune article, “Just two tablespoons of parsley, high in vitamin K and the antioxidant vitamins A and C, pack 144 percent [of the daily recommended amount]…of vitamin K for bone and heart health…. and has been shown to stop breast cancer cells from multiplying and growing.”

Twenty four parsley plants line my front walk. The convenience of having the parsley A FEW STEPS from my kitchen cannot be underestimated. In the middle of cooking delicate eggs, I can pull the eggs off the heat, run outside, grab some

Eggs from Mudlicious Gardens - Grocery Store Eggs Pale in Comparison

Eggs from Mudlicious Gardens

parsley, chop it up, and throw it in the skillet – without compromising the eggs. Every single time we add parsley to our meal, we are kicking up the nutrient level, the flavor, and the visual appeal of the dish. Add parsley towards the end of cooking so the flavor is fresh and green. Dried parsley offers good benefits as well, but in Western North Carolina we are able to eat fresh parsley most of the year – and fresh is exponentially tastier. I use parsley at most meals and even as a lettuce substitute on my sandwiches.

Unprotected, my parsley dies back considerably in the coldest part of winter, but in late winter it revives and begins growing again. If you protect your parley with floating row cover it will flourish in the cold months too. A biennial, it is best to replant your parsley every spring because it goes to seed the second season and won’t produce much foliage. Even most apartment dwellers can grow a little parley in their brightest window, so get growing!

LOCAL Scrambled Eggs

LOCAL Scrambled Eggs

My LOCAL breakfast was fast and delicious. The eggs were from Mudluscious Pottery & Gardens (there was even a green egg in the carton!); the onions were from Gaining Ground Farm; the red pepper and the parsley were from my garden; and the Multigrain toast was from Annie’s Bakery. The cheese was not local, but it was organic.

OTHER HARDY HERBS for winter cooking: Routinely add herbs to your cooking. This age-old tradition is an effortless and delicious way to increase your intake of anti-oxidants.

Rosemary – such a savory addition to potatoes, meats, and soups. Demands good drainage in the soil.

Cilantro – Cilantro loves cold weather, not hot weather. Mine lived outside unprotected last winter.

English Thyme – Often happier in wintertime, demands good drainage in the soil.

Dried Basil (not hardy, but delicious dried) – Dry the leaves and store in an airtight jar. Crush leaves just before using. Frozen pesto is unbeatable.

Gardener/Chef Note: In my opinion, flat leaf parsley tastes even better than curly leaf parsley – but it is not as attractive as an edging to your walkway.

Parsley Plants Lining the Walkway

Parsley Plants Lining the Walkway

Read Full Post »

Gaining Ground Farm

Gaining Ground Farm

Spring and summer have been ultra busy with teaching a few classes, my niece’s wedding, my daughters graduation from Chapel Hill, a trip to Italy and France, the busy season at work, and my daughter starting her post-graduation job – thus my market visits this season have been sporadic or a quick dash before work.

Today was my first leisurely Saturday in quite a while. My Saturday plan? The tailgate market of course. So…rain happened…the kind of rain that my friend Stacia would call a “lady rain” – slow, steady, and penetrating.

No. The rain wasn’t going to stop me. I got my raincoat and my wide-brimmed hat (umbrella-like) and set off for the beckoning market. Despite the weather, the parking lot was surprisingly full of customer vehicles. LOVE the hard-core customer base of each tailgate market, because all the farmers/bakers/ venders were there rain or shine – waiting for us to show up.

I had the luxury of visiting with some of my vendor buddies this morning, ate an entire sticky bun (made with Carolina Ground flour), and gathered delicious goodies for the coming week.

Full Sun Farm’s lettuce mix has been addicting. Their mix dramatically contrasts the listless mixes from the grocery store; Vanessa’s mix isIMG_3936 vibrant and fresh for many days. It’s full of life. This is true of other lettuce mixes at the market too. Get the lively stuff! A customer in Gaining Ground’s booth was rhapsodizing about the red onions and how beautifully they cook up. Anne also had sure-to-be-tender baby eggplants. Gorgeous tomatoes splashed their reds across the market, including heirlooms and cherries. Even though I still have a couple of tomatoes from the West Asheville Market on Tuesday, I got a couple more to make sure that my lunch sandwiches have sunshine-y tomatoes as a main feature! Mountain Harvest Organics had ‘Red Gold’ potatoes which I wanted to plant those this year (but didn’t)…so I going to taste them courtesy of Julie & Carl’s farm.

Three Graces Dairy let me sample some of their hard cheese and “Pas de Trois” was my choice – a cheese made from cow, goat, and sheep milk. The amazing cheese shops we visited in Italy and France left a lasting impression – so many choices, so little time. I pray I never have to give up dairy products.

I ate my entire sticky bun while I was at the market. I confess that I intended to cut it into fourths and eat it in parts over the next day. Ha. Plus, from Cathy Osada, I have one slice of the-real-deal pound cake waiting in the wings.

What was most impressive about today was the number of customers who did show up. I heard one farmer say they would probably only make one-third of their normal income because of the weather, but all were in good spirits and the sky even looked a little brighter as I left. Once more, I must underscore how very blessed we are to have beautiful markets so accessible to us throughout most of the week. Giant gold stars to those who are out supporting the farmers and vendors on inclement weather days. If you stayed home and cozy this week, think about grabbing your umbrella next time to ensure these farmers will keep bringing their beautiful foods to our markets and making our dinner tables shine with something money can’t buy.

IMG_3942

Pas de Trois Cheese, baby eggplant, lettuce mix, paste tomato, pound cake, red onion bunch, tomato, lettuce mix, ‘Red Gold’ potatoes

Read Full Post »

 At The Market


At The Market

On Wednesday, I showed up at the Montford Farmers Market past closing time. Even though most of the farmers had already gone home, a few were still packing up and I was lucky enough to find some fresh strawberries. Halleluiah! These Flying Cloud Farm strawberries were destined to become baby strawberry shortcakes to help celebrate a friend’s graduation from Asheville High. The extra handful of strawberries made perfect smoothie material. I also discovered some serviceberries on this trip, an unexpected treat.

On Saturday two weeks ago, I got organic greenhouse tomatoes from Thatchmore Farm. What a treat to have tomatoes on my sandwiches for the first time since October. Alas, this week I arrived too late and the tomatoes were sold out, but I did find plenty of other goodies. I could not resist the gorgeous red butterhead lettuce from Gaining Ground Farm…even though I have lettuce growing in my own garden…very irrational of me! I needed a red cherry tomato plant and I found a Sweet Million Tomato at B & L Organics. I still haven’t planted it and the other tomatoes in my garden are huge in comparison. (it has been great gardening weather!) The Wake Robin Farm Rye loaf is almost gone (lunch bread all week), so I will be looking for bread tomorrow. I made a yummy little quiche with Anne Gaine’s eggs, and Ivy Creek’s spinach & broccoli. Planning on cooking up the kale I got from Green Toe Ground Farm with some pinto beans. Really and truly, I DID spot some squash last week at the market. Time to make some squash casserole and feel like summer is really here.

So, the moral of the story is…if you really have your heart set on something special – like strawberries or tomatoes – get to the markets early.

Soon to be Strawberry Shortcake!

Soon to be Strawberry Shortcake!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: