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Posts Tagged ‘Green Toe 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.

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 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!

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Its Saturday morning, so put “Tailgate Market” on your morning agenda. Quick…before the morning is whisked away and your opportunity to get genuinely local and delicious food has evaporated.

Last week I got some just-dug new potatoes from Green Toe Ground Farm. How could I tell how fresh they were? The skins were very tender, with patches of potato flesh shining through. There were blue-skinned/yellow-flesh potatoes,

New Potatoes from Green Toe Ground Farm

and red-skinned/white-flesh potatoes. They were eaten by suppertime – tossed with olive oil, fresh basil, and a tad of salt. Simple, easy, and extraordinary. Why? They came straight from the darkness of the earth into my pot and on to my dinner plate.

But look at all the goodies from last week’s market. This week’s bounty will be even better!

Beautiful Pickling Cucumbers from Ivy Creek Family Farm – Made into a Cooling Summer “Salad” as a topping for Wild Alaskan Salmon

More Tailgate Market Goodies…Green Beans, Tender Lettuces, and Savory Onions

Dancing Woods Soap, with Simple, Clean Ingredients…my Favorite! Plus Squash from Gaining Ground

Blueberry Hand-Pie from Sweetheart Bakery (I shared)

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2011 Family Farm Tour

June 25 & 26, Saturday and Sunday

1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Connect the dots ~ See the farms where your food is grown.

I have been on lots of farm tours, and I have a great time every single time I go. Each farm is unique and special in some way. Most farmers give you a guided tour, and local farmers produce a variety of goods ~ veggies, meat, eggs, dairy, honey, and flowers. So check out the sort of things that interest you most. It’s a fun, educational experience that gives you & your family a chance to visit the farms you buy your food from. I know this is a bit hoakie, but see actual food growing and actual farm animals. Lots of kids have no idea food doesn’t come from the grocery store.

Tickets are $25 in advance per CARLOAD of people/$30 on the day of the event. You can purchase tickets in more than 14 locations in Buncombe County, and at additional locations in out-laying counties. They can also be purchased at the first farm you visit. The farm tour button allows your CARLOAD to go to as many farms as you wish to during the 2-day tour. Optionally, you can simply pay $10 at each individual farm. Check out the great article in this weeks Mountain Express starting on page 46.

Hints for the Farm Tour:

  • Do NOT arrive early, as most farmers have just gotten back from their Saturday Tailgate Market.
  • Leave your house in enough time to arrive at the farm by 1:00. That will maximize the number of farms you will be able to see during the tour.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, a hat, and some sunscreen. Bring cold water & snacks.
  • Hit the ATM before leaving town so you have cash to buy great stuff from the farmers.
  • No Dogs! Most farmers have their own dogs.
  • You will be able to visit more farms if you plan an efficient route.
  •  Plan to eat at one of the farms on the tour.

Farms offering meals:

Nicole DelCogliano & Gaelan Corozine (Green Toe Ground Farm) are hosting a dinner that starts when the tour ends ~ at 6:30. The rustic Italian three course dinner menu: Handmade Tortellini, braised chicken, raddichio/fennel salad, plus dessert and more. www.greentoegroundnc.com

Stop at Wake Robin Farm for some great wood-fired pizza right out of the oven.

Ivy Creek Family Farm will also be offering meals. This farm is owned by Paul & Anna Littman (Paul used to manage the North Asheville Tailgate Market and their farm now sells at that market and Weaverville).

Authur Morgan School will offer meals too.

For more info on the 2011 Family Farm Tour and the list of  farms on the tour: http://www.asapconnections.org/thefamilyfarmtour.html

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Unplanned and spontaneous ~ Wednesday’s dinner was mostly all-local. The Brussels sprouts that I spied in someone’s bag sent me straight to the Flying Cloud Farm stand; with my mouth watering for this unexpected treat. Ugg…there was a line. I crossed my fingers and hoped that Annie Louise would still have some Brussels sprouts left when I got to the front.  She did, plus baby broccoli-shoots too.

So here was DINNER:

Scallops, marinated in lime juice and zest, sautéed with lime zest and butter

~ from Carolina Wild Seafood

Fingerling Potatoes (Rose Finn Apples), in their coats and tossed in butter

~ from our garden…vegans can substitute olive oil for the butter

Brussels Sprouts, sautéed with organic onions and roasted organic walnuts

~ from Flying Cloud Farm/Annie Louise Perkinson

Micro-Greens Salad

~ from Green Toe Ground Farm/Nicole DelCogliano & Gaelan Corozine

Scallops with Lime Zest Cooking in Butter

And DESSERT:

Shortbread, 2 kinds, Ginger and Pistachio, with Vanilla Ice Cream

~ from Sweetheart Bakery/ Aimee Mostwill

*Vegans:  This is an easy vegan dinner.  The potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and micro-greens salad were vegan (just substitute olive oil for the butter on the potatoes). Add some Smiling Hara Tempeh (from City Market) or Black-eyed peas if you want to add a protein source.

Yummy!

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APB for Local Food Lovers…ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) recently developed two commercials that promote our wonderful area Tailgate Markets. One of the commercials has been named as a finalist in the Google and YouTube 2010 TV for All Contest.

No Kidding.

You can vote for your favorite commercial until Nov. 9. That means you need to vote right now, or at least by Monday at the very latest.  The commercial in question features Annie Louise Perkinson and her daughter, of Flying Cloud Farm, AND the North Asheville Tailgate Market (of recent NY Times fame).  It really is a wonderful video and it is only 30 seconds long…so just do it!

Watch and VOTE here: http://www.youtube.com/tvforall

Did you vote?  Please vote.

The other commercial is equally charming and captures the East Fork Farm girls gathering eggs, Dad with the flock, and panoramic views of East Fork Farm.  Other shots are at the Wednesday Co-op Market and the North Asheville Tailgate Market.

Watch the other commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/user/AppGrown?feature=mhum#p/a/u/0/PWNM-tdaokA

If the Tailgate Market Video wins this contest, ASAP will be awarded $25,000 in Google TV advertising.  In case you don’t know, ASAP (originally Mountain Partners in Agriculture) has done tremendous things to reinvigorate local food and sustainable farming in the Southern Appalachians.  Your support…watch for 30 seconds and vote…will help promote the local food we all love.

The commercials were produced by Patrick Cavan Brown and feature area musicians Galen Kipar and the Galen Kipar Project.

Joe Evans as a mama pig, Halloween at the North Asheville Tailgate Market

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Nicole DelCogliano, Sen. Kay Hagan, Laurey Masterson

Hot! Things were cooking at the Wednesday Co-op Market this week.  If you didn’t see the news on WLOS or read the Asheville Citizen Times, Senator Kay Hagan visited the Wednesday Co-op Market.  A pack of photographers and reporters followed her around as she went to each and every stand at the market, shaking the vendors hands, conversing, and listening to the farmers concerns about Food Safety Legislation pending in Congress.

Senator Kay Hagan co-sponsored the Tester Amendment to the Food

Steve Bardwell of Wake Robin Farm Bread, Sen. Kay Hagan

Safety Bill (Senate Bill 510), an amendment that would exempt producers earning less than $500,000 a year from some of the most burdensome regulations proposed by Senate Bill 510.

According to the Asheville Citizen Times article, “Owners of small farms were especially concerned about a possible $500 annual government registration fee and mandated inspections that could run $95 an hour. Some farmers said earlier this summer that the act, without the amendment’s exceptions, could cost them $5,000 to $10,000 in extra compliance expenses.”  Tailgate Market Fans would be the first to realize that the small producers at our tailgate markets are not in a position to come up with $5,000 to $10,000 per year in extra expenses and still remain in the business of farming!

Blue Ribbon Farm - Okra and Winter Squash

Nicole DelCogliano, market manager, said that the senator purposely choose the Wednesday Co-op Market for her appearance in support of small farmers.  According to Nicole, “Her enthusiasm for local food is authentic and altruistic.  Senator Hagan and her husband are real supporters of local food; they are in a CSA in Greensboro, they have their own garden, and her husband bakes bread every week.  She [Senator Hagan] was very engaging.  I am hopeful that [the amended version of] the bill will pass.”

The ACT paper quotes Nicole as saying “…it’s unrealistic to put small, independent growers on the same plane as giant food producers…Hagan’s work on the amendment is vital. Without it, it would be devastating.”   The WLOS report implied that our real food safety concerns should be focused on factory farms like the ones implicated in the recent egg recall scare.

Senator Hagan Visits the Full Sun Farm Stall

Our beloved tailgate market producers are known entities with real faces, children, and farms that many of us have visited.  They are not corporations!  Our quality of life and our access to healthy fresh food would truly be compromised if the farmers at the tailgate markets went out of business.  Regulations that make sense on factory farms do not make sense for small scale producers, and are financially unfeasible for the small farmer. It’s because they are small scale, that these farms can give us excellent food that is just one step away from a backyard garden.  It is a minor miracle that we are so blessed with such an amazing selection of foods every week during the growing season.

Patryck Battle reminded us that Senator Burr, co-sponsor of Senate Bill 510,

Green Toe Ground Farm Stand & farm intern, Joe Evans

has taken some positive steps to modify the bill’s regulations for small farmers.  Representative Heath Shuler has opposed House Resolution 2749.  Aside from Senator Hagan, right now is a good time to thank Sen. Burr and Rep. Shuler for the steps they have taken, ask for their continued attention to the needs of small producers, and encourage their support of a sustainable local food system.  Action could be taken on this bill in the next week or so.  Lets make it our business to show support for our small farmers and producers by calling the Capital Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or toll-free at 877-210-5351.

Other Market Notes: Barry had lots of different apples.  Both Blue Ribbon Farm and Gaining Ground Farm have black-eyed peas.  Okra.  Beautiful Sunflowers.  Basil for $1 a bag from Frank (subject to change?).  Winter and summer squash. Peppers. Tomatoes. Pears. Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms. Grits and cornmeal. Cowboy cookies.  Plus tons more, and it all tastes good.

Barry Rubenstein's Apples

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