PoP Club at the market!

Kids, join us for our free PoP (Power of Produce) Club at the Winter Farmers Market, starting Jan. 27. Children 12 and under are invited to take 2 bites of a veggie, and get $2 to spend in the market! PoP Club is open 10 to noon, while the market runs 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

PoP Club is sponsored Jan. 27 & Feb. 3 by Laura Lynn Riden, State Farm Insurance Agent. And on Feb. 10 and 17 it is sponsored by The Ferrell Shop. Farm sponsors include Eco Rich Farms. Thank you for your support!

Farmhouse Cooking Demonstration, Jan. 20, 2018

Farmhouse Cooking returns January 20, with Val Colvin, farmer’s wife and expert cook! 

She’ll be cooking up some Butternut Squash in several recipes (see below). If you’re intimidated by this squash, don’t be! First, do you know what it looks like? See if you can pick the Butternut out of this lineup:

 

 

 

Did you pick the one on the left? That’s BUTTERNUT!

Carefully cut the Butternut squash in half lengthwise, using a large knife. Here’s a safe way to cut a hard shelled squash. 

Place  cut squash on baking pan, cut side down, with enough water to put cover the bottom of the pan with about 1/2”. Bake at 350 degrees, until knife inserted easily pierces the skin, approximately 30-40 minutes. If you’re not pressed for time let the squash cool until you can handle it easily. 

Gently turn the squash over and carefully remove the seeds using an ice cream scoop or large spoon.  Mash by either putting into a mixer and whipping or by using a potato masher.  Add butter to taste. This makes a great side dish to replace potatoes or rice in a meal.

FEATURED RECIPES FROM MARKET

Butternut Squash Bake (featured at market Jan. 20)

  • 1/3 C. butter
  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 C. evaporated milk or cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 C. mashed butternut squash
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1/2 C. chopped pecans
  • 1/3 C. flour
  • 3 T. melted butter
  • Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, milk, vanilla and spice. Stir in squash. Pour into a buttered casserole dish. Combine remaining ingredients and sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Cabin Fever Squash Casserole

  • 2 c. mashed winter squash
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • ½ c. chopped onion
  • 2/3 c. grated cheddar cheese
  • ¼ t. salt
  • dash Tabasco or black pepper
  • ¼ c. buttered bread crumbs

Bake winter squash on baking pan, cut side down with enough water to put about 1/2” in the pan. Bake until knife inserted easily pierces the skin. Gently turn the squash over and carefully remove the seeds. I use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to scoop out the soft flesh, leaving the tough outer skin of the shell.

Put the squash into medium bowl. Fry bacon until crisp; crumble into squash. Leave about 1 T. drippings in skillet. Fry onion in drippings until transparent; add to squash. Add cheese. Add salt and Tabasco sauce or pepper; mix well. Put in a buttered baking dish; top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees until heated through and crumbs begin to brown –about 25 minutes,

Butternut Squash Muffins

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 C. Colvin Family Farm Honey or Sorghum Molasses
  • 1/2 C. Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 C. grated raw butternut squash
  • 2 C.  soft whole wheat flour (unbleached can be used in a PINCH)
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/2 C. chopped nuts (optional)

1. Peel and grate butternut squash. Set aside.
2. Crack eggs into a mixing bowl, whip.
3. Mix in next 3 ingredients. Mix well.
3. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients.
4. Add dry ingredients all at once. Mix only until mixed as over mixing will create a tough muffin.
5. Remove the beaters from the mixer, and mix the squash and and nuts in by hand.
6. Fill greased muffin cups 3/4ths the way full if using whole wheat, 1/2 way if using white flour.
7. Bake approximately 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Cool on rack. Serve with fresh butter.

Other Creative Ways to Serve Butternut Squash:

1.    If desired add a small amount of sorghum molasses or brown sugar to taste.

2.   Brown fresh sausage and place on the bottom of a casserole dish. Put baked squash that has been removed from the skin and mashed on top of the crumbled, browned sausage. Top with any number of things such as buttered bread crumbs, chopped nuts, or dry oatmeal, nuts and brown sugar mixture that has melted butter drizzled over the top.

Fresh Savings Program

We are pleased to announce that we’ll be offering the Fresh Saving Program at the Winter Farmers Market. This program DOUBLES the amount of SNAP/Market Money  benefits a person can receive at the market. Scan your EBT/SNAP card at the market, and receive up to $20 in extra market tokens to spend on fresh fruits and veggies!

 

The Fresh Savings Program doubles your SNAP benefits at the market for fresh fruits and veggies, up to $20 per transaction. More information at the Welcome Desk.

Five Tips for Selling at Farmers’ Markets

Here’s a conversaion I overheard recently at an area farmers’ market:

Farmer #1 – “This market s****s.”

Farmer #2 – “What do you mean? This market is great!”

Now, I respect both of these fine farmers, but I have to say, whether a market is “good” or “bad” depends quite a bit on one’s selling ability.

Some vendors are wonderful at selling their products; others, not so much. Here are a few things I have noticed that the successful ones have in common:

  1. Bring a LOT of product. If all you have in your garden is a few heads of cabbage and a tomato, you might want to skip that week and come be a customer. The truth is, there’s something psychologically depressing about an empty table. It says, “well I’m not a very good grower, here’s all I have.”  One farmer told me he didn’t want to put all his stuff out because the kids might knock it over. OK. That’s a legitimate reason to buy a really sturdy table, but not a good reason to hide your product from your customers. If I have to take the LAST item on your table, it makes me think I’m somehow depriving you… no thanks, I’ll just find somebody who has an abundance.
  2. Lifts and Levels – Lining all your little veggies up in a row on the table is tidy, but BORING. Think of how a fancy buffet always has some of the food lifted onto platters elevated above the others. Get it up in baskets, on shelves, whatever! Get it eye level and you’ll sell more. I love it when jewelry vendors display on a mannequin, and yarn vendors bring portable shelving. WARNING – Do not hide behind the shelf. See #5.
  3. Signage – I really can’t stand to see a vendor with no sign. It’s like that game of “Guess Who?” I used to have to play with my kids. Hated the game…. Who is this person? What are they doing sitting here? Who knows? There are 20 other vendors here, and they have signs that say something special about them! Are they organic? Locally grown? Genuine silky haired high-IQ chicken eggs? Whatever…. you know what’s special about your product, so TELL ME! Try Vistaprint.com, you can get a banner for less than $20.
  4. List your prices – I was once in Thailand, and the street vendors didn’t have any prices listed, because they expected you to bargain with them. Back and forth we went, for each purchase, until we agreed on a price. HATED THAT. I mean, when in Thailand, do as the Thais, but this is the United States. We like things predictable, and we like our prices listed fairly.
  5. Stand up and SMILE – I know you’re tired and nobody works harder than a farmer… believe me, I get that. However, if you’re going to sit back with your arms folded, eyes half closed, am I going to wake you up to ask you to sell me something? Nope.  I am too polite, and I will move on to the next vendor who is awake. And if they’re standing up, that’s even more inviting. Nobody likes to leer over someone else… again, not polite. So please stand. Just don’t stand behind that shelf you put up.  No one will see you!

Those are my TOP 5 Tips for selling at a farmers’ market. What are yours?