There’s a lot of talk about food safety and food borne illness lately. As much as I would like to write an essay this week, I am going to pass. A lot of aspects of this news make me sad and frustrated. All of the food that has been wasted and thrown away, people getting sick, folks are frightened. This is ALL on my mind.
As market managers for a number of years, my husband and I take a real interest in our food, in our communities, in our food producers and food distribution. We have attended many conferences, sat in on a number of classes, trainings and have learned a lot about farming methods, food production, harvesting, transporting and the selling of food. Most of it has been about locally produced food and local farming. But along with that, there is quite a bit of education and information shared and reported about the larger scale, agribusiness and food production. The kind of growing and producing and processing that includes thousands of acres of fruits and veggies, thousands of animals, and hundreds of employees needed for harvesting and working in processing plants.
We have sat in classes and been trained and certified in GAP (good agricultural practices). In these classes we learned a lot about safe farming practices that include soil preparation, clean sources of irrigation as well as harvesting, processing, packing and selling of farm products.
Other classes have included education in the nutrition of food grown in healthy soil and studies measuring the best flavor and nutrition in food picked at it’s peak of ripeness. Terms like “brix” and “phytonutrients” are used to describe tasty produce that’s full of good nutrition
The produce, eggs, meat, honey, bread and pastries at the farmers market are fresh and full of nutrients and goodness. The food will be just picked and at it’s peak with minimal storage or travel time The produce is grown in healthy, well managed soil. The meat, eggs and cheese are from well managed and well taken care of animals.
All of the raw fruits and veggies that are purchased still need to be cleaned and handled properly, stored appropriately and used within a reasonable amount of time. Handwashing, clean countertops and containers are all good practices no matter where your food comes from.
I am hoping that by reading and understanding this information and knowing the terminology, you will connect with what the market vendors are offering. Perhaps you will better understand the pricing and the nutritional value of their products.
As the market manager, one of my many tasks is to provide the community with a unique and wide variety of quality vendors. I want the vendors to do well each week. I want them to sell out at 7pm! I want all of you to form relationships. I want the market to be a place of commerce and community. Over the next few weeks I will be writing about subjects that will educate and entertain you.
What do the terms free range, cage free, pastured and all natural mean in the egg and meat industry? How do bees make honey? Why is honey different colors and have different flavors? What does organic mean? Why are those eggs more expensive? What are sprouts? We will also be sharing more recipes and easy ways to prep and enjoy fresh, seasonal, local produce.
The market continues to grow and flourish and I continue to look forward to a wonderful season.
We will l continue to host the University of Missouri Extension Nutrition department. They will be visiting with us throughout the market season sharing information about local, seasonal, food, healthy and nutritious food options, recipes and more. Visit the site Family Nutrition Education Program
Join us at the Market, 4pm-7pm. Enjoy live music, complimentary Schlafly beer samples and a great line-up of vendors.
We will try to keep you updated and posted on who will be at the market from week to week. Visit the website or Facebook page for updates.
Please stop by each Wednesday, rain or shine, be surprised, enjoy the variety of what’s in season at any given time, create relationships with the folks that grow your food.
Enjoy the REAL CHEFS CHALLENGE
Alpacas of Troy– alpaca meat, yarn and alpaca fiber items
Baetje Cheese- Award Winning, Artisan Goat Cheese
Bee Simple– a unique variety of locally grown sprouts and microgreens
Biver Farms-a variety of local, seasonal,certified organic produce
Buila Family Farm– a variety of local, seasonal produce; the last few weeks we have seen a variety of greens, a variety of berries, cherry tomatoes, burpless cucs and more
Ivan– a variety of local, seasonal produce
Eckenfels Family Farm– locally raised, pastured beef and pork cuts, farm fresh eggs
El Chico Bakery- fruit filled emapanadas and cookies
Farrar Out Farm– locally raised, pastured beef, pork and lamb
cuts, organically raised produce
Flower Hill and Rosy Buck Farms– salad mix, sprouts, pea shoots, radishes, eggs, bedding plants, edible flowers, bouquets
iScream– a unique variety of locally made ice cream treats
Ludwig Farms Creamery– a variety of cows milk cheeses
Mr B’s Salsa– a variety of locally branded hot sauces and salsas
Ozark Forest Mushrooms– a variety of unique locally cultivated mushrooms, dried mushrooms and other related delicies
Riverbend Roots Farm-a variety of local, seasonal produce; we’ve seen a variety of beautiful salad mix, baby chard, spinach and radishes
Seed Geeks– a large variety of non GMO seeds, handmade soaps and a unique variety of local, raw honey “goodness”
Three Girls and a Tractor– a variety of local,seasonal produce including sweet corn and tomatoes as well as locally grown, sweet Missouri pecans
Tamale Man– a variety of fresh, handmade tamales with unique sauces
Three Rivers Community Farm– a variety of local, seasonal produce; she’s had beautiful lettuces, salad mix, radishes, and a variety of greens
Non Food Vendors this week include
City House Country Mouse
Cindy’s for the Birds
Don’t forget to thank Schlafly Bottleworks for sharing the space and supporting the market, local small businesses and family farms. Enjoy a complimentary Schlafly beer sample and live music each week.
Please visit the website, check out the Facebook, Twitter andInstagram market pages. Please “Like”, “Share”, “Retweet” and whatever else you do to make the market shine on social media
Thank you for your support.
See you at the Market,
René Sackett, Market Manager