Tag Archives: Farmers Market

vegetables

Storing Fresh Produce

vegetablesYou’ve just come home from the farmers’ market and now you need to know how best to store them.

Most leafy veggies like kale, spinach, escarole, and chard as well as broccoli should be used within three to five days. You’ve got five to seven days to use arugula, bell peppers, green beans, zucchini and summer squash (all of which you can find at the market right now!) You’ve got more time to use up cabbage, carrots, turnips and beets, as they have a shelf life of two weeks or more.

A few tips for storing your fresh treasure:

  • Store fruits and vegetables separately; some foods can make other fruits and vegetables ripen or rot faster
  • Keep broccoli, cauliflower and cucumbers away from other produce
  • Wash your leafy produce and dry well; wrap in a dishtowel or paper towel, and put in a plastic bag (poke some holes in it first!) and then store in the vegetable drawer
  • Remove the greens from carrots, turnips, beets and parsnips and store them loose in the crisper drawer. But keep the greens. They are tasty too!
  • Store most other vegetables in plastic bags with holes in them

Blueberries, the Super Food!

They’re showing up at the farmers’ market now – blueberries! Loaded with antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C, blueberries are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. Just one-half cup of blueberries a day can lower your cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. They also are a natural anti-inflammatory. When buying, pick the darkest blue fruit – the darker the fruit, the more health benefits they have. Frozen blueberries are just as good as the fresh ones, so be sure to pick up extra at the market now and freeze them for later!

To get a healthy start to your day, here’s a Wake-Up Smoothie recipe from the eatingwell.com test kitchen:

Ingredients

1¼ cups orange juice, preferably calcium-fortified

1 banana

1¼ cups frozen berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and/or strawberries

½ cup low-fat plain yogurt

Directions
Combine orange juice, banana, berries, and yogurt in a blender; cover and blend until creamy. Serve immediately.

Photo Credit: Free-Photos Via Pixabay

Peppers

Cut Down on Salt and Sugar – Shop Farmers’ Markets!

PeppersWe get most of our salt from processed and restaurant foods, so the best way to reduce the salt in our diets is to eat fresh – and it’s easier than ever to find fresh produce at your neighborhood farmers’ markets! With everything from beans to zucchini being harvested right now, and many markets offering fresh meat, poultry and fish, you can avoid sodium-heavy canned and packaged foods for an entire week – just don’t add any salt while you’re cooking. Try adding some fresh herbs such as basil and rosemary for seasoning. When you add fresh fruit for dessert, you avoid all that processed white sugar that can add unnecessary calories to your diet – and add unwanted pounds to you.

Here’s a recipe for a French vegetable stew that uses lots of things you can find at the market:

Summer Vegetable Ratatouille*

Ingredients

  • 2 onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant, cubed
  • 2 zucchini, cubed
  • 2 medium yellow squash, cubed
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and cubed
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the zucchini in batches until slightly browned on all sides. Remove the zucchini and place in the pot with the onions and garlic.
  3. Saute all the remaining vegetables one batch at a time, adding 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet each time you add a new set of vegetables. Once each batch has been sauteed add them to the large pot as was done in step 2.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme and cover the pot. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and parsley to the large pot, cook another 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  6. Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning.

*From www.allrecipes.com

Photo Credit: H3rko Via Pixabay

cooperstown farmers' market

Cooperstown Farmers’ Market

cooperstown farmers' marketMake one stop at the market to find everything you need to enjoy the diverse local bounty from 30 vendors within a 50 mile radius of the Cooperstown area. This indoor market features live music every Saturday May-December. Sponsored by Otsego 2000 since 1991

When does the market open? Open every Saturday 8:00 am –2:00 pm, May-August; 9:00 am –2:00 pm September-December, and 10:00 am –2:00 pm January-April. Open Tuesdays: 12:00 pm –5:00 pm in July & August.

Where is the market located? 101 Main St, in Pioneer Alley, Cooperstown, NY

Does the market accept EBT SNAP Benefits? We accept SNAP, WIC, Fresh Connect Checks, , which are $2 rebate checks for every $5 in SNAP benefits spent, and vouchers from the Cooperstown Food Pantry.

What do the vendors sell? Locally grown produce, meat, cheese, honey, maple syrup, eggs, fruit, prepared foods, baked goods, hand knitted items, fresh flowers and plants, felting and supplies, yarn, natural body products, pottery, candles, adult and children’s clothing, herbal arts, jellies, yogurt, wreaths, and dried flowers.

Do you have special events scheduled?  Yes! July 1 we will have a Salsa Contest; Aug. 12 is the Zucchini 500. There is a Coleslaw Contest on Sept. 2 and Oct. 28 is Cooptoberfest.

For more information on the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, please visit their website at:  www.cooperstownfarmersmarket.org

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Check out what is being picked this week*:
Chard, Kale, Lettuces, Radishes, Green onions, Beets, Strawberries

*Availability will vary by market, due to differences in growing zones.

Recipe of the week: http://snaptomarket.com/?recipe=greens-with-warm-bacon-dressing

 

Freezing Fruit

How to Stockpile Your Produce Without the Hassle of Canning

With the outdoor farmers market season coming to an end, everyone is looking for ways to stockpile their fresh produce. To maximize your SNAP EBT benefits and utilize your farmers market produce several months from now, try preserving your produce!

The most traditional way to preserve your produce is by canning. Canning, however, can be very difficult for beginners and can be a long and tedious process. Here are three stress-free alternatives to canning that guarantee your produce’s freshness long after harvest.

  1. Freezing

Freezing is a great alternative to making jam and canning if you want your produce to be accessible in the middle of the winter. You also can do it easily in your own home with a standard freezer. You can freeze fresh fruit, vegetables, and even herbs in olive oil in an ice cube tray. Full recipes here:

How to Freeze Fresh Fruit, How to Freeze Zucchini, How to Freeze Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil

  1. Drying

Drying is another canning alternative that can preserve your best fruit. Although drying typically involves a dehydrator, it can easily be done in your own oven. Try drying your own fruit for your trail mix this fall. Full recipe here: How to Dry Fruit Without a Dehydrator

  1. Jamming

Although jamming is still done in a can, it is a much simpler process. Making jams and preserves is a great way to reuse extra fruit and can also double as a great gift. The difference between jams and preserves comes from how they are made. Jams use mashed up fruit whereas preserves use chunks of whole fruit. Full recipe here: How to Make Jams and Preserves

Check out what’s being picked this week*: Pumpkin, Cauliflower, Beets, Cabbage, Broccoli, Beans, Peppers, Eggplant, Potatoes, Winter Squash, Onions, Raspberries & Collards

*Availability will vary by market due to differences in growing zones.

Recipe of the Week:

Cozy up this fall with this seasonal soup recipe!

 

Snap To Market

How to Use Your SNAP Benefits at the Farmers Market

Having farm fresh produce available on a weekly basis is an excellent resource for maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Much like our grocery stores Farmers Markets are becoming more and more accessible to everyone. Thanks to the Farmers Market SNAP Benefit program all EBT cardholders are able to purchase goods and produce at participating Farmers Markets. If you’re a cardholder here is what you can expect when you head out to your local Farmers Market.

When you first arrive look for a table with a banner that reads “Use Your EBT Card Here”. Hand your card to the cashier and purchase as many $1 tokens as you need. While shopping look for the market booths with an “EBT Tokens Accepted Here” sign. You do not have to use all of your tokens in one shopping trip. Unused tokens can either be refunded back onto your card or you can use them the next time you shop at your Farmers Market. Keep in mind that the tokens are market-specific and cannot be transferred between markets.

The overall experience of being at a Farmers Market is more enjoyable and the selection is always fresh and unique. What can you buy with your tokens? You can purchase everything from fruits and vegetables to fresh baked bread and dairy products. Sometimes meats, fish, and poultry are also available making it easy to plan dinner that night.

It’s not a bad idea to take note of your favorite venders so you can go back and spend time with them during your next visit. The farmers and vendors are always willing to share recipes and preparation tips with their customers. They can keep you informed on what’s in season and what will be in the future. Making it more about the experience is beneficial to both you and the vendors. So take your time and enjoy!

What’s being picked this week: Grapes, Beets, Cabbage, Broccoli, Beans, Zucchini, Peppers, Eggplant, Potatoes, Winter Squash, Onions, Raspberries, Collards, Kale, Apples, Brussel Sprouts

Recipes: Looking for a way to make your lunch exciting? (http://www.honeyandbirch.com/grilled-chicken-salad-lettuce-wraps/)

Photo Credit: Patrick Kuhl Via Flickr Creative Commons

Farmers Market Apples

Why Apples are the Eye of the Empire State

Empire, Cortland, Red Delicious and McIntosh. Do these names sound familiar? If you grew up in the state of New York you’ve probably not only heard of these kinds of apples but you’ve probably consumed your fair share of them. The Empire state is known for offering the most varieties of apples in the United States. With about 700 growers throughout the state it’s almost impossible to travel through the various regions without coming across an apple orchard.

There are many reasons why an apple a day can keep the doctor away. One medium sized apple provides one-fifth of your daily dietary fiber, which promotes both cardiovascular and digestive health. They are an excellent source of energy and antioxidants. Apples are low calorie, delicious, and easy to eat on the go so they make for the perfect snack.

From apple pie to apple brown betty there are so many apple recipes and different ways to prepare apples, which often justifies buying them by the bushel. You know you’ll get good use out of them but either way you can store apples up to about a month. The proper storage temperature is around 30-35 Degrees Fahrenheit and the best place to store them is in a refrigerator crisper drawer along with a dampened paper towel to create a humid environment.

After you’ve properly stored your apples start thinking of ways to utilize them throughout the fall months. Are you a baker? Cortland apples are one of the many varieties that are excellent for baking. Do your kids love applesauce? If you want to make homemade apple sauce Golden Delicious apples will require little to no added sugar to make it sweet. Most of the NY varieties are ok to freeze so you can enjoy them throughout the winter!

Can’t make it to an orchard? No problem. Often time’s your local farmers market will offer some of your fall favorites this time of year. Don’t forget to pick up some apple cider while you’re there. Buying apples locally will not only support a healthy diet, but will also support a healthier economy. How do you like them apples?

What’s being picked this week: Grapes, Kale, Apples, Brussel Sprouts, Beets, Cabbage, Broccoli, Beans, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Herbs, Peppers, Lima Beans, Eggplant, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Corn, Blueberries, Raspberries, Okra, Collards

Recipes: The BEST Apple Pie for the NY Native (https://audreysapron.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/the-best-apple-pie-ever/)

Photo Credit: Carriagehouse2011 Via Flickr Creative Commons

plastic containers for storing food in the fridge

How-to Keep Your Produce Fresh: Shelf-life 101

Everyone loves to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, but it can be difficult to keep produce fresh without spoiling. Each year, Americans dump $43 billion worth of spoiled food. To save your SNAP EBT benefits and the environment, use these tips to maximize your produce’s shelf-life and minimize waste.

Location of Produce

To lengthen the shelf-life of your produce, you must slow each food’s respiration using cold temperatures, typically using the refrigerator. Warmer temperatures speed up the rate of respiration. Some fruits release ethylene, a gas that’s speeds the rate of respiration and spoiling. To maximize your produce’s freshness:

  1. Refrigerate these ethylene releasers: Apples, Apricots, Cantaloupe, Figs, and Honeydew
  2. Do not refrigerate these ethylene releasers: Pears, Plums, and Tomatoes
  3. Keep these away from ethylene releasers: Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Lettuce and other leafy greens, Parsley, Peas, Peppers, Squash Sweet Potatoes, and Watermelon

Always make sure to never store produce in airtight bags or containers, lack of air flow accelerates decay.

Secret Tips

Specific fruits and vegetables last the longest when stored in particular ways. For example, berries last longer when rinsed in a one-part vinegar, three-part water mixture. Some other tricks to fresh produce are:

  • Store lettuce in a bowl with a paper towel and a dash of salt. The paper towel and salt absorbs the moisture and wetness from the lettuce
  • Store carrots in a bowl of water and seal with plastic wrap to keep them moist
  • Wrap onions in pantyhose to allow the right amount of air to circulate to keep the vegetable fresh
  • Store apples with potatoes to keep your potatoes from sprouting
  • Soak apple slices in salt water to prevent them from browning
  • Wrap celery in aluminum foil to allow ethylene to escape

What to Eat First

Although storing your fruits with the correct vegetables and following these secret tips help lengthen your produce’s shelf-life, you still must eat more perishable produce first. Delicate fruits such as raspberries are never going to last regardless of your storing techniques. Follow this guide to know how to prioritize your produce:

Eat on Day 0 – Day 2: Artichokes, Asparagus, Basil, Broccoli, Cherries, Corn, Dill, Green beans, Mushrooms, Mustard greens, Strawberries, and Watercress

Eat on Day 3 – Day 5: Arugula, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Grapes, Lettuce, Lime, and Zucchini

Eat on Day 6 – Day 7: Apricots, Bell peppers, Blueberries, Brussel sprouts, Cauliflower, Grapefruit, Leeks, Lemons, Mint, Oranges, Oregano, Parsley, Pears, Plums, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Watermelon

Eat on Day 8+: Apples, Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Garlic, Onions, Potatoes, and Winter squash

Check out what’s being picked this week*: Grapes, Kale, Apples, Brussel Sprouts, Beets, Cabbage, Broccoli, Beans, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Herbs, Peppers, Eggplant, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Corn, Raspberries, Okra & Collards

*Availability will vary by market due to differences in growing zones.

Recipe of the Week:

Looking for a last minute side dish for dinner tonight? Try this recipe!

 

Farmers Markets

5 Charts to Show the Importance of Farmers Markets in the Economy

Buying local at your farmers market with your EBT SNAP may not seem to have a large impact, but your purchases help the environment, local farmers, and the economy. Check out these 5 charts to learn how:

1) Farmers Markets stimulate local economies, preserve rural livelihoods, increase access to fresh food, and support healthy communities

 

Farmers MarketsSource: Farmers Market Coalition

2) And EBT SNAP benefits help employ farmers

 

Snap Benefits

Source: Fair Food Network

3) Buying local saves the environment and money

Buy Local

 

Source: eLocal.com

4)It creates a positive food chain reaction for our communities

 

Farmers Market Local Chain Reaction

Source: US Department of Agriculture

 

 

  • They impact our local communities for the better and we can help support them

 

 

Source: American Farmland Trust

 

Check out what is being picked this week*:

Collards, Beets, Cabbage, Broccoli, Beans, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Herbs, Peppers, Lima Beans, Eggplant, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Corn, Blueberries, Pears, Raspberries & Okra

*Availability will vary by market due to differences in growing zones.

 

Recipe of the Week:

Incorporate collards into an everyday favorite with this recipe!

Potatoes at Farmers market

One Potato, Two Potatoes, Bad Potato, Good?

Did you know that potatoes are actually good for you? Sadly, most people assume they aren’t good for them and with good reason. The truth is America’s obsession with junk food is to blame for potatoes getting a bad rap. According to the USDA/NASS approximately 65% of the potatoes consumed in the United States per year are in French Fry or Potato Chip form. Obviously, when you fry or process a potato and add fatty oils and high levels of sodium to them it’s going to do more harm than good.

Nutrition experts are trying to dispel the unhealthy potato myth by educating the public about the nutritional benefits of the potato. One medium baked potato gives us almost 30% or our daily-recommended value of both vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Potatoes are also high in both fiber and potassium which most of us do not get enough of on a daily basis. A baked potato is an excellent addition to a well-balanced meal if you go easy on the sodium and fatty toppings.

By now most of us are aware that we don’t have to sacrifice taste when it comes to eating healthy. Some alternative healthy toppings that go great on a baked potato are scallions, Greek yogurt, curry, tomato-pesto, salsa, low fat sour cream and chives. Can’t imagine your spud without butter and salt? Just remember less is more.

Don’t discard the skins. Eat them! Potato skins are packed with potassium, iron, and niacin. What does that mean for you? Potassium fuels your metabolism and assists in your muscle movement. Iron supports healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body. And Niacin or vitamin B3 is important for healthy new cell development and assists in recovering from stress.

Recently, the Institute of Medicine put white potatoes back on the eligibility list for the WIC program. They discovered that women and children weren’t meeting the recommended daily intake of starchy vegetables and potatoes are a simple and beneficial solution.

For all of you spud fans it’s time to bring the potato back into your diet. Remember, the potato on its own is healthy, just be aware of how it’s been prepared and what’s on top of it.

Check out what’s being picked this week*: Raspberries, Okra, Beets, Cabbage, Broccoli, Beans, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Herbs, Peppers, Lima Beans, Eggplant, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Corn, Blueberries, Pears

*Availability will vary by market due to differences in growing zones.

Recipe of the Week:

Here’s a great way to load up your baked potato without the added fat and calories: Try this recipe

Photo Credit: Nick Saltmarsh Via Flickr Creative Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farmers Market

What the Farmers Market Means to Me: A Farmer’s Point of View

I am up before the local morning news begins. I don’t commute in morning traffic. I don’t punch a time card. I don’t have a boss checking his watch when I arrive at work. I don’t show up at an office wearing expensive suits. I don’t have an IT department to call when something goes wrong in fact most of my co-workers walk on four legs.

I am a farmer. My family depends on me and you depend on me. No time for sick days or sleeping in. I don’t do my job for the pay or notoriety I do it to fulfill my passion for the land, growing, and agriculture. Without that passion I could not do it. My job is hard but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

One of my favorite days of the week is the day I show up at your local Farmers Market. I can’t wait to show you the beautiful beets, berries or broccoli I just harvested. I look forward to our conversations about what’s in season and the best way to prepare or preserve your produce.

In an era where fast food is prevalent I am proud to make you aware of nutritious and delicious options.

I chuckle when I hear the phrase farm to table. I’ve been doing that for years! I’m excited that our country is seeing the value in farm fresh food and that eating organic is trendy. I want you to be healthy. I want you to reap the benefits of my labor. I love the opportunity to present it to you personally.

I’m thankful that SNAP Benefits are accepted at local Farmers Markets. I believe everyone should have access to farm fresh food. I love witnessing all families enjoying the opportunity to spend a beautiful day at the market, watching children pick out the vegetables they will eat for dinner that night, and knowing that I have helped that family to eat good tasting and healthy local food.

If I’ve never met you at the Farmers Market I invite you to come see me soon. Between my fellow vendors and myself there is something for everyone. I can almost guarantee it will change your perception of grocery shopping and what it means to buy local. I look forward to meeting you and I thank you in advance for supporting me, your local farmer.

What’s being picked this week: Pears, Beets, Cabbage, Kale, Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Broccoli, Beans, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Herbs, Peppers, Lima Beans, Eggplant, Potatoes, Squash, Sweet Corn, Blueberries

Recipes: Looking for a healthy snack? Try these salsas! http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/a5299/homemade-salsa-recipes-cosmo/

Photo Credit: United Soybean Board Via Flickr Creative Commons