Know the origin of your food at Farmers Market

By Katrina Bush - For the Record-Herald

The summer issue of the magazine “Saveur” calls itself “The Grower’s Issue: Stories, Know-how and Seasonal Recipes from the People who Farm the World’s Food.” It features stories (with beautiful photography) of a hop farm in Washington state, saffron grown by a family in Kashmir, unique varieties of sugar snap peas in upstate New York, raising snails in Austria, and the wonders of true wild rice raised in northern Minnesota by the Ojibwe. Of course there are numerous recipes, from simple to exotic, and for every taste. But what seems special about this issue is the celebration of people who make an effort to cultivate something interesting and local in the way of food. Without belaboring it, the hard work, enthusiasm and expertise –of individuals or familial generations — is acknowledged.

There are people worldwide farming one food or another. The crops may be vegetable or animal, specific or varied, but they are foods important to the diet and taste of the farmer and important for the nourishment and pleasure of a community.

Much of what we eat (and drink) we consume without knowing where the ingredients originate (or even what the ingredients are!). The grocery stores are likely to have non-compostable tags on produce stating the country of origin, but we know nothing about the farm or family from which the product came.

All of that changes when one purchases produce or meat at a farmers market, including the Fayette County Farmers Market. The customer can know exactly where the food came from, who grew it, how it was grown/raised, and be in a position to ask questions of the vendor. The farmer knows a lot about what is being grown on the farm, and is likely to have eaten a lot of it! Take the opportunity to ask how to prepare a certain vegetable or protein, or with what other product to pair it. Even if you don’t see yourself as a cook, making a simple salad with a garlic vinaigrette, an omelet with herbs, or some kale chips may be satisfying and will certainly be delicious.

The Fayette County Farmers Market is open Saturday morning from 8:30 to noon and is located in the municipal parking lot on the corner of South Main and East East streets in Washington C.H. SNAP EBT food benefit cards, Senior Farm Market coupons and credit/debit cards are accepted. Those using the SNAP EBT card for food purchases receive matching dollar “Produce Perks” tokens ($1 for $1) good only for fruits, vegetables and food producing plants. So,”buy one, get one” for up to $20 EVERY market day.

The craft table at the market info booth this Saturday will feature “An American Flag” craft. The market’s small guests will color their flag, then add some flowing streamers to make an extra special Memorial Day flag to display in remembrance and honor those who died serving our country.

This year’s promotional theme is “Fresh & Local for YOU,” sponsored by the Fayette County Farm Bureau. The market is honoring all veterans —active duty and reserves— by offering a $5 coupon each and every market day. This offer is also extended to all Farm Bureau members as a member benefit. Just stop by the market info tent and pick up a coupon! These coupons may be used to make farm market purchases anytime during the season.

Donaldson Workshop (Roger Donaldson): Wooden spoons, cutting boards, wooden sandwich trays, and walnut spatulas.

Enchanting Acres (Amber Harris): Small garlic bulbs, garlic scapes, rhubarb, small onions, painted bird house gourds.

Engedi (Beth Day, Alana Walters, Janet Bick): Assorted home baked goods (cinnamon rolls, bread, yeast rolls, cookies, pies) and a special children’s activity.

Featherstone Apothecary (Sylvia Call): Natural soaps, salves, deodorants, dog care items, soy candles, and other natural goodies.

Greens & Greenery (Katrina Bush): Vegetable and herb plants (sweet and hot peppers, tomatoes, tomatillo, basil, kale, lemon balm citronella, garlic chives, horseradish, lovage, cucumbers); flowering and decorative perennials (ferns, bee balm, echinacea, choke cherry, false indigo, marguerite kelways, milkweed, red raspberry); castor beans, Thai Red Roselle, cypress vine. Seasonal produce (rhubarb, kale, green garlic, lemon mint, chives). Granola and gingersnaps.

Jones Farm Fresh Produce (Jon & Taylor Jones): Strawberries, green onions, radishes, asparagus, pork chops, sweet Italian and jalapeño sausage links, maple links, ground pork, sage sausage, salt and pepper sausage, sausage patties, chicken breast, wings, whole chickens, chicken patties, chorizo and sweet Italian links, hamburger patties, ground hamburger and eggs.

Kelsie’s K-9 Creations (Jennifer Anderson): Homemade dog treats.

Margaret’s Memories (Sharon Fulkerson): Hand made items.

Marty’s Flowers (Marty Cook): Variety of perennials for your yard and landscaping needs.

Persinger Produce & Cottage Foods (David Persinger and Julie Mosny): The Jam Man will offer assorted jams & jellies (strawberry, strawberry-rhubarb back in stock), also a no-sugar added apple butter, assorted Texas sheet cakes, available in 2 sizes, and cayenne cashew brittle. The Pie Lady will have honey, pies (cherry, rhubarb, strawberry rhubarb, blackberry); Cinni Mini’s, pecan sticky buns, Bun’s Bars and oatmeal cookies.

Things I Make (Susan Smith): Hand sewn girls’ dresses (sizes 2-16) and aprons.

Tom’s Tool Shed (Tom McMurray): Low priced sharpening of garden tools and blades

Tracy Farms (Rob & Jess Tracy): Seasonal produce, plants, handmade market bags and crocheted items. Eggs and bread.

Wood Designed by DW (Debbie Welch): Handmade, unusual wood crafts. Hand made crocheted dishtowels, clothes, potholders, pocket books and baby booties. Special orders welcome. Cookies, fudge and brownies.

Your Other Mother’s Kitchen (Don & Sara Creamer): Artisan breads, asparagus, muffins, and shortcake for the strawberries.

Biers Run Mudd (Rachel Shepard): Home produced ceramic wares including mugs, bowls, dishes, and pitchers. Fresh brewed coffee offered to purchasers of mugs.

B.Y.E Gardens (Brian and Elaine Yoder): Cinnamon rolls, peanut butter cookies, assorted berry pies including cherry pie, strawberry-rhubarb pie; assorted sweet breads.

By Thy Hand (Mark and Lori Chrisman): Angel food cakes, specialty breads, pies, cookies, dip mixes.

Chilcote Farm (Bruce & Marlene Chilcote): Honey, white sheet cake, chocolate sheet cake, cookies, and baked donuts.

Katrina Bush is a vendor with the Fayette County Farm Market.

By Katrina Bush

For the Record-Herald