Market Watch: Maplewood Farmers’ Market Starts Today

200904010645.jpgWhat many consider to be the most festive market–The Maplewood Farmers’ Market–begins it’s season today (Wednesday April, 1) and will run through the end of October.

I think this is a little earlier than in the past because it actually caught me off guard. But it’s totally sweet news, right?

Last Week at the Market – Fennel

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Sorry for the late and brief run down this week but I didn’t spend as much time at the markets last week as I usually do.

Maybe it’s a tough call, but I personally think the highlight was fennel. Probably a lot more people will pick the increase in fruit with all the berries and sweet cherries arriving, but I’m more of a vegetable man and fennel is right up there with the Brussels Sprouts and cauliflower.

At Maplewood the fennel came by way of

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Last Week at the Market – Farrar Out Farm

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As previously mentioned, the coolest market happening last week was that Farrar Out Farm is now a regular vendor at Maplewood. I, at least, am glad to have them. I’ve known the name for years but rarely have the opportunity to get over to Kirkwood Farmers’ Market on a Saturday so I’d never bought their products for my own use. I know several restaurants (Five for instance) utilize their meats, and they have always been of high quality. The chicken especially is some of the best I’ve had locally.

As for the rest of what I witnessed this week

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Farrar Out Farms

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Because it’s just too exciting to hold onto until next week, the big market news this week will surely be that Farrar Out Farm is now at Maplewood Farmers’ Market. A lot of fingers can be uncrossed now.

I spoke to owners Bryan and Christina Truemper briefly about how things were going and they seemed pretty pleased with the reaction to their arrival. They brought a small selection because they weren’t sure what they’d sell, and it sounds like they’ll be a permanent Maplewood fixture meaning there will be more in the coming weeks. They even had fresh (not frozen) chicken that were slaughtered that morning.

Apart from that they grow all kinds of vegetables but the more exciting things (to me anyway) are the animals they raise. Three you just don’t see that much locally: duck, heritage breed turkeys and rabbit.

Here’s the complete list of everything they do:

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Last Week at the Market – Tons of Stuff!!!

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Wednesday

This week at Maplewood Farmers’ Market I made it in time to be one of those people that swept the Our Garden strawberries out from everyone. As I approached the booth there were ten pints and by the time I left the booth there was one. Two were mine! They were rather small and a bit tart but still better than any others I’d had to this point.

A bunch of new lettuces cropped up this week from Centennial Farms including magenta, butter crunch, and Nevada summer crisp.

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Claverach added turnips, spring onions and cucumbers.

Root Cellar also had arugula which I don’t recall seeing last week. It was amazingly clean too. Generally Claverach takes the prize for cleanest vegetables which is a huge bonus when buying from them. They are outright obsessive about cleaning their lettuces especially which I’m sure goes a long way towards restaurants fighting over them.

Ken Muno (Goatsbeard) had his Camembert wheels which I can never remember what he calls after the fact. (Prairie Bloom maybe?)

Saturday

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Last Week at the Market – Ian Strikes

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Last weekend was Ellie’s birthday and celebrating it multiple times in a way that required sleeping in, I made it only to the Maplewood Farmers’ Market. And I was incredibly late to boot so I witnessed nothing new, personally.

I hear there was more kale and baby bok choy, and Ian bought the last strawberries from Biver Farms and seemingly enjoyed them with an export IPA from Schlafly.

Perhaps someone that hit the other markets, including the opening weekend at Clayton, will chime in with anything new they saw.

I’m curious if any more strawberries will have popped up, but I’m afraid all this rain may have slowed down this weeks crops.

Better luck this week.

Last Week at the Market – Sheep!

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With the sun shining last week,the Maplewood Farmers’ Market migrated over to their usual spot and with it a few more vendors arrived.

Though The Root Cellar was still slinging the most in the way of lettuces, herbs, and the new addition of radishes, Claverach made their first appearance and stole the thunder with their freakishly immaculate micro greens and icicle radishes of their own.

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Saturday, at Tower Grove, things were scaled back a bit from the opening week as the additional vendors selling crafts were no longer winding around the walking path on the Northwest edge of the market. The one vendor remaining on that far side was Greenwood Farms who incidentally has “lunch meat” ham that while a bit thick for what you might generally consider to be lunch meat, is some of the greatest breakfast ham I’ve ever had

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Last Week at the Market

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As expected the Farmers’ Markets last week were meat and plant heavy and vegetable light.

At the Maplewood Farmers’ Market (thankfully under the patio tent because of the rain) it was the relatively slim pickings you would expect on opening day. The Root Cellar from Columbia had the most produce including a bit of asparagus that went really quick. Mostly, however, they had various herbs and greens including what I can only assume is the weed of leafy greens: chard. Someone with a better green thumb than I can chime in but it seems like chard is available pretty much the entire growing season.

Also at Maplewood

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Dinner: Tuesday, December 4, 2007

turnips

Alanna posted about glazed turnips the other day, and when I read her post, it occurred to me I still had a bunch of turnips buried deep within “MY FRIG, THE ROOT CELLAR” too. I’d bought them from Claverach Farms a couple months ago with no idea what I’d even do with them as I’d never actually cooked turnips before, but with my only recent memory eating them coming from Red, I felt they deserved a chance at glory on my dinner table.

Heading to the kitchen to dig them out I was concerned with how they would look roughly two months after purchasing them, and I was happy to see they appeared almost identical to when I’d tossed them in the fridge in the first place. It’s amazing how long some fruits and vegetables will last if stored properly, and as I pulled the turnips from the crisper, I took the opportunity to take stock of my other late market purchases.

Walker Claridge’s green onions from The Root Cellar were doing surprisingly well for being at least 6 weeks old as I’d washed them the minute I’d gotten them home and wrapped them in moist paper towels. I enjoyed using them all summer when he had them as they were a sort of two-fer: the green ends could be used as herbs in vinaigrettes, tacos, etc. and the bulby root ends were perfect for a light onion flavor in something like scrambled eggs; having almost a leek like flavor.

Celeriac from Berger Bluff Farms, which I’d swiped away from all my Slow Food friends by buying every single one on the last day of the Maplewood Farmers’ Market, looked exactly as I’d expected: unchanged and ugly as the day I bought them; wrapped safely in their plastic bag.

Chioggia Beets from Claverach Farms were maybe a touch soft after at least 6 weeks, and one giant chioggia from The Root Cellar looked precisely how it did the day I bought it as I’d cut the beet greens off and used them the night I’d brought it home ensuring it’s longevity.

With everything pulled out for inspection, it was then that I saw the several varieties of apples from Centennial Farms I’d completely forgotten about. A bit soft, they were definitely showing their age, and it was at then inspiration hit in the form of applesauce…applesauce on turnip-potato pancakes.

beans applesauce
pork pork2

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Maplewood Farmers’ Market Finale

Don’t forget today is the last day of the Maplewood Farmers’ Market.  It’s been a great year, and while I know all the vendors are looking forward to next year, get out there and send them off with a bang by stocking up your larder. Maplewood Farmers Market