~~Looks like rain right now, but it’s sliding south of us…darn! After being flooded for two years we are now dry, dry, dry. Hopefully one of the forecasts for rain in the coming days will prove true for all of us that need it. We have to overhead water daily to keep the lettuces sweet in this kind of weather. This week we will be bringing what could be the last of the Lettuces & Romaine. One more small crop is in the field, if it makes it to a sellable size without getting bitter (keep your fingers crossed). We’ll also be bringing probably the last of the Spinach; but have a huge supply of big, beautiful Mixed kales and Dino Kale this week (get ’em while you can, the harlequin bugs are after them), Heirloom Collards, Bright Lights Swiss Chard, newly dug Carrots and Beets (and some bags of beet bottoms), more great Sweet potatoes, Daikon radishes and the last of the Broccoli. Jon planted the cucumbers, squashes and tropical pumpkins in the garden this week and the yardlong beans are now sprouting in trays. Still a little too cool at night for the okra to sprout–but the tomato plants are coming along nicely, with some blooming and putting on small fruits.
~~The news today is that it is our wonderful WWOOFer Halimat’s (Hal-ee-ma) 20th Birthday today (Friday
3-31)!! Yay!! Happy Birthday to Hal!
** The bad news is that for the time being we may not be able to sell value added (jams, pesto, nutra-loaf, etc) and raw dairy products (raw milk, butter, cheese, etc.) because of the restrictive Cottage Food Act, labeling, taxes, licenses, fees–and just typical government harassment and interference into the affairs of small businesses–especially those that challenge BIG AG. We will bring a cooler of our raw dairy stuff, but won’t be advertising it at the market. In the future we may have to sell from our farm. Please understand that this is not coming from the market management, but they have to follow the rules and enforce them, even if it means losing vendors. Also, this is not because of anything we did in particular; it was a notice going to all market vendors. Unfortunately, downtown markets are in the public and government eye and as they grow rules get more restrictive, which means it will get even harder for you to get good locally produced foods in the future.
~~You’ve seen us trying to peddle our water buffalo cheeses, butter, buttermilk and other fabulous products for a couple of years to no avail, so we’ve been eating so much cheese and butter in our recipes and meals that we will no longer have much available to sell–in fact we’re having a hard time keeping up with our consumption, so if you are interested in some of these products please ask ahead of time so we can save some for you. The raw milk shouldn’t be a problem, but we get sick of lugging too much of that to the market every week too.
~~Have you tried our Farmers’ cheeses? We are trying to do better with consistency and have come up with several delish cheeses that work well on sandwiches, pizzas, casseroles, etc. Each week there may be a couple tubs of different flavors, for your dining pleasure. * Since these raw products have to be labeled for pet consumption we regret that we cannot legally give out samples (see below).
~~Are you lactose intolerant? Have you tried Raw Water Buffalo milk products? Ask our farmer Bill about his experiences with raw milk products as a ‘former’ lifelong lactose intolerant person.
~~Raw Water Buffalo Milk & other ‘Pet Consumption’ products (ask us if you don’t know what this means): Right now we have good farmers cheeses, Kefir, buttermilk (best for cooking; the fluffiest pancakes ever!), unsalted creamy white butter, Whey http://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2014/05/36-ways-to-use-whey-and-5-ways-to-make-it/
and of course Raw Milk, which is still on sale for $8/half gal. (reg. $9) or $15/gal. It’s always helpful to pre-order the raw dairy products if possible (firstname.lastname@example.org).
~~For our complete availability list (except for last minute items) and information on where to find eggs and home-raised pork, check the bottom of this email.
~~Thanks for your support!! See you at the Market Saturday
If in doubt about the market being open when you’re ready to come text or call me at 813-763-4893
(please, this is for market days only, this is a personal phone).
Check this out from the Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curbmarket Newsletter:Text to Win!
Keep up with Market news via text message!
- Just to make it fun, we are running a weekly contest. Text Keyword CURB to 51660 to join our text program and enter to win $10 worth of Market Bucks, which can be spent with any Market vendor. Winners will be notified via text each Saturday.
- What happens if you don’t win the week you joined? No worries! You can try again week after week. Just text CURB to 51660 each week (Sunday–Friday), and you’ll be entered for that week’s drawing!
~~We are always happy to take your used, clean plastic grocery bags (no garbage please) and green pint baskets that strawberries come in…Please remember to bring them to us this week…Thanks!
~~Raw Water Buffalo Milk sales: We have decided to stick with the plastic half gallon containers @$9 and a convenient quart size plastic container for $5. If you would prefer quart or half gallon wide mouth glass containers there will be a $1& $2 deposit to cover the cost of the jars and you will need to let us know ahead of time by email. Kefir only comes in quart sized jars ($8 or $7 with a wide-mouth quart jar). Butter comes in 8 oz. plastic containers for $8. Remember, this is for ‘Pet Consumption Only’ by Florida law. Your ‘Pet’ will be eating like royalty 🙂
~~We grow everything organically; all ‘chemicals’ are OMRI approved for Organic growers and our fertilizers consist of composted manures (buffalo and more) and fish emulsion. We are not Certified Organic as the cost and ongoing paperwork is prohibitive for ‘real’ farmers–and there are too many variances allowed for Corporate Organic farms.
Ecofarm is currently able to participate in only one market with super fresh, organically grown produce (not Certified) and other farm products for your convenience:
* Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curbmarket Saturdays 8AM-2PM all year except August. We are located on Kentucky Avenue in front of Crispers restaurant. Check out the market website at www.ldda.org/home/farmerscurbmarket.aspx
and sign-up for the market e-newsletter. Dogs, children and fun galore!
Note: We have been providing some of our produce to this market and will continue to increase our support whenever possible.
~~The Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curbmarket is now taking your EBT/SNAP cards; and you can double your dollars by purchasing Florida grown produce & honey!! There are about 25 of us selling honey, cane syrup, cottage industry foods, produce, breads, seeds, edible plants and more that qualifies for SNAP; and about six of us that can double your money with our produce, thanks to the Fresh from Florida program. There will be a booth set up somewhere in the market to explain the process and where you can purchase tokens. Vendors participating in the program will have a sign in front of their booths. In addition, you can ride the bus free in Polk County to come to our market and participate in this program. Please pass the word!
We regret that we cannot currently take pre-orders (unless/until we get more help!) except for pickups here at the farm, and for raw milk products. We are located just north of Plant City. Email us at email@example.com
for information on farm pickups.
Following are some of the products we may be bringing to the market this week:
Super-Nutra Loaf – Fresh weekly; full of seeds & nuts. Currently not available.
Pesto! Various Seasonal ingredients – great for seafood, pasta, potatoes and more! Currently not available.
Florida Red-Bay leaves – use like other dried bay leaves in soups, beans, etc. Misplaced, so we have to dry more
Sweet Potatoes – 3 types available! All have been dug and will sell until they run out. Time to plant a new crop
Spinach!!! – come early for our wonderful spinach bundles/bags
Strawberries! – our own organically grown, luscious strawberries -small supply–Only organic berries at the market!
Tropical Pumpkins – A few huge and small pumpkins are available
Green onions – May be done for now
Swiss Chard – colorful Bright Lights variety
Daikon radishes – ready this week–with edible tops
Lettuces – several beautiful varieties available this week
Parsley – a few nice bundles
Nasturtium flowers – beautiful, tasty & nutritious; for your salads & more!
Cilantro! – some nice bundles
Carrots – beautiful, with or without tops–which are also good to eat; large bagged carrots & baby carrots with tops
Beets – small beets with nice tops and bagged bottoms; it’s all good
Savoy cabbages – new crop later in spring
Red Radishes – radishes for your salads
Kale – Some nice bundles of mixed kale mix this week, and larger bundles of just dino kale
Cherry tomatoes – Watch for new supply later in spring–plus some new cherries
Heirloom Turkish Tomatoes – watch for a new supply in late spring–plus new large fruited varieties
Collards – heirloom varieties; Alabama Blue, Florida Variegated, and ‘Morris Heading’ – tender & delicious! Big Supply this week
Homemade jams made with very little sugar (organic) – cattley guava, Loquat/ginger, strawberry/basil, peach & Fig Not Currently available
Pure Cane syrup – Yes! Give our own local, sustainable sweetness a try; not just for pancakes
Luffa seed packets – not currently available
Luffa sponges & Ornamental Gourds-
Java Planet Coffees (whole bean, Organic, Fair Trade, Shade Grown & Bird Friendly!)
~~If you’ve been looking for Peg Campbell, Barefoot Creek, she is still hosting many gardening and other classes at their farm, so drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. AquaOrganics is at the market with their produce and a great variety of other produce for resale, Erendiera always has a nice selection of produce for resale, often has eggs, and has been a cornerstone of the market since the get-go.
~~Have you been looking for some reasonably priced, farm-raised Pork
? Let me connect you with Tara at Green Eggs ‘N Ham
! We’ve been eating her sausage, porkchops, pork steaks, have some ribs in the freezer, and recently ate one of her smoked hams for Christmas dinner–Awesome! I made an amazing meatloaf with her sausage and our ground water buffalo meat, and we enjoy her sausage for breakfast regularly–simply the best! Tara says that when she runs out of pork it can take a couple of weeks to re-inventory, so it’s best to place orders ahead of time. You can reach Tara at email@example.com
. Texting will get a quicker reply than email…enjoy!
~~Becky’s Organic Eggs
– You can call or text Becky at 863-669-6559
to preorder. Note: Please call Becky regarding location & time of pickups; apparently the Dixieland market has not found a new place yet; but she is still delivering.
Thanks for supporting local farmers, artists, musicians and craftspeople!
Debbie, Jon, Halimat, & Billy plus C.J. & Hayley–the kiddies that inspire us
Ecofarmers do it in the dirt!