Ah, the Cooling Rain! (04/07/2017)

~~Woohoo! We got a bit of rain to knock down the dust and cool us off for a couple of days! This will very likely be the last of cooler weather, so get out while you can handle the weather this Saturday. Last week we brought a super supply of our winter greens (especially Kales), so this week the supply will be much smaller and soon gone for the season! Right now we have some of the nicest beets with greens and carrots of the season. We also have bagged beets and carrots, if you don’t use the tops and want more bottoms *;) winking Lettuces are almost gone, this week will be mostly dark red Cherokee, then there is one more small crop, so we have our fingers crossed that it will make it. Daikon radishes are huge, without tops now; maybe a few pieces for those that don’t pickle/ferment large amounts. There’s the last little bit of Spinach, and soon, Collards; since they are all heirloom they’re blooming and will provide seed for next season. We’ll be pulling green onions from a newer crop and will have a super supply of zesty Cilantro, and Bright Lights Swiss Chard this Saturday.
~~News from the Gardens: There are green tomatoes on all of the varieties we’re growing, but from what we can tell so far the Sungold Cherry tomatoes and Kopek Hayasi Turkish tomatoes look the best–and taste wonderful…time will tell.  Cucumbers and several squash varieties have been planted in the garden, with yardlong beans and okra going in soon too. We’re attempting to stuff ourselves with loads of fresh greens before they are gone; but collards, kale and chard also dehydrate very well, and are just the thing to crumble and put in rice or smoothies for extra nutrition–and flavor! Those colorful, tasty nasturtium blooms are about gone and the plants are loaded with seeds that we hope to collect for next falls planting. Old flowering & seeding cilantro plants in the back of the garden are still providing loads of ‘food’ and egg laying spots for beneficial insects. Other plants that are open pollinated or heirloom that we will collect seed from include ‘Green Goliath’ broccoli and tropical pumpkins (calabaza; a good hybrid is ‘La Estrella’, which is just a cross from one from the Bahamas & maybe our Seminole pumpkin, I believe, something like that; it reverts to a good tropical pumpkin/squash).  Almost forgot, a very rare and pungent green called ‘Turp otu’ from Turkey will go in the ground today; can’t wait to see what this one is like, or if it thrives in our heat (another gem from TwoSeedsinaPod.com).
**  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.) OPENLY 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.

~~Raw Water Buffalo Milk & other ‘Pet Consumption’ *;) winking 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 (ecofarmfl@yahoo.com).

~~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 *:) happy 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 (SundayFriday), 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!

 

~~ Italian ischia sourdough starter http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinkadvice/10638629/Pizza-recipes-how-to-make-artisan-pizza-in-your-own-home.html

and Pizza dough, ready to use right away–active and ready to use (please pre-order this a week before so it can be activated) $9. Also, let me know ahead of time and we can have a Kombucha ‘mother’  available for making your own brew (also $9).

 

 
~~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!

Temple Terrace Farmers Market – Saturdays 9AM-1:00PM – A true Farmers Market – For more information check it out at:http://www.ttfarmersmarket.com/

or https://www.facebook.com/ttfarmersmarket 


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 ecofarmfl@yahoo.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! Ask us, we’ll have it in a cooler
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 the last few bags of our wonderful spinach
Strawberries! – our own organically grown, luscious strawberries -small supply–Only organic berries at the market!
Tropical Pumpkins – A few pumpkins are available; more just planted in the garden
Green onions – Still getting some nice bundles
Swiss Chard –  colorful Bright Lights variety–great supply this week
Daikon radishes – ready this week–without tops
Lettuces – a few dark red Cherokee
Parsley – a few nice bundles
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-medium 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 just dino kale; small supply this week

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! Almost gone for season

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 pegjeffcamp@yahoo.com.   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 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 tara@greeneggsnham.com or 813-716-6030.  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!