Finally, Some Refreshing Rain! (05/05/2017)

~~Woohoo! Cooling rain last night!  It will still be comfortable for the market Saturday, so come on out and check out our fab winter and spring produce while it’s still available: Cool weather produce that we still have includes super nice Savoy cabbages, Bright Lights Swiss Chard (no, it is not rhubarb), mixed Kales, ‘Dino’ kale (Lacinato), Heirloom collards, potatoes, Sweet potatoes, beets & carrots without tops (bagged) and green onions.  Warm weather stuff is coming in gang-busters, including loads of Cucumbers, three kinds of squashes (Patty-pan and Alexandria & Nimba that are even better than zucchini), Sungold and other cherry tomatoes, a few large type heirloom tomatoes (only a couple as they tend to get too ripen during the week and we have to eat them–darn!) and more!
~~The good news is that Halimat has decided to stay with us a little longer (I promised to take her to the beach and some other cool places more often)…yay!!!  The grandkids will soon be out of school and we’re in for some summer fun and games (and not having to get up at 5 AM every morning to pack lunches, make breakfast, etc.). The gardens have been doing very well, but it can’t last forever, so we are actually looking forward to a slower summer and more time to do other things. Okra, eggplant and yardlong beans are coming along and we hope they’ll be ready to kick in when more cool season stuff is gone.  There are quite a few savoy cabbages, carrots and beets left in the garden that we need to get out of there quickly. Weekend warriors that help out Friday through Sunday (Jose and Ruth) have been a tremendous help with the water buffalo, fencing, weeding harvesting and cleaning out the sugarcane field–and of course Bill Bates (‘Billy’) has been a longtime weekend helper and market guru that we couldn’t do without.  Thank you to so many friends, customers and family that help us here at Ecofarm!
**  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.

~~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. may not be available; please ask.
Pesto! Various Seasonal ingredients – great for seafood, pasta, potatoes and more! Not currently available
Florida Red-Bay leaves – use like other dried bay leaves in soups, beans, etc. Not currently available
Sweet Potatoes – 3 types available! All have been dug and will sell until they run out. Time to plant a new crop
Mulberries – Messy, but delish!  An Ecofarm Exclusive – may be gone for season (especially after this rain)
Surinam Cherries – only a few pints, sweet!
Tropical Pumpkins –  just planted in the garden
Squash! – a few Patty-pan, Alexandria (lg. light colored zucchini) & ‘Nimba’ Turkish zucchini
Green onions – Still getting some nice bundles
Swiss Chard –  colorful Bright Lights variety–small supply this week
Lettuces – gone for the season 🙁
Potatoes – just dug last week, red-skinned potatoes!
Carrots – beautiful, now without tops
Beets – small-large beets bagged without tops; it’s all good
Savoy cabbages –Good Supply this week–get ’em while you can!
Kale – Some nice bundles of mixed kale mix this week, and just dino kale; small supply this week

Cherry tomatoes – starting to ripen! We have some Sungolds and other cool Cherry tomatoes
Heirloom Turkish Tomatoes – may be a couple available for sale this week
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!

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!