Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers and Mothering Folks out there! You are sooooo important!
~~How about the weather this week? Mid 90s all week and they are calling for 89 tomorrow in Lakeland! I know it sounds crazy to hope for that, but it’s better than mid-90s…just saying. With the overnight cool-off you will have a couple of pleasant hours early in the morning to hang out at the market and get ready for Mom’s Day. Vendors will have all kinds of cool gifts and we’ll have the goodies for a nice meal–what about grilling Patty-pan or Alexandria squash with potatoesand/or Sweet Potatoes and your favorite meat or seafood. We have a huge supply of Sungold and heirloom Cherry Tomatoes that are wonderful for snacking, summer salads, making tomato leather (Halimat’s latest project, since she found our dehydrator) and roasting. For early birds we’ll have a small supply of the larger type heirloom tomatoes from Italy, Turkey and New Zealand; AND we still have a good supply of mixed kales & ‘Dino Kale’. Our wonderful heirloom collards are shrinking and blooming so we’re getting closer to taking them out; but we’re still getting a few nice bundles….Same with the Bright Lights Swiss Chard; it will only take the intense heat for so long before it goes into a permanent wilt. We’ll keep selling bagged beets and carrots (also good for roasting & grilling) for just a few more weeks and then they too will be gone for the season. This week we’re bringing a huge supply of our crispy Savoy Cabbages and plan to ferment a big crock of kraut ourselves. Lots of dehydrating, fermenting, canning and freezing going on to get us all through the lean months until next winter. ‘Course we love our summer veggies and tropical fruits too: Soon we’ll be eating Okra, Chinese longbeans, Chinese, Indian & Thai Eggplant and more…it’s ALL GOOD. This week we will be bringing an extremely rare Turkish green called ‘Turp Otu’. It grows a lot like arugula and is rough and spicy; recommended for stirfrying, but I like it just fine raw and it would be good in a summer salad mix (then again, we like the unusual)
~~I just want to repeat some of the good news from last week–and ongoing: 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. 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!
** From time to time 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 every week. Please understand that this is not coming from the market management, but they have to follow the rules and enforce them. 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’ 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 (email@example.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
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. The Market booth is set up at the south end of the market and they can explain the process and 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!
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! Please ask if you don’t see it on the table.
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 -will be gone from for the season anytime now
Surinam Cherries – only a few pints, sweet!
Tropical Pumpkins – starting to fruit
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
Potatoes -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! We have to harvest & sell all in the next couple of weeks
Kale – Some nice bundles of mixed kale mix this week, and just dino kale; still producing beautiful bundles
Cherry tomatoes – starting to ripen! We have some Sungolds and other cool Cherry tomatoes
Heirloom Turkish/Italian/New Zealand Tomatoes – Now a couple available for sale each week
Collards – heirloom varieties; Alabama Blue, Florida Variegated, and ‘Morris Heading’ – tender & delicious!
Homemade jams made with very little sugar (organic) – cattley guava, Loquat/ginger, strawberry/basil, peach & FigNot Currently available
Pure Cane syrup – Yes! Give our own local, sustainable sweetness a try; not just for pancakes. Not always brought to the market
Luffa seed packets – not currently available
Luffa sponges & Ornamental Gourds-
Java Planet Coffees (whole bean, Organic, Fair Trade, Shade Grown & Bird Friendly!)
~~ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
. 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!