Friday, December 6, 2013

I know its December and really cold but the farmers' market vendors are a hearty group and will be setting up at the Market tomorrow. The City Market is a great place to find unique holiday items and many of our artist/crafter vendors will be setting up in the heated pavilion located on the south side of the Market. You can expect to see:
  • Heirloom Green (crocheted items)
  • White Truck Originals (stained Glass)
  • Surya Shakti (jewelry)
  • Glen P. Davis Studios (portraits)
  • Elegant Home (soy candles, incense)
  • Terri's Designs (purses, aprons, infinity scarves, hair accessories)
  • Constance Smith Custom Oil Painting 
  • Garrison Wildlife Art
  • Scrunchies Galore (scrunchies, children's toys)
If you are looking for that special holiday bakery item, Pallo Poviticia will be selling wonderful poviticia bread. If you have never tried it he does offer samples, yummy!

Bristle Ridge Farm has incorporated baked goods into their farm stall, Jeanette will be bringing fresh baked pecan pies, banana bread and pumpkin bread. All of the baked goods sold at the City Market are made in licensed kitchens which are inspected by the county where the vendor resides, just thought you would want to know this.

The Market has vendors selling free range/grass fed meat every Saturday during the winter months (unless we have a ice or snow storm of course) and farm fresh eggs. (Golden Rule Meats, DanJo Farms and Natasha's Farm) If you are looking for something a little different KC Buffalo is a great option, Peter has wonderful summer sausage. This always finds its way into more than one of the gift baskets I give to my family at Christmas, they love getting baskets filled with items I purchase at the Market.

For those of you who use honey in your holiday baking Stephen's Orchard will be selling their local honey. They also have wonderful whipped honey in a variety of flavors, my favorite is cinnamon. These are great to put in that special someones sock.

So dress warm and venture out tomorrow to support your local farmers and those creative craft vendors.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The City Market was very busy on Saturday with vendors and shoppers. It was a beautiful day for November, I am sure one of the few 60 degree days we will have anytime soon. It was so nice to still see an abundance of winter squash, sweet potatoes, onions, apples, turnips and other fall vegetables. The City Markets farmers' market is open year round for those of you who prefer to buy local produce. Over the years the Market has increased the number of farmers selling a variety of meat and fresh eggs, these vendors are usually here every Saturday.

The EBT/SNAP program continues year round and  Beans and Greens will continue to fund the matching program. SNAP customers purchasing $15.00 from their EBT card will receive an additional $15.00 once a day on Saturday and on Sunday as long as we have vendors at the Market. Customers can purchase their SNAP tokens at the City Market office located at 20 east 5th street.

In addition to fresh produce, baked good, jams, jellies, honey and meat products the farmers' market also has a great group of Artist/Crafter vendors. Saturday the Market had vendors selling, soaps, lotions, candles, incense, jewelry, paintings, purses, scarves, dried flower arrangements, tag art, and children's toys.What a great place to find that perfect holiday gift.

If you have not shopped the Sunday market in a few years you will be pleasantly surprised. Today there were 23 farmer market stalls filled with a variety of food and craft items and 51 yard sale vendors selling a wide range of unique used items and collectibles.

Please stop by the City Market on the weekend and support all your favorite farmers and buy local for the holidays.

Pumpkin Bread
16 servings

Rinse fresh vegetables under running water. Scrub firm-skin veggies with a vegetable brush while rinsing.

1 cup pumpkin (1/2 of a 15 oz can or fresh, cooked and mashed)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup plain low fat yougurt
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup whole wheat flour

Wash hands and surface. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large mixing bowl, beat together pumpkin, sugar, oil and yogurt. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to pumpkin mixture, stirring until moistened. Stir in raisins and pour into greased 9 x 3 inch loaf pan. Bake for about one hour or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 

Cool ten minutes and then remove from pan. Refrigerate leftovers immediately.Show Me Simple and Health Recipes - University of Missouri Extension.

Friday, October 18, 2013

I have wrapped up my farm visits for this year so will keep you updated on the winter farmers' market. I am amazed by the number of vendors we have still coming to the Market this weekend. We have been very lucky not to have had a frost yet this month, but after the terrible spring we had I think the farmers deserve a break. We will have vendors braving the early morning temperatures in all three covered pavilions tomorrow.

There are still a few field tomatoes hanging on so you might want to get one more fix for the year. I have found so many wonderful ways to use tomatoes this summer but will have to wait till next year to try the recipes again, once you have fresh you just can't go back to store bought. I talked to a vendor from Versailes, Mo today who will have tomatoes starting in March. Yeah!

Fall is a wonderful time to get fresh lettuce, greens such as kale, radishes, squash and broccoli since they thrive in the cool weather. I have included a few recipes this week using fresh greens, apples and squash, ENJOY.

Greens Sauteed with Apples

2 tsp olive oil
6 cups greens, chopped
1/2 tsp coriander
3 apples peeled and chopped

Heat oil, then add greens and coriander. Toss to coat. Cover and steam until limp, 5 to 10 minutes. Add chopped apples and saute for 2 minutes.

I made the butternut squash  recipe last night, it was really taste!
Butternut Squash and Apple Bake

2 pounds Butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 baking apples, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine melted
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a 12 x 7 1/2 inch baking dish, layer squash slices. Layer apple slices on top of the squash. Mix brown sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon. Sprinkle over top of squash and apples. Cover and bake 50 minutes or until tender.

From the University of Missouri Extension, Seasonal and Simple cook book

Friday, October 11, 2013

I was unable to visit farms this week but I thought I would post a new fall recipe. I spoke with Randy Tillery this morning (stalls 46-48) and he said his produce is still producing, in fact the tomatoes are still coming on strong and look as nice as they did during the summer. I am keeping my finger crossed that Jack Frost stays away  for a little longer, I am not ready to give up eating summer produce.

Sweet Potato Brulee

12 oz. Sweet Potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup chopped pecans
6 Tbsp. sugar

Pierce sweet potatoes several times with a fork and microwave until tender. Split in half lengthwise and let cool. Scoop the potato out of the skin and place in a food processor. Add butter, brown sugar and salt. Process briefly until smooth.

Stir in the pecans then divide the mixture between four one-cup ramekins. Microwave until hot. Top each dish with 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar. Using quick, lateral motions and a short flame, heat the sugar until it turns brown and bubbly. (you can place under the broiler if you don't have a torch) let cool one or two minutes for the sugar to harden. serves 4

I found this recipe in "In Season Cooking Fresh From The Kansas City Farmers' Market" by Julienne Gehrer

Nutty Apple and Spinach Salad

You will be able to find spinach, apples, goat cheese and honey at the farmers market this weekend.

1 large Jonathan apple washed, quartered, cored and sliced thin
2 cups washed spinash
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup fetta or goat cheese, crumbled
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. honey

Wash hands and surfaces before beginning. For dressing whisk lemon juice and honey in a small bowl to blend. In a large bowl combine apple and spinach. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Mound salad on four plates. Sprinkle with walnuts and cheese. Refrigerate leftover immediately.

Recipe from FNEP (Family Nutrition Education Programs)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Today I decided I would wait out the storm before I headed out, no use getting wet if I don’t have to. By the time I left the Market it was sunny, beautiful and a great day to be out and about. I can’t believe it is October already and the leaves are slowly starting to change. I had a few farms in Wathena, Kansas and one in Platt City I have not been to this year so headed north.

Right off highway 36, just outside of Wathena, is my first stop. Jared Juhl rents about 17 acres of farm land for growing part of his vegetables and the remained he grows on land that originally was owned by his grandfather. I gave Jarred a call when I arrived; I knew approximately where the property was but was not sure exactly which lane to drive down.  When Jarred arrived he had me drive down the mud/dirt lane because I have 4 wheel drive on the new truck, but quickly decided to walk as soon as the truck started to slide off the lane towards a corn field, I am not daring at all so opted to walk. Jarred helped me climb over a barbed wire fence and led me down a hill pointing out each crop as we went. I was so glad I thought to wear my boots; boy was it muddy and very slippery. Jarred was a little frustrated because his hay was cut but he had not gotten it bailed before the rain today. It is October so many items are getting close to being done such as cantaloupe, watermelons and tomatoes and the vines are looking a little ruff. The plants were not pretty but Jarred still had some nice looking tomatoes and cucumbers. He had a tuff time getting his squash to take off but once we started getting a little rain things really improved. His pumpkin patch was beautiful and had some of the largest pumpkins I have seen, except for those in contest. Speaking of pumpkins, Jarred and his family operate the City Market Pumpkin Patch the end of September through October, every Saturday and Sunday, they have a great selection and make buying a pumpkin fun. Jarred Juhl is at the City Market every Saturday and Sunday as long as he has produce, he is in the 100% category.

I can’t leave Wathena without visiting John at Goode Acres, At one time John’s farm was an apple orchard since then it has been cleared for a few homes and Johns farm. John has two high tunnels and one greenhouse on his property and has been busy planting a few crops for the winter. In addition to selling at the City market on Saturday’s John supplies produce to a few local restaurants. There has been an addition to John’s menagerie of animals; he has added a donkey, to the neighbor’s dismay. John had an abundance of peppers, which is good since he roasts them every Saturday in the fall. John is in pavilion one stalls 5-8. For more information visit his web site at

Every year for the past 4 years I have told Bill and Kathy Wright I would visit their farm in the fall so I can see their pumpkin patch, well this was the year. Bill greeted me when I arrived along with several families of kittens. They were too cute and insisted on checking out my shoes. Pumpkins Etc is open to the public every day 10 am to 6 p.m. They have a corn maze, hay bale maze, pumpkin patch in which children can pick their own pumpkin and a really cute store in their barn. The patch is free except for any item you choose to purchase such as pumpkins, mums, gourds, a little produce and fudge. The drive to the farm is nice and just outside of Platte City. For those of you who are hooked on their fudge, Bill and Kathy will be back at the Market in November through Christmas. For more information visit their web site at

I might just check a few farms in KCKS this week unless we get a frost.

Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash

1 2 pound acorn squash – halved, seeded, and sliced 3/4 inch thick
2 Tablespoons olive oil
8 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan about 1 ounce

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with the oil, thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Roast the squash until golden brown and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The season is winding down but all the farmers are still coming to the market so I still have farms to visit. Unlike many local farmers markets, the City Market is a year round farmers market, so many of the vendors are replanting in order to lengthen their season. Many crops do very well in the late summer early fall, such as broccoli, turnips and kale.

Today I am not traveling very far, just over the state line into KCKS. The City Market has many vendors living in this area who farm in their back yards, but their yards can be 1 to 10 acres or more. I was so surprised when I first started visiting this area to see how much land they have. I got a late start today; I had to catch up on my filing, emails and phone calls but since I will be at the first farm in 15 minutes, this was not a big deal.

I am sure many of you would never realize when you are driving west on I 70, right before 78th street, that they was acres of farm land just over the hill. There is a plot of land which is divided out and rented to some of the Markets farmers. It is a little tricky when I visit because I am not always sure which plot belongs to whom; they really need to post their name someplace. As I got out of the truck I startled a group of wild turkeys (about 10), I am not sure who moved faster, them or me, since I did not see them before I climbed out of the truck. I walked around the various farm plots for about 45 minutes; there was no one around but me and the turkeys, very relaxing.  The vendors farming this area and selling at the City Market are, Amy Lo, Pheng Her, Chava Xiong and a new vendor Youa Vang.  The produce growing in each plot is similar and has fared much better than in years past. This area does not have access to water so must be hauled in and stored in large containers. Hoses are attached to these containers and work much like a rain barrel. The area was peppered with zinnias, ornamental millet, gomphrena and celosia. They are still harvesting okra, kale, Thai peppers, lemon grass, rice, eggplant, garlic, tomatoes, and have replanted broccoli, lettuce and beans.  

Only a few minutes down the road and I arrive at Vanna Her’s. Vanna farms 10 acres with the help of her family. The farm provides food for all and enough to sell at the market. Vanna has increased the area she is farming since I visited last so I was happy that she was at home when I arrived to show me around. I got so tickled when Vanna showed me the patch of  winter melons, she told me that she told her grandson that they were dinosaur eggs, he is eight so totally believed her plus they look like they could be. Apparently they are not very flavorful but make a wonderful tea used for curing the flu. Vanna grows rice every year but for the past two years it has been so dry that it has not produced very well. She also grows luffa, like the sponge, which is known as Vietnamese gourd or Chinese okra and is part of the cucumber family. Vanna likes it fried, sautéed or in soup. She also raises sugarcane, pole beans, lettuce, bitter melon, lemon grass, pumpkins and sweet potatoes. Vanna is a waiting list vendor who sells at the Market on Saturdays but her location changes weekly.

My last stop for today is at a farm that is worked by three brothers, Cha Vang, Yee Vang and Choua Lor. All three brothers have been vendors at the City Market for more than ten years. They also have enlarged their fields over the past few years. I always like visiting their farm; it reminds me of a patchwork quilt. It sits down in a valley and is made up of square plots, each a different color and shape and texture, it is just beautiful. I walk down each worn path seeing some familiar items and a few things I had no idea what they were. Luckily I came across Yee in the far corner of the farm. Yee pointed out what section of the farm was his and what belong to his brothers. One of the items I was unfamiliar with was water spinach or sometimes known as swap spinach. It gets its name because it can be cultivated both in water and on dry land. Another unfamiliar item was bitter eggplant, instead of being elongated it was small and round. Choua Lor is in pavilion 3 stalls 122 & 121 on Saturday and Pavilion 2, stalls 79 & 80 on Sunday.  Cha Vang is in pavilion 3 stalls 123 & 124 on Saturday and Pavilion 2, stalls 75 & 81 on Sunday.  Yee Vang is in pavilion 2 stalls 66 & 67 on Saturday and Pavilion 2, stall 76 on Sunday.  

Not sure where I will head on Thursday, I still have quit a few farms to visit yet this year.

Lemon Grass Chicken Soup

2# skinless chicken legs
4 lemongrass stalks
4 green onions, halved crosswise
1 onion, halved
1” piece ginger, 1/2 thinly sliced, 1/2 cut into thin strips
1 fresh Thai or Serrano chili seeded
1 tsp black peppercorns
10 cups water
5 stems fresh cilantro, plus 1/3 cups leaves
3 stems fresh mint, plus 1/4 cup thinly sliced leaves
1 T. reduced sodium soy sauce
1 cup sliced mushrooms

1. Place chicken, lemon grass, green onion, onion, sliced ginger, chili, peppercorn and water in large pot. Cover, bring to simmer. Gently simmer 1 hour.
2. Add cilantro and mint stems; simmer 15 minutes; strain. Reserve broth and chicken; discard remaining solids.
3. Shred chicken meat; discard bones. Refrigerate broth and chicken separately for 4 hours or overnight.
4. Skim fat from broth and reheat.
5. Combine chicken, thin ginger strips, cilantro leaves, thin mint strips, and mushrooms in a bowl.
6.Divide broth among bowls, and serve with chicken mixture on the side.

serves 6