What’s fresh – September 14

Why buy flowers at a grocery store when you can have these local beauties?

It looks like we may be getting a little fall weather this weekend. We are also starting to see our fall vegetables. Greens like Swiss chard are returning. Squash and pumpkins have arrived. AND there are still tomatoes, peppers and sweet corn. We get the best of both worlds this time of year.

Duncan Family Farm now has their full line of brats. So, if you have been waiting for those maple/blueberry sausages to return, it’s your lucky day! They will also have sweet corn. We are all lucky!

Did you know that Invermos Valley Farms is taking pre-orders for turkeys? Yep. Stop by and chat with them. You can also discuss buying 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 of beef to store up at home. Check out their “beef bundle” option. It’s great if you don’t have a lot of freezer space.

If you haven’t tried the goat’s milk caramels or fudge from Colleen Meredith, you are missing out on something yummy. The Merediths will also have tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and grass-fed beef.

Pam Schmutzler will have a variety of produce including the first of her fall Swiss chard, pecans, cookies and bread.

Caleb Bax will have produce and mums. He’s had some really nice pumpkins the last couple of weeks.

We will also have our normal selection of baked goods, gluten-free baked goods and bread, sourdough bread and crafts, fall bedding plants and vegetable plants, and cut flowers.

It’s supposed to be a beautiful morning. Come spend a bit of it with us.

What to do with too many hot peppers

My pepper plants have been quite prolific this year. I went a bit overboard on the planting thanks to a very generous donation from a researcher on campus who had too many young plants. I planted several varieties of serrano, poblano, habenero and jalapeno (not to mention my sweet peppers). I have a pepper problem. Peppers seemed to have found incredibly favorable conditions this growing season. When you visit the market, you will see peppers in all varieties and colors.

I’m somewhat of a food preservation junkie. I can things, I dry things, I freeze things. I preserve as much as I can during the growing season to enjoy during the winter months. But, this year I have peppers in such overwhelming abundance that it frightens me. What could I do with so many peppers? My friends and family aren’t biting. I’m not sure they enjoy my enthusiasm for spice. I was thinking I would have a freezer full of peppers, or worse they would end up in the compost pile.

hot sauce
Home-made hot sauce. Look what I made!

Then I stumbled across this on the epicurious website – a recipe for fermented pepper sauce. I, the consumate pepperhead, was ecstatic.

You are saying, “Fermented? Eww.” Do not be afraid. Like the chef says, fermentation is hip! Who am I to go against “hip”? I picked a mixture of lovely red-ripe serranos and yellow habenaros (or it may be the ghost pepper- my tags are missing). The process is simple. You may want to wear gloves, although the first step didn’t require me to mess with them too much. Blend up about a pound of peppers with a 1/2 cup of water (use recipe above). Add 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt. Put in jar with a cloth or paper cover. Check your concoction every other day. The mold is not bad, it is natural. Remove it. Leave it alone, except for the skimming for about 10 days. Then blend with 2 cups cider vinegar, strain, and bottle. Easy Peasy. There is the added bonus of sinus-clearing fumes. Open a window, if you are sensitive.

Keep it refrigerated. I tested the pH on mine and it was well below the level required for acidified foods to be safe. However, the recipe says refrigerate, so I shall.

Oh and by the way, it is awesome! This pepperhead approves. With this first test batch proven, I will be making more. Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas!

What’s fresh – September 7

We are moving into a new growing/harvest season. Start to look for some of the fall vegetables and fruits at the market now.  You get the best of both worlds – tomatoes and peppers are still producing, some corn is still coming in, potatoes are showing up, some greens are reappearing and there are apples. Apples!

There will also be pork, beef, chicken, eggs, pasta, gluten-free baked goods, cookies, fudge, caramels, jam and pie. Cut flowers are here. Come pick up a bouquet or make your own arrangement. Get some local beauty to go along with all that fresh produce. Produce will include heirloom tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, cantaloupes, onions, cucumbers, okra, squash, potatoes, corn, watermelon, beans and much more.

Did you know that Invermos Valley Farms is taking pre-orders for turkeys? Yep. Stop by and chat with them. You can also discuss buying 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 of beef to store up at home. Check out their “beef bundle” option. It’s great if you don’t have a lot of freezer space.  Duncan Family Farm offers sides and whole options for pork as well.

The older adults that participate in our Sprouts and Roots program harvested heirloom tomatoes from the Community Garden Thursday. They plan to sell them at the market on Saturday. We will be working with them in the next week or so to learn new ways to preserve produce to enjoy it later in the year. Stop by and say “hi”.