Well, another week has passed and tomorrow the Farmers’ Market will be opening again at 10 a.m. and running until 2 p.m.. I can’t help but think about how farmers’ markets have evolved over the centuries.
About 5,000 years ago, farmers in Egypt came together to sell their vegetables and grains that they had produced. As time marched on the Romans, seeing a good thing, decided to add other items to the market mix. The Romans brought olives, grapes, figs, apples, pears, onions, celery, wheat and barley as well as spices, tools, clothes, sandals, baskets, glass, pottery, furniture and even live animals. As time moved on, the Middle Ages Europeans made their own contributions such as wool, tools, and some services.
When the Europeans immigrated from Europe, they brought the concept of a farmers’ market to the North American continent with them and the first farmers’ market in the New World opened up in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1634. Sound sort of familiar? Skipping ahead almost 400 years to the present, you can still find all of those items and more at our Farmers’ Market today.
Before I forget it, I want you to mark your 2021 Farmers’ Market calendar for 22 April. We will be celebrating “Earth Day.” Not sure exactly what will be happening, but it should be interesting, so, be sure and check here each week and I will give you all the latest information as I get it.
As more of the artisan and craft vendors return, be sure to check out not only the artisans I mentioned last week, but also Sue’s Closet, Patty’s Painted House Creations, or Quails QraftsCloset with tie-dye clothes, when you see them opening up again. I’ve heard through the grapevine, that there might even be some music playing again in the near future.
Of course, along with the regular crowd of vendors I listed last week, I wanted to mention a few more of the produce and plant vendors.
Now add some homegrown pecans from George Schneider and you could have the base for making a very nice fruit and nut salad.
Stop by The Lettuce Man’s Daughter booth and say “Hi” to Donna. She brings fresh picked young red and green romaine, red and green leaf lettuce, spinach and a salad mix. Most of the fresh produce vendors like to pick their produce the morning of the market, reminding us, as the Lettuce Man (Donna’s father) used to say, “You can’t get any fresher than that.”
If you want to plant tomatoes Ruth’s Hen’s and Garden is the vendor to see. They have 8 to 12 oz slicer tomatoes as well as cherry and other heat tolerant larger tomato varieties. The Scarlet Gila (coming on April 8) also carries a variety of seasonal homegrown plants for your garden delights.
Sivonn’s Garden provides seasonal garden produce to include mushrooms, salad mix and collards.
If you are into microgreens or sprouts check out the booth run by the two young ladies and a young gentleman, Triple J & R MicroFarm. They bring hydroponically grown microgreens and sprouts. Each week providing a different variety of flavors, all of which are nutrient denser than their more mature counterparts. I’ll be there too. I am the “R” in the name.
Want to try something different meat wise? Then stop by the Emu Enterprise and grab a few pounds of Yarlung Cattle Company ranged 95% fat-free ground beef that comes from YAKs fed nothing but alfalfa from birth.
If you are looking for a more traditional meat source, and this happens to be the first Thursday of the month, then skip on down to the San Ysidro Farm, for some of their beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey or frozen pastries.
Now that you have the meat picked out, make sure that you have the desired spices for your dinner. Mulcogi is where you will find just the right spices and herbs mixes. Don’t forget to pick up some salsa or maybe pickles and jalapenos from Cliff’s Salsa.
Top off your meal list by adding some delicious baked goods. Copper Canyon Breads is a great place to start. They have fresh baked and chocolate truffles. Steph’s Sweet Bakery will have cookies besides her leather works and photography. Pick up a few snacks along the way to hold you over during the day waiting for that delicious dinner that you are preparing. Incredible Snacks has a variety of snacks to choose from and Better Than Granola by Four Kings Kitchen makes their Better Than Granola out of grain-free, sugar-free granola made with a premium 5 nut blend (macadamia, almond, pecan, walnut, and hazelnut) plus organic pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, and spices.
Your trip wouldn’t be complete without swinging by Maggie’s Dog Treats & Accessories and pick up that something special for your best friend. There are wonderful all-natural pet snacks and treats to be found on their tables.
In the market for more personal items? Then you need to stop by Desert Oasis Soap and get that favorite smelling soap for your next bath or shower. Then walk on over to Ancestral Herbals and add some lotions, balms, muscle rubs, or maybe another different soap to your collection.
Now that all the necessary shopping on your list is done, it is time to take a break, relax, enjoy the day and get something to eat. The hard part begins now; deciding what you want to eat. Aside from the food vendors I touched on last week, are you looking for something more filling like a pork sandwich for lunch special from Lazy KJ Ranch or maybe you’re more in the mood for Mexican food like Tortillas, Tamales, and other baked goods from Esperanza? Maybe you just need something to wet your whistle like maybe some coffee or another hot beverage at the Café Cultiva. Whatever you decide upon, it can probably be found at one of the food vendors here at the market.
Again, as always, we can’t wait to see you at our next Farmers’ Market.
If you haven’t picked up your free copy of the 2021 Farmers Market Calendar yet, do stop by the Market’s Information booth. And as a reminder, don’t forget to mark the calendar for April 22. You don’t want to miss it.
Remember, many of the market vendors accept WIC Farmers Markets & Senior Farmers Markets Vouchers in exchange for fresh fruits and vegetables. SNAP cards can be also used at some of the vendors booths. SNAP and Double UP food bucks are also available at the info booth.
We are looking forward to seeing you all at this coming week’s Market. For more information on all our vendors and the products they will be bringing, please see this week’s Farmers’ Market newsletter at www.sierravistafarmersmarkets.com. Also, check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sierravistafarmersmarket/.
By “Uncle Ralph” Wildermuth, SV Farmers Market