Category Archives: Farmers Markets

Windy Hill Farm and the Atherton Market

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Like I was saying, after Owen’s Bagel & Deli, we headed to the Atherton Market across the street.  Our main reason for going was to pick up some items that I ordered from Windy Hill Farm.  Windy Hill Farm is based in New London, NC and they humanely raise their animals without the use of hormones or antibiotics.  They sell pork, lamb, beef, chicken, and eggs.  You can usually buy their products from the Atherton Market & Mill and the Yorkmont Farmers Market.

The cool thing about Windy Hill Farm is that you can pre-order on their website and pick it up at one of the markets on Saturday.  Or, you can pick up your order through the week at various other locations through the Buyers Club Pickups.  They currently have pickups in Salisbury, Lake Norman, Concord Mills, and Albemarle.  If that’s not convenient enough, then I don’t know what is.

Here are my goods:

BEEF. It’s what’s for dinner.

  • Special Steak sampler – various cuts
  • Pork Chops
  • Mild Sausage
  • Eggs

I also got a salad mix from Harmony Gardens and Kale from Mt. Pleasant

And yes, the greens are resting on a Dunkin Donuts box.

I also tasted the best Italian Ice in my life from The Frozen Melon.  Seriously, it was life changing.

I had the cantaloupe ice.

Now, this is the definition of refreshing.

Next on my list to try, is the tangerine!

When I got home, I made a salad with the greens I bought and added some Lavender and Fennel Goat Cheese that I found at Earth Fare.  I think most of my friends are aware of the goat cheese obsession I have and some (ahem, Vee) think I need an intervention.  You can’t stop me!

I topped the salad off with a Windy Hill Farm Fresh Egg!

You can always tell a farm fresh egg from a store-bought egg because the yolks always seem to be more orange than yellow.

Mmmm, get thee to the market.

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Community Supported Agriculture

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Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way to support your local farmers and in return receive fresh local produce.  Most farms have CSA sign ups by the season.  You pay a fee for let’s say, 10 weeks, and you receive a share of what is harvested, usually once every week for that 10 weeks.

I received my last CSA share from Barbee Farms this week.  I have been signed up with them since this summer and loved the experience.  They do have a winter CSA, but I decided not to sign up due to the Holiday scheduling.  I hope to sign up with them again in the spring.  Until then, I will make my way to the Atherton Market when I can.

I originally decided to sign up for a CSA for three main reasons:

1.  I was getting tired of waking up early on Saturday morning to make it to the Farmers’ Markets.  As much as I wish I was, I am totally not a morning person!  By the way, this was before I saw the documentary Food Inc. > I had been trying to incorporate more fresh produce in my diet, but I always found that the produce in the grocery stores never looked that fresh and actually didn’t even taste that great either.  Of course some of it is okay and is still better than any other packaged food in the store.  I was just a little disappointed in the quality.  This is when I determined that I would try to buy my produce from Farmers’ Markets where I knew it would be fresh and tasted way better.  The truth is, that local produce hasn’t traveled across the country and lost half of its nutrients before it reaches you and also hasn’t been picked before its ripe.

2.  Then I saw the documentary Food Inc. and found out that most Farms offer CSAs.  I never knew such a thing existed.  This was great news for several reasons.  It meant that I could have my Saturday mornings back to sleep in.  I wanted to be sure that I had access to fresh local produce every week and usually CSA pickups are during the week in the evening.  I picked up my Barbee Farms CSA on Thursdays between 3 – 7pm.  Perfect!  More importantly, I was helping out a local business.

3.  I decided that signing up for a CSA would be a challenge.  You don’t get to choose what veggies and fruit you will get in your share.  You take what they give you; whatever was harvested that week.  I found myself always buying the same “safe” produce at the Farmers’ Markets.  Produce that I had eaten many times before.  I was a bit intimidated to try new things because I didn’t know how to cook or prepare it or if I would even like the way it tasted.  I knew the CSA share would push me out of my box and make me try new things.  I actually enjoyed finding new items in my box and searching the web or cookbooks for ways to prepare them.

Here is a list of all the new produce that I received in my CSA share that I had never eaten before:

  • Kale
  • Sprite Melon
  • Canary Melon
  • Leeks
  • Lamb’s Quarters
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Butternut Squash
  • Patty Pan Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Swiss Chard

Here is a list of items that I have eaten before, but never prepared for myself:

  • Collards
  • Turnips
  • Mustard Greens
  • Eggplant
  • Radish

There are many more benefits to joining a local CSA.  Please read Agrigirl’s Top 10 Reasons to join a CSA.

Visit Eat Wild to find local farms in your area.

“Shake the hand that feeds you.”
— Michael Pollan (In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto)

You Can’t Have Dessert Unless You Finish Your Veggies

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Isn’t that what your Mom always told you?  I don’t think my Mom had to, since I ate them already 🙂

I signed up for the Know Your Farms CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for the next 4 weeks.  Know Your Farms is a company that travels to surrounding farms and puts together a CSA for you to pick up once a week.  I initially decided to do this to ensure that I had access to local produce every week.  I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to go to the Farmers’ Market every Saturday due to being out of town.  I know that some Farmers’ Markets are open during the week, but I’m not able to make it to those during that time.  I also wanted to be able to have my Saturdays back so I could sleep late…..but I can already tell that’s not going to happen.  I plan on getting up early again tomorrow and going to the Atherton Market!  It’s like some kind of addiction I have.

Know Your Farms CSA

Zucchini

Squash

Cucumbers

Collards

Lambs Quarters

Kale

Onions

I was so excited to pick up the box.  I opened the top like a surprise present!  There was one item that I didn’t recognize.  I didn’t ask the lady because I was too embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know what it was!  Next time I won’t be so shy 🙂 I came home and did some research on the internet and found out it was Lamb’s Quarters.  It is apparently one of the most nutritious weeds you can eat and can be used in place of spinach in recipes.  The next day, someone posted a pic of the weed on the Know Your Farms Facebook page and asked what it was.  At least I wasn’t the only one!  The Know Your Farms people also posted a recipe for the Lamb’s Quarters which I made.  It was good and I would make it again.  Vee, however, said it was good but that he couldn’t eat it all the time.  He is a meat and potatoes kind of guy and told me that I was on my own with the collards.  HAHA.

Lamb's-Quarter Quiche

This recipe is straight from the Taste of Home website.  I  omitted the pie crust and used garlic and herb goat cheese instead of cheddar.  Hey, you gotta work with what you got!

Lamb’s-Quarter Quiche Recipe

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 cups chopped lamb’s-quarter (tender new leaves)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk or 1-2/3 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 unbaked pie pastry (9 inches)

Directions

  • In a skillet, saute onion in oil until tender. Add lamb’s-quarter; cook and stir until wilted. Cover and remove from the heat.
  • In a bowl, beat eggs and milk. Stir in salt, pepper, 1 cup cheese and lamb’s-quarter mixture. Pour into pie shell. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° bake 30 minutes more or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 6-8 servings

Dessert Time!

So for dessert is Yoforia.  It is a smorgasbord of flavored yogurt with all the toppings imaginable!  Okay so seriously, here are all the flavors of yogurt that they offer:  Original, Green Tea, Pomegranate, Blueberrry, Dark Chocolate, Mango, Honeydew, Pineapple, Taro, Ferrero Rocher, Cookies and Cream, Vanilla Bean, and Cheesecake.  You get a huge cup and fill it up with whatever yogurt your heart desires.  Then you top it off with the many toppings available.  I’m talking all kinds of fruits, nuts, chocolate, crushed candy bars, cereal, gummies, etc.  It is truly incredible – I’m in love.  BTW – they use organic milk and yogurt.  Unfortunately, it looks like there are a handful in Georgia and amazingly three in the Charlotte area.

Dark Chocolate and Cheesecake Yogurt topped with Coconut, Peanuts, and Mochi

Blueberry, Pineapple, Mango, and Pomegranate Yogurt topped with Kiwi and Strawberries

And that’s all folks!

Cabbage and Beef and Peaches Oh My!

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When I told Vee that I was buying cabbage, he immediately began to tell me about how his Mom used to cook it with soy sauce.  So that’s what I cooked tonight and it was gooooooood!  First I browned ground beef from Baucom’s Best (support local!)  They use no antibiotics or hormones and are 100% grass-fed and if you’ve ever seen the Documentary Food Inc., you know how important that is. Anyway, I seasoned it with pepper, Mrs. Dash Table Blend and a little splash of soy sauce.  Then you lightly cover the bottom of a pan with soy sauce and saute the cabbage for a few minutes. Just long enough for it to still have a crunch.  Serve the beef and cabbage over brown rice and mix.  I usually add a tiny pat of butter and sea salt to my rice. A simple, yet filling and satisfying meal.

For dessert, we had Peach Cobbler made from the peaches I bought the other day at the Farmer’s Market. The scent of honey and peaches filled the air!

Peach Cobbler

I found a recipe online, but made a few changes.  You can find the original recipe by clicking here.  My version is below.  Using the whole wheat flour and honey gives it the soft honey graham taste (think Golden Grahams Cereal!) And of course it’s going to be better for you than white flour. In the recipe I substitute white sugar for honey and add brown sugar and sea salt on top.  Some of my measurements are also different from the original recipe. Bon Appetit!

Peach Cobbler

3-4 cups peaches, sliced

2 tsp. lemon juice

3 Tbsp. of honey and 1/2 cup honey, separated

1/2 cup butter (1 stick) melted

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup milk

1 and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

brown sugar and sea salt

1. Toss peaches with 3 Tbsp. of honey and 2 tsp. of lemon juice. Pour into an 8×8 dish.

2. Mix the remaining ingredients and spoon over the peaches.  Spread lightly to cover the surface. Then sprinkle some brown sugar and sea salt on top.

3. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Enjoy!!!

I Love Saturdays

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Why do I love Saturdays? Well, because that is the day I have time to go to the Farmer’s Market!  I got up at 6:00 am today just so I could make it in time to get fresh eggs from the Matthews Community Farmers’ Market.  Nevermind the fact that I can’t seem to wake up that early for work, but I guess I’ll do almost anything for yummy food. They open at 7:15 am and it takes me about 30 minutes just to drive there.  The eggs usually sell out within the first hour and luckily I was able to get there in time to buy the last carton!

Among other things, I got the most delicious breakfast from one of the vendors called Simply Sweet.  I had a slice of the Double Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with a glass of organic chocolate milk. Mmmmm so chocolatey!!! Vee had a slice of the Blueberry Buckle which was sooooo delish as well!

Double Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Double Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Blueberry Buckle

Simply Sweet Ingredients

I also got some salad greens, peaches, tomatoes, and cabbage.  Good thing I got there early because the peaches were almost gone too.  I think I might make some sort of peach cobbler and I will post the recipe when I do.

For lunch I made a salad with the greens I bought and topped it off with sunflower seeds and Four Pepper Goat Cheese from Trader Joe’s and a drizzle of olive oil. Fresh peaches also accompanied my plate.  Yum Yum in my Tum!  I love, love, love sunflower seeds and goat cheese in my salads.

I would say I had a pretty good morning.