Friends of the Market

From Scott Cratty
Mendocino County

Greetings.  This message is a day early for two reasons — but don’t let that lull you into forgetting to come to the market Saturday. Mark your calendar now.  It should be another, almost freakishly, beautiful day at the Farmers’ Market this Saturday.  Plus Don Willis will be back to entertain us on the accordion.

The important reason for getting this message out early is to alert you to what promises to be a worthwhile radio listening opportunity — featuring one of our very own market vendors as the host — happening tonight.  Join Doug Mosel for an exploration of what can be done to encourage and support small farms and farmers.   Its tonight on the Agriculture and Ecology Hour, when host Doug Mosel brings you the story of the New England Small Farm Institute.  The Institute is dedicated to supporting sustainable small-scale agriculture and beginning farmers.  Listen in to learn what they are doing to grow new farmers in New England.  Tuesday at 7 p.m. on KZYX & Z radio (90.7, 91.5 or 88.1) or  online at www.kzyx.org.

A less important reason is that Holly & I will be busy attending Professional Food Manager Certification Training tomorrow, but that is an entirely different adventure.

Pinky Kushner has been busy of late sitting for her daughter, who is in turn touring the country to support her — fantastic and successful book, Telex From Cuba.  Head to your local bookstore today to get a copy.  But, she made it to the market last Saturday and wanted to share a discovery with all of you:

I just wanted to tell you about an absolutely scrumptious find at the Market last weekend—Romaine lettuce from the Ortiz Brothers. Now, I know Romaine is considered fairly common these days, what with red oak leaf lettuce and fancy bibs available, but, seriously, the head I found last Saturday of this tried and true classic had the most fantastic taste and after-taste of any Romaine I have ever eaten. Even the core, which usually is bitter, was spectacular—after I tasted it, I cubed it and threw it into the salad.  I don’t know if it is the time of year, the lack of rain or the magic wrought by the Ortiz Brothers.  And culinary note: be sure to taste it before slathering it with a heavy dressing.   The taste is so amazing that it really doesn’t need anything other than a good olive oil (local please) and a dash of Meyer lemon or mild vinegar.   Please alert others to this find.

Thanks for the tip.

Get home on Saturday and make something wonderful with your market goodies? Why not share it with your neighbors.  Drop me a line with a description and the recipe.  I will start featuring recipe tips from recent markets on this list and in my Friday UDJ column.

See you at the market.

The Greenhorn’s Guide for Beginning Farmers

via Energy Bulletin

This is a guidebook for beginning farmers. It is written to help you plan your professional trajectory into the field of sustainable agriculture. In this 30-page guide, we cover some of the major areas of institutional support for young farmers, some likely venues of learning and useful references. You should come away with a sense of how to approach the many hurdles with style, persistance, and improvisational zip.

Greenhorn’s Guidebook for Beginning Farmers

Mendocino Organics CSA Blog

Draft Proposal for a Mendocino Community Based Farming Network (Live Power Community Farm)

A Fifty-Year Farm Bill by Wes Jackson and Wendell Berry, NYT

Fifty Million Farmers, Richard Heinberg at Energy Bulletin


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