Friday, November 26, 2010

End of the Season at St Stephen's Market

Harmony Hill farm lays it all out for you..

About a month ago I ventured over to St. Stephen's Market for one of the last of it's summer markets. I had been once earlier in the summer, but not since. My husband and I arrived cash and shopping bags at hand, but this time rather than worrying quite so much about filling my shopping bags I was going to stop and take the time to enjoy more of what the market has to offer. I stopped at the first stand we came to even though I was certain I wasn't going to buy anything. I was wrong. An array of different savory cheesecakes, jams, jellies, and desserts lay before us. Before I knew it I was being invited to sample one, then four different cheese cakes as well as the Damson Plum Butter I was eyeing, and that beautiful looking key lime pie. I tried them all. I really should have gotten some of that Damson Plum Butter. It was so good. I said we'd be back for a cold Key Lime Pie wedge (enough for 2 people for $5) as we were heading out. On to the next stop....

I sampled four different kinds of Cyndi's hot pepper and fruit jellies like Mango Habenero, and Roasted Plablano. All were good, but I fell for the Peach Habenero combo. Next, at Night Sky Farm's stall we bought a $3 block of Sweet creme table butter. Everyone at the market, other vendors included swore this was the best butter they had ever tasted. I sampled Night Sky's marinated feta. Jars filled with feta cheese, herbs and olive oil sat on the table, and multiple customers came here just to get this treat. After some nice leisurely conversation with the owner I walked away with the block of butter, and a package of creme cheese to top of that pepper jelly.

Our next stop was the adjacent Haashooms. That's the name of Steve Haas' mushroom business. Steve's a laid back seeming guy, and like everyone here he seemed happy to stop and talk with his customer's. We selected a lion's mane mushroom and some oyster mushrooms. We had a nice time, and learned a few things about growing mushrooms.

This handsome fella was painted by an artist who sells her paintings, including portraits of customers dogs at St. Stephens. We spent a long time talking with her and her husband, and are definitely going to get a portrait of our own pup. We had fresh eggs, bread, produce, cheese, butter, pepper jelly, and mushrooms. By the end of this beautiful morning it was time for lunch. We wondered over to Jazzbo's Rollin' Gumbo truck. I got the chicken gumbo and my husband got the Jambalaya. We stopped there to chat with the owner who is an old acquaintance, and then headed out grabbing the last slice of key lime pie from that first vendor.

On the way out we passed Erin who manages this market and I told her in all honesty that this was possibly the most fun we had ever had at a farmers market. Laid back, friendly vendors mix perfectly with a pleasant atmosphere and plenty of great finds. Happy and ready to head home we approached our vehicle only to discover I had locked the keys in car. Curses! Okay well, a phone call for help was made. Luckily, the car was parked under the shade of a tree. Great music was being preformed by Haze of Haze and the Transients. We had an impromptu picnic of Gumbo, Jambalaya, and jalapeno cheddar bread. We even had key lime pie for dessert. Just as we finished our lunch help arrived. What magical place is this?! I look forward to visiting this market more often next summer.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fiery Fish Smack Down

Okay, so it's the day before Thanksgiving, and I should be telling you about our heritage turkey and the rather crazy,bumpy ride down a pitch black road on Tuckahoe Plantation my parents took last night to get said turkey. Instead I am compelled to tell you a tale that starts with my most awesome husband spending $17 on a beautiful piece of rock fish, and ends with me coughing, and furiously smacking a giant ball of fishy flame with a kitchen towel. One hour later, every window in the house open we are still trying to salvage our dinner. The moral of the story... do not trust any recipe that says you can place a butter laden, bread crumb covered fish under the broiler!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New film: Farmageddon

Watching Food Inc. was great a great way for us to understand the break down the general food system so that we could wrap our heads around it. Fresh is wonderful movie about how beautiful and natural farming can and should be. I loved King Corn because it didn't take itself too seriously, and because it gave a sympathetic look at how we got to this crazy place in the food system. The Future of Food taught us about the complications and ubiquitousness of genetically modified foods.

Now there is a new movie about our big ag food system- and the gloves have come off. Look for Farmageddon in 2011.

Farmageddon Trailer from Kristin Canty on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Public Hearing on City Community Garden Program This Monday

City Council’s Health and Human Services Committee held a meeting on Wednesday on the City of Richmond’s request to create a Community Garden Program. There is now a second meeting before City Council for the Public Hearing. This is to be held Monday November 22 at 6pm in City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall.

Apparently there were a few in attendance on Wednesday that spoke in opposition to the program. If you are in favor of the the Community Garden's Program you should consider attending the meeting on Monday night and speak in favor of the program.

If you are unfamiliar with the community gardens proposal you can follow these links for more information. link to ordinance for Community Garden Program link to resolution for parcels for Community Garden Program

Northside Artists' Open Studio Today and Tomorrow

I've been seeing flyers for this around Northside, and got this in an e-mail from Chocolate Cravings. I've been to one of these before and it was a really lovely experience.

Artists' Open Studio

Show and sale at five artists' studios, 10 a.m.-4 p.m on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m on Sunday at 1350, 1501, 1514 and 1519 Westwood Ave., and 3313 Suffolk Road. Chocolate Cravings will be at 1514 Westwood Road. "

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Massaged Kale Salad

I first got word of this salad from Ali Moussalli of Frog Bottom Farm, who looked straight into my eyes and practically grabbed my hand when he was telling me about it. Ali is one of the most laid back people I know, so of course, this emphatic turn was intriguing. How DO you eat raw kale?

Cut the kale into ribbons, sprinkle olive oil and salt, then massage everything together for a few minutes- until the kale darkens. Then you have a base for a hearty fall salad. The best thing about this salad is that these greens can hold up to stronger flavors like sesame oil, and ume plum vinegar or tahini- ones that mere lettuce just could not handle.

I loved it with avocado and tomato, but Frog Bottom has several variations on their blog. I am sure you'll dig one!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2011 CSA deal from Frog Bottom Farm!

News from Frog Bottom Farm:

Registration is now open for our 2011 CSA!

The big change this year is that registration is now online at We've partnered with a company called Small Farm Central to do this; their focus is building websites and offering ecommerce services to small, direct-marketing farmers like us.

Otherwise, most things remain the same:
Our CSA season will still run for 26 weeks, from the first week in June through Thanksgiving week.
Full shares still cost $650 plus tax, and half shares still cost $350 plus tax.
You can still pay by check (always appreciated) or credit card (now integrated with registration instead of through PayPal).
You can still pay in full up front or in installments. Exact details are on the registration site.
We hope some of y'all will take advantage of our Early Bird Discount. From now until December 31, all full shares will be $50 off and all half shares will be $25 off -- that's like getting two weeks of your share for free. We'd love it if you let friends, family, and neighbors know that they can register now as well.

The new registration system should be easier for you, and we hope it will be a big time-saver for us as well -- giving us more time and energy to grow vegetables, to try some new varieties, to continue to develop our website as a place to share our farm's story and help you decide what to do with all those vegetables! We hope the registration process is clear and straightforward, but please call us at 434-248-5525 or send us an email if anything seems confusing.

Thank you so much for supporting our farm. We can't imagine doing anything else, and we think strong local foodsheds are such an incredible way to keep cities and rural areas vibrant and healthy. You play a direct role in all of this by belonging to our CSA.

In gratitude --
Lisa, Ali, Arlo and the Frog Bottom crew

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tricycle Gardens Urban Farm Stand Still Selling

This just in from Tricycle, I should have included them in my post season market post!.....

"Fall is here, and we are still getting loads of amazing greens (kale, collards, raab, chard, lettuces, lemongrass, oregano, and more!) from the 9th & B Urban Farm. The Farm Stand is still OPEN, but will be moving it to our new Headquarters (2107 Jefferson Ave in Church Hill) starting Tuesday December 30! (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4-6:30pm). "

A friend of mine went there last week and said they were really impressed by the quality of the produce there.

Hearing for more community garden space in RVA this Wednesday!

Thrilled to see that the City of Richmond is on board for more community garden space!

From: Alicia R. Zatcoff, J.D., LEED AP
Sustainability Manager
City of Richmond

The City of Richmond’s request to create a Community Garden Program to use city owned parcels for community gardens will be heard by City Council’s Health, Human Services and Education Committee on Wed., Nov. 17 at 5PM in City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall. There are two papers. The ordinance request for the program (first link) and the resolution to make city parcels available for use as community gardens (second link).
Please feel free to forward this information to interested parties and encourage members of your organization to attend the meeting and speak in favor of the program.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mark Winne Speaking This Sunday and Monday Nov. 14, 15

Mark Winne, author of Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart-Cookin’ Mamas will be speaking at two locations this Sunday and Monday on the topic of his second book.

Mark Winne will be speaking at:
The Harrisonburg Barnes and Noble at 289 Burgess Rd. on Sunday, November 14 at 1pm.

Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, November 15 (Monday) at 7:00 PM in the Hunt Gallery on the campus of Mary Baldwin College.
To visit Winne's web page, and read more on his latest book click here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fresh Film Viewing Tomorrow

From The Center for Rural Culture....
"The Center for Rural Culture will be hosting a screening of
FRESH The Movie, a film produced & directed by ana Sofia Joanes

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.
When:Tuesday, November 9th; Reception at 6:00 pm
Screening at 7:00 pm
Where: The Village Building, 3910 Old Buckingham Road, Powhatan, VA 23139
A $10 per person donation at the door is suggested as a tax-deductible donation to CRC.
Our Local Roots Co-Op now has a pick up site in Powhatan Courthouse! Join us at the reception to find out more!"

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Day of Sheep Shearing, Food and Cider

From Their e-mail...
Simply Abundant Sheep Shearing Day!

Join Simply Abundant on Sunday November 21st from 8am to 3pm for our fall sheep shearing day at Tuckahoe Plantation in Goochland County, 12601 River Road Richmond VA 23238.

Come early to select your favorite handspinning fleece directly from the sheep. We will also have delicious lamb, yarn, chicken and other wonderful treats for sale that day.

Admission to both the sheep shearing and the grounds is $5. Enjoy a wonderful fall day of sheep shearing, sheepdog demonstrations and self-guided tours of the grounds. Lunch will be available for purchase. Try some of our delicious lamb chili and hand pressed apple cider. We will have vegetarian options available as well.

Guided tours of the Tuckahoe Mansion will be held at 10am and 1pm for an additional $5 per person.

Please RSVP by email to before November 15.

Hope to see you there!

Emily Lenschow
Simply Abundant Farm

In The Kitchen Magazine Online

In The Kitchen Magazine is choc full of all kind of seasonal, local food stuffs. The current issue has articles entitled Apple Heritage, Becoming a Locavore (written by someone new to the idea), November Meal Planner, Produce Home Grown Apples, Are You Eating Those Acorns?, (I love that tittle.) Duck Sausage & Oyster Gumbo, and Vintage Virgina Annual Apple Fest Host the Annual Apple Pie Contest.... Whew... Check out some or all of these informative, short pieces Here.

Virginians Need to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is used, in part, to monitor consumption of fruit and vegetables. The 2009 data reports that only 33.7% of Virginians eat fruit twice daily (the recommended daily consumption) and 30.3% eat vegetables three times a day (the recommended daily consumption). Fruit and vegetable intake in VA has stayed steady over the last decade. Nationally, fruit intake decreased slightly but significantly (statistically speaking) and veggie consumption remained unchanged.
To read the report summary, and to compare Virginia with other states click here.

Or, read this article from the NY Times.

Save Our Food -Holiday Festival

From their website...
"A Celebration of Virginia's Best Foods and a Showcase of Food, Wine and Specialty Gifts
Last year, more than 3,000 people attended the Save Our Food Holiday Festival, making it the area's largest and only holiday food and wine show.
This event is the perfect place for you to simply enjoy a day with friends or family, take a break from the holiday hustle and pick up some delicious and locally produced gifts.
When: Saturday, Dec. 11, from Noon until 7 p.m.
Where: Farm Bureau Center at The Meadow Event "

I've talked to some who participated in last year's event, there was a focus on sustainable ag. and pasture raised farm animals, but it was not exclusively so.
Learn more about Save Our Food and the festival Here.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Richmond Area Holiday, and Winter Farmers Markets Abound!

Just a reminder that there are several area markets who will be continuing their regular hours, holding renegade markets, or having special holiday markets over the next several weeks and the upcoming winter months.

Huguenot and Robious Market: This market outside The Great Big Greenhouse originally was set to run only through September. Now they have extended the market through November 18. Market hours are from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

South of the James will continue to hold its Saturday market from 8:00-12:00 through December 4.

When South of the James is over the Market Umbrella is hosting what they call "South-Er Of The James" at 4910 Forest Hill Avenue SATURDAYS from 10 am to 12 pm
December 2010 - April 2011
. Google street view shows this address as the vacant lot next to the Blockbuster Video near West Over Hills Blvd.

Lakeside Market will continue both of it's Wednesday Markets and it's Saturday market through November! They also will be hosting a special Holiday Market on the evening of Friday November 12 from 4PM til 9PM to celebrate the "Holly Jolly Christmas" on Lakeside Ave. More information at

Goochland Farmer's Market will hold two holiday markets.
Saturday Novemeber 13 from 10:00-2:00.
Saturday December 11, 10:00-2:00.
Both of these markets will be indoors at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community Collage's Western Campus, 1851 Dickens Rd. Goochland. The Goochland Markets Local Roots winter food CoOP is starting now. Get more information or sign up Here.

The West End Market will host two holiday Markets. The first for Thanksgiving: Wednesday, November 24th, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. A second for Christmas: Saturday, December 4th, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The Ashland Farmer's Market will also host two Holiday Markets.
Saturday November 20th
Saturday, December 4.
The normal Saturday market hours are 9:00 -12:00. It looks like the Holiday Markets will have the same hours.

St. Steven's Market is hosting an On line Market There may still be room available for signing up. For $50 you can order from 20 different vendors online and pick your order each week on Thursdays from 3:00-6:30 pm. For more info. click Here.

Farm to Family: Jump on the bus, stop by their Mechanicsville shop or join their fall CSA. "Members buy a share of the 2010 Farm to Family CSA including local grass fed pastured meats, dairy and locally made bread and receive a weekly delivery of goods starting 09/16/10 extending 12 weeks. Anyone joining after the start date will be pro-rated,- Shares break down to about $45.00 per week (including Turkey) The cost of the membership is $550, save $25 if you pay in full." Click here to find out more, including how to get facebook or twitter updates on the bus location.

Lulu's Local Foods: Started by the woman who once owned Edible Garden, Lulu's Local Foods is an online program that allows for the creation of multiple CSAs in our area and beyond. One hope is to coordinate area drop off sites to reduce fuel and time for each individual producer. I participated last year via the St. Steven's pick up location and the available food choices each week was almost overwhelming! Click here to learn more and choose of the 2010 pickup sites near you.

Byrd House Renegade Market: Byrd Houses yearly "Renegade Market" started up this past Tuesday. I used to go every week and loved it. Bread, meats, veggies and more for loyalist shoppers from dedicated vendors. 2-6pm (or dark, whichever comes first)
Weekly through April 2011. Click here to see the vendor list and keep up with updates.