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Sunny Saturday forecast for Jasper Farmers Market

By Xaviere Chatagnier

Wow, that was a really wet and nasty market last Saturday, April 20. The problem with farming is that when the vegetables are ready they are ready. Unlike a super market that will refrigerate them for two weeks, our farmers have to sell rain or shine. And rain it did! There were six vendors last weekend which is pretty awesome considering the weather.

Zach Henson had plenty of vegetables, Blue Ridge Farms sold their pasture-raised pork and beef. Only the die-hards came out. The farms had duck eggs, chicken eggs, kale and mustard greens. Irene Neal had her delicious pies, cakes and baklava; J & J farms had turnips, eggs and tomato plants; and Jenny Fellenbaum had lettuce and plants. Not too bad for a cold wet Saturday. Unfortunately, Buice Family Farms didn’t make it (and can hardly blame them) because of the weather. Loretta and Zach White (Buice Family Farms) sell the geraniums, flowers and vegetable plants.

Things are looking up for this Saturday, April 27, it should be sunny and 75 degrees. All the farmers and vendors should be out in droves. Zach Hensen will have Swiss chard, asparagus, kale, lettuce, onions, oyster mushrooms, herbs and eggs. Jenny should have lettuce as well. The Johnsons are planning on having kale ($3 a large bag) and mustard greens. Just about everyone has eggs and a lot of them. Most of the eggs at the market are pastured and the flavor is just night and day to store bought eggs.

Jackie Carlisle will be at the market with her healthy breads. She makes a really good, dense Ezekiel bread that is fantastic and it freezes well. Jackie grinds the grains and makes terrific English muffins, sandwich rolls and more. Irene Neal makes sumptuous cakes and pies. Tony sells a lovely sourdough bread, focaccia and those darn little pizzetties!

Jody Waldrup our favorite electrician and new dad!) told me that his tomato plants doubled in size this past week. He will also have a few lettuce plants as well. I imagine that J &J Farms will have tomato and pepper plants. There are always other plant vendors that sell flowering shrubs to ferns. And finally, we can plant everything. Yes, I said that last week but who knew the weather was going to be THAT cold!

Blue Ridge Beef won’t be at the market this Saturday but will be on May 4. Blue Ridge Farms beef is all grass-fed and the pork is pasture raised. They don’t add any of those yucky chemicals to their pork. You buy pork, you get pork! What a concept!. They will be at the market May 4 so bring a cooler.

I assume all the artisans will be out as well. Floyd Reed makes the best bluebird houses from red cedar. There is also a pottery person (I really need to get her name) who makes lovely bowls and plates. Jenny Fellenbaum turns her own wood and creates magical art work. There are also cake plates, knitted items and a few things that you didn’t know you needed but you do.

Buice Family Farms won’t be at the market because they had already scheduled their plant sale at the farm. I went to their place last weekend to buy my geraniums and elephant ears. They will be open this Saturday from 9-7 pm. They aren’t far from Hinton Mills. Buice Family Farms is located at 8950 HWY 53. Just go past Home Depot about 4 miles or so? The Whites are a young family that make a living through their plants. I love buying my healthy plants from them.

This weekend is also the Legacy of Caring at Big Canoe so you can be sure we will be going straight there after the market. The Book Sale is my favorite day of the year! Yes, I do read real books that you have to turn the page. I love books and this is the place to be.

Last week. I sold loads of lettuce to the Lupis (Home Restaurant). They made the most delicious spring salad with my greens and radishes. This week I had to take a break but John Lupi really supports his local farmers. Jenna, 61 Main, supports local farmers as well. She is open for breakfast on Saturdays at 9 a.m. However, I am pretty sure I am going to make a beeline to the book sale and have a hot dog, too .

Eat local and shop local.

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