Oh Glorious Eaters -
Winter is on her way! My vegetable fields experienced their first significant frost last night. Tonight's temperatures (which will be colder still) should grace us with our first "killing freeze". In reaction to this yearly phenomenon, Farmer Dan and I have been clearing the field of all remaining summer fruits such as sweet peppers, okra, green tomatoes, etc. Thanks to our apprentice, Calvin, the last of the sweet potatoes have been dug. I am proud to report that Calvin endured this final harvest "injury free" with no venomous snake bites despite the rather lively vole population that inhabits the sweet potato beds! For those of you who have been wondering about the fate of my poor snake bite victim - Calvin is doing great. He has regained full movement in his thumb (where he was bit) and now has a large depiction of a Copperhead in strike mode tattooed across his chest with the words "snake charmer" beneath it. (Just kidding......but I really think he should consider it....don't you??). Anyway, before I digress any further into the depths of my un-amusing sense of humor, let's get back on the subject of frozen veggies -
For most vegetable farmers, the "killing freeze" is a powerful moment each and every season. Come late Fall, we farmers are exhausted and utterly depleted of all energy reserves that have long been used up during the height of the summer harvest. Our eyelids hang heavy and every brittle bone in our body secretly wishes for the frosty demise of everything we've worked for. Approaching the field the morning after the "kill" is like stumbling upon an edible oasis turned graveyard. The frozen corpses of crops stand erect like soldiers; their rigid limbs filled with death at the touch of winter's wand. It's as if Mother Nature has left you a stark and lifeless monument to remember a season's worth of blood, sweat, and tears. It is truly touching...heartbreaking yet strangely invigorating. As a farmer, the cycle of life is the only thing I can truly count on. It gives me hope and a sense of renewal. I take great comfort in the fact that another season has passed and another is upon us - giving me yet another chance to get things right. As the saying goes, "there's always next year".
Anyway, enough sentimental agrarian poetics for one e-mail. Instead of focusing on death, let's focus on LIFE and all the LIVING FOOD the field still has to offer. The good news is this: the October freeze doesn't wreak havoc on all those luscious Fall Crops. Mean greens, radical root vegetables, and crazy cabbages will be bursting with flavor well into November and maybe longer. Storage crops like garlic, sweet potatoes, and creamy winter squash will also be present as long as supplies last. So, in conclusion - THE EATIN' IS GOOD. Come on down and eat your heart out this Friday at the BADSEED Farmers' Market from 4-9 pm. Your gregarious gang of growers will be heavily armed with all the season has to offer. We live to feed so you'd better EAT. See ya Friday!
New Vendor Alert:
It's that time of year! As our summer market season comes to a close many of our "winter vendors" begin to join us and that's when the party really gets goin'......
Put your hands in the air for Laura Christensen of Blue Door Farm. Laura has been bustin' her booty all season long on her urban farm in KCK. Her certified organic vegetables are sold at the Brookside Farmers' Market every Saturday morning through October. Once the leaves begin to fall, Laura gets the urge to ditch the "white table cloth" and join our god forsaken gang of rebel growers. The "badseeds" welcome her with open arms. You, on the other hand, should welcome her with open mouths!! Laura will have a tasty array of homegrown insanity including:
- Broccoli Raab. Big, beautiful and plentiful. A great green.
- Romaine and Red Sails Lettuce
- Purple Majesty Potatoes
- Swiss Chard
- Sweet Italian Frying Peppers (best. pepper. ever.)
- Japanese Eggplant
- PERSIMMONS! (native, so small-fruited with seeds)
*You can expect to see Blue Door Farm at the BADSEED Market for the next month or so and maybe even longer depending on the weather.
Sexy Veggie of the Week
This week's Runner-Up is the totally enticing Easter Egg Radish. These illuminated ladies are absolutely striking to the eye and ultra refreshing to the tongue. Their bulbous bodies come in glowing pink, stark white, deep purple, and funky fuschia. Yanking one from the rich black earth and sinking your teeth into it's crisp white flesh is what life is all about, my friends. I cannot give you that experience exactly, but I can yank them from the dirt myself, bunch them together, polish em' up, and display them on the market table for you to purchase and then greedily shove in your mouth. These gorgeous gals will be around for a couple more weeks. Don't miss out!
This week's Grand Prize Winner is the devastatingly decadent Chocolate Sweet Pepper. I kid you not - this pepper will make you swoon! Sink your teeth into it's thick, rich flesh and let an explosion of sweet & chocolate-y goodness engulf your taste buds. They are awesome!! This medium sized, semi-bell shaped fruit has meaty walls drenched in a cola-red color that gets browner (and more chocolate-y!!!) with ripeness. They are fantastic to cook with, but in my house they don't usually make it to the frying pan. I end up eating them raw like an apple cuz they are just so darn sweet and delicious. As I said, Farmer Dan and I cleared the field of peppers in preparation for the freeze. Therefore, we will be offering up the last of our harvest this Friday!! Go crazy....go chocolate.
Pictures are attached. You know the drill - print them out, blow them up, and plaster them all over the men's room!!
THIS WEEK'S ORGANIC OFFERINGS -
URBAVORE Urban Farm
A project of BADSEED - Brooke Salvaggio & Daniel Heryer
5500 Bennington Ave., Kansas City, MO 64129
Welcome to URBAVORE - an off-grid, diversified, urban farmstead in the heart of KCMO. Born in 2011, URBAVORE is working towards the creation of an “edible oasis” that brings organic growth, sustainable life, and creative solutions to a city neighborhood. We grow an extensive variety of heirloom vegetables noted for their unique appearance and extraordinary flavor, as well as an array of culinary/medicinal herbs and edible flowers. URBAVORE is a non-certified, beyond organic operation dedicated to respecting both the health of the individual and the environment. It is our aim to build community and collective consciousness through the universal pleasure that comes from eating good food.
*Easter Egg Radishes
*BLACK SPANISH RADISHES
*Giant Japanese Red Mustards
*ACORN SQUASH in Carnival, and Table Queen!!
*Sweet Dumpling Squash (the sweetest of all the winter squash)
*Sugar Pie Pumpkins
*BADSEED Braising Mix
*Oasis Gourmet Turnips
*Large & Luscious LEEKS!!
*Sweet Bell Peppers including Purple Beauty, Chocolate Sweet, and Carmen
*GARLIC!!! (in assorted gourmet varieties)
*RED VELVET OKRA
17th and Belleview, Kansas City, MO 64108
For the “meanest greens” in town, check out Lew's gourmet selection of urban-grown goodies. He grows a mouthwatering array of lettuces, spicy mustards, arugula, and gourmet salad mixes on KC’s west side. Other tasty morsels include heirloom tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, okra, and filet beans. New For 2011 -RUSTIC BREAD straight from Lew’s hand-built wood-fired oven. YUM!
*Loads of luscious GOURMET GREENS including Arugula, Lettuce Mix, and "Spice on Spice" Mustard Madness
John & Judy Kaiahua
8531 E. 81st Terrace, Raytown, MO 64138
John has been growing organically since 1984!! He plants, weeds, and harvests all his own crops on urban land that has been chemical free for over 20 years. Produce includes a wide array of vegetable offerings as well as apples, peaches, and pears in season. John is originally from the far off lands of Hawaii where he comes from a long line of pearl divers!! Now he spends his days out of the ocean and in the dirt, growing righteous foods for the Kansas City community. Lucky us!
Parker Farms All-Natural Meats
Tom & Paula Parker
"We produce all-natural gourmet beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and eggs. All of our beef and lamb is 100% grassfed. They are never fed any grain, animal by products, antibiotics, or injected with growth hormones. We have been practicing Management Intensive Grazing since 1997. It is our goal to care for all of the livestock that we have been blessed with, in as natural and humane a manner as we can. Our chickens for meat and eggs are also raised on pasture with green grass under their feet as much as the weather in this part of the world allows. Our hogs are fed grain, but do live outdoors with dirt under their feet. We do not use any petroleum based pesticides or fertilizers on our pastures. We believe that healthy people, and healthy animals start with healthy plants and a healthy, biologically active, soil community. Our meats are available at the BADSEED Market or through our Community Supported Agriculture shares."
*Ground Beef & Patties
*Pork Products: Chops, Brats, Breakfast Sausage, Italian Sausage, & Spare Ribs
*Lamb Cuts: Ground Lamb, Shoulder Steaks, Rib Chop (butterfly cut, loin chops), Leg (bone in whole, shanks, lamb liver)
**Pastured Chickens !!!!
*Tea Towels, Hand-made Teas, Candles, and Gourd Bird Houses from the lovely Parker Girls!!
* HOT PEPPER JELLY !!!
Green Dirt Farm
Jacqueline Smith & Sarah Hoffman
"Life is too short to eat grocery store cheeses! Green Dirt Farm, LLC invites you to try our HANDCRAFTED ARTISANAL SHEEP CHEESES created with milk from our very own PASTURED ewes. You can be assured of a richness and depth of flavor unique to the rolling bluffs of Weston, MO. Also on the menu is 100% GRASS-FED LAMB which is of unsurpassed quality, tenderness, and flavor."
*Artisan Sheep's Milk Cheese in aged and fresh varieties
New Traditionalist - Artisan Bread
Kansas City, MO
Chris produces old-world, rustic loaves from the finest locally-grown and milled flour on the market. His breads are made from a sour-dough "starter", lovingly kneaded, and baked to perfection in a wood-fired oven. Flour and water never tasted so good!
**Chris is MIA for now. I am confident that he will return soon. I'll keep you posted.
Les Miller only produces the best damn RAW HONEY on the market. No joke!! He is an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to sustainable bee keeping and uses 100% natural and holistic methods for managing his hives which range from 60 to 100 at any given time. His honey is sold in various quantities, and 1 gallon jugs are available on request! Bees wax candles and other by-products are also available for purchase.
*Bees Wax Candles
Get Real Food Co.
"At GetReal Food Company, we’re committed to creating incredible beverages made with real foods that are naturally brewed. Hand-crafted by real people who truly care about the details, from what they make to how they make it, from what they put in their bodies to what you put in yours. The result is a series of beverages that create a new expression of soft drinks and mixers."
*Micro-Brewed, All-Natural SODA!!
THIS IS THE BEST STUFF ON EARTH!!!!
Oddly Correct Coffee Roasters
Kansas City, Missouri
"Serving the nano coffee needs of the believers in a nano consumer lifestyle"
*Micro-Roasted Coffee by the bag and by the cup
Other goodies include:
Certified Organic Flour from Heartland Mill