The Spryfield Farmers Market is ready to put the Market Tokens in circulation. We are only too happy for this opportunity to give back to our community. Thank you for everyone who have already supported our program in any ways. A big shout out to Brendan McGuire and his team for funding the start up cost of this innovative promotional program. Their support in buying our iconic tokens helped us leaps and bound. We truly hope this program makes the market stronger and better for our community. While doing so we are very proud of launching an initiative that will fight food insecurity.
It’s sometimes hard to imagine what is happening in the darkness of the earth when it is covered by snow piles. Now that the snow is gone and the ground is warming up, sprouts of greens are appearing. Bulbs like tulips and garlics are showing themselves through leaves dropped in the fall. Now, your grass may not be quite green yet, but your local farmers have been busy and there is fresh food to put on the tables. Here is a selection of produce you will find now by visiting your local farmers’ markets. Hope you will enjoy a few tips about how to store them and the delicious meals you can make with them.
The first things to come up from the ground in early May are:
Baby Kale: For green leaves, it's all about avoiding excess moisture. Store the bunch of kale (no elastics) in a large container with a napkin or a folded piece of paper towel. Keep it in the fridge. A fresh bunch will last you over a week.
Spinach: Same as the description for baby kale above. Make sure to inspect your spinach on a regular bases to get ride of any yellow or wilted leaves. This will allow you to enjoy your fresh spinach for much longer.
Green Onions: These can be store in a glass jar of fresh water for a few days. Changing the water daily will help to preserve your green onion. If you prefer you can store chives or green onions in a large plastic container. This way they will last for at least a week. You can lay them next to your greens in the same container. Or chop them ahead of time and store them in a smaller container in the fridge. This makes it very easy to add chopped onion in any dish.
Radish: Radish wrapped in a reused plastic bag will last for months. I recommend that you cut the greens fine and add them to your salad mix. Radish greens contain important nutrients and can help to fill out a healthy diet. Radish greens are an excellent source of vitamin C, with as much as 6 times more per serving than the radish itself. A unique antioxidant comes from radish greens as well as fiber and protein.
Click here for a quick Radish Greens Pesto recipe from Attainable-Sustainable. Pesto is amazing as salad dressing, in marinate or as sauce for pasta or sandwiches. It can keep for months in the freezer. Have fun and eat your yard!
If you haven’t plant your tomato seeds yet, don’t bother. To produce lots of ripe fruits these seedlings need the extra long season and early warm days that only extra lights and indoor warmth will give them. They can be started in a heated greenhouse between March and April depending of where you live. May is a good month to start hardening your seedling by placing them outside during the days and back in for the nights. They will be ready to plant in large pot or directly in the garden after the last risk of frost, which is usually around mothers’ day,
Next time you visit a farmers’ market and see a vendor that sell hand-picked varieties of tough starter plants don’t hesitate to spend a few buck. These plants and a bit of loving care will yield you such a crop you won’t regret the investment.
With April, comes the first interest of spending a bit more time in the yard, not for moving snow around but to enjoy ourselves. We finally get a glance out the window after work where the yard isn’t either pitch-black or absolutely covered with snow. The weekends are now accompanied by the sound of children playing outside and birds song. The warmth in the air also mean the the soil will soon be malleable and those leaves or branches you never got to last fall can finally get cleared. I usually get a flashback of bags of leaves at the curb, around this time of the year. Late fall, I put the leaves on the garden beds but, in the Spring, I prefer stirring the remaining leaves with my compost. Brown waste, food waste (green) and water are the healthy ingredient your compost pile need. I also like to simply rake out the leaves in the “living area” towards the bushes and mature trees. Trees can turn the nutrient that will decompose from the leave into large yield of fruits by the end of the summer. Don’t miss out on this free gem!