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The Market is Open

Good Morning,
The Market is open and truly, it looks fantastic. So many good things growing in this mild weather.
I had a splendid time yesterday morning at the Hillcrest Farmers’ Market, happily nestled between Little Rock Urban Farming and Mylo’s Coffee Company. Between the windy cold and stiff cup of Mylo’s coffee, I may have scared some market shoppers, but, in my defense, I couldn’t feel my thumbs. The guys of Little Urban Farming were great to spend the morning with, and I somehow ended up talking with customers as if I farmed there. The Hillcrest farmers market is a great market, with a lot of personality and devoted regulars. Plus whoopie pies.

I was there promoting our 2nd Annual Little Rock Local Food Tour in the Hillcrest neighborhood. For those of you who attended our first annual in the SoMa neighborhood last year, be sure and tell everyone how much fun you had. This year, we’ll walk and bike the streets of Hillcrest, enjoying the artisan treats of places like Hillcrest Artisan Meats and Mylo’s Coffee Company, as well as the harvest from Pulaski Heights Elementary Garden, CANAS Victory Garden and Little Rock Urban Farming, where we’ll enjoy live music and a good, heart-warming meal. It’s going to be a fun community event! Tickets are $25, kids under 10 are free, and the rest is on us!

We’ve got some new vendors on the Market this week! Allow me to welcome Geek Eats and welcome back Honeysuckle Lane Cheese. Jeremy of Geek Eats makes masterful hummus, so much so that he went pro and started selling it at local farmers markets. Jeremy works to include local herbs and produce in his recipes (unfortunately for us, chic peas don’t grow much in these parts). Daley Dairy has been making raw cheeses from the milk of their hormone-and-antibiotic-free Jersey cows for years now. You can always enjoy their raw cheddar on the Root Cafe’s cheeseburger and now on the Market!

And from our familiar friends

  • Check out the Specials Section for sales on Maison Terre’s organic, fair trade herbs and spices.
  • Purple Kohlrabi from Barnhill Orchards. I’ve never actually tried kohlrabi, but my understanding is that you can enjoy it as you would cabbage, in a slaw or salad maybe. We’ll have to see.
  • Farm Girl has fresh (not frozen) bratwurst made specially for them by Hillcrest Artisan Meats from their pork. We love our local meat processors, but this is a product made by a true artisan butcher, fresh. I can personally attest to H.A.M,‘s sausages: they are delicious. I also just enjoyed Farm Girl’s Sliced Ham, very cured and very good.
  • Crimmins is back full force with their organic lettuces in many beautiful varieties: green leaf, red leaf, magenta romaine. They also have Mizuna, which is, hands down, my favorite salad green.
  • Barnhill has 14 varieties of pumpkins on the Market. Yikes. This is going to be a heavy-lifting Food Club.
  • Organic patty pan squash from Rattle’s Garden. If you haven’t had patty pan, it is a tender and tasty squash, easy to enjoy sautéed in a pan with some fragrant herbs. Don’t overlook Tara’s fresh green beans.
  • Organic sweet potatoes from Crimmins. Ah, sweet potatoes. The window for fresh sweet potatoes can be short, so I’d suggest stocking up for your Holiday feasts.
  • More baby Hawaiian ginger from Laughing Stock. This stuff is at least eight cuts above store-bought ginger. It carries great ginger flavor, not too spicy or overpowering since it’s fresh, and the skin is so delicate that you don’t need to peel!
  • Finally, some Arkansas black apples from Drewry. Black apples are firm, lightly sweet apples. They have an incredible storage life and, above all things, the word Arkansas in the title.
  • Fresh rosemary black bean hummus from Geek Eats. According to Jeremy, this is his most popular hummus.
  • Raw Colby cheese from Honeysuckle Lane. I’d enjoyed all of Honeysuckle’s cheese, but I would say that the Colby is my favorite.

Director of Operations, position open…

I’m sorry to let you all know that I will be making a move to Albuquerque, New Mexico this coming January. It took a year and maybe a few anxiety attacks to decide to move out there with my significant other, and I will be leaving behind an amazing community that has provided me with meaningful opportunities. Not an easy decision to make. I am grateful for your support this past year-and-a-half, not to mention your reading my words sent over the digital currents all the while. I look forward to visits and watching our local food system here develop.

On the upside, we are taking applications for a new Director of Operations! It’s an engaging job, filled with meaningful work, great relationships, and creative freedom. If you are interested in applying or just want more information, please email me with a resume or your questions.
See you this coming week!

Sam Hedges