Category Archives: Farmer’s Market

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 10/9/2010

Don’t know how I missed posting this one, but here’s another long lost post of the farmers market in October, 2010. This was right before I got sick, so unfortunately it was pretty much the last market I saw until mid-summer, 2011. Looking at this makes me inspired to make some cold weather dishes that encompass these seasonal ingredients. Keep your eyes peeled for some upcoming posts using these very items…’

Monster Cookies at Sassafrass Bakery

Fall Decorations

Painted Pumpkin

Colorful Peppers

Pumpkins of All Colors, Shapes and Sizes


Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/4/2011

When the farmers markets started up for the season, I unfortunately was still in the hospital being weaned off a ventilator and hopelessly weak (I couldn’t even sit up without toppling over). Going to the farmers market is the one thing that grounds me, no matter how frenetic the rest of my life is at any given time. It’s a yearly ritual that I hadn’t missed for years. Paul did a great job going to the markets for me, taking plenty of pictures, and bringing me fresh fruits and veggies (btw, a quick shout out to the folks at Select Specialty Hospital is in order – they were so great in adjusting my meals to make things that I could tolerate eating – their veggie omelet (which included whatever fresh veggies they had laying around, along with some nice melty cheese) is one of my fond memories of that time. The other biggie? The shampoo cap that was super relaxing – go figure.

I’m planning on attending the first markets of the year later this spring. Going without asparagus and morels and ramps and other spring goodies had me a little bit down, as did not being able to plant or tend to my garden. This year, nothing will keep me from picking up where I left off before I got sick. All of these pictures were taken at the North Market, if my memory serves right.

So, as the temperature plummets tonight and a little bit of snow falls, look at these pics as a reminder of what’s to come in just a few short months…what spring rituals are you most looking forward to?


Praying Mantis Nests

Heart Shaped Cucumber

Grape Tomatoes

Green Onions


Obituary: Lucienne Bloch

The Independent (London, England) April 3, 1999 | Nick Caistor BORN IN Switzerland in 1909, living most of her long life in the United States, the artist Lucienne Bloch is best-known internationally for her friendship with a Mexican couple.

The first record of Lucienne is as a small child in her birthplace Geneva, photographed with her brother and sister by her father, the composer Ernst Bloch. Bloch was also a photographer and taught Lucienne how to develop photographs as a child. In 1917, Bloch sailed with his family across the Atlantic to take up a position in New York, and a few years later became director of the Institute of Music in Cleveland and then, from 1925, of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He had a somewhat tempestuous relationship with his wife, who after a few years took her children back to Paris. detroit institute of arts

Lucienne studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, and spent a year making glass sculptures in Amsterdam. Returning once more to the United States, it was in 1931 that she both held a one-man show of her glass in New York and first met the formidable Mexican painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. In her diary, Bloch recalled that this was at a dinner in Rivera’s honour in New York, where she was seated next to the great man, much to the irritation of the jealous Kahlo, whose first words to the bemused young Swiss woman were: “I hate you.” Soon though, Kahlo became satisfied that Bloch was not infatuated with her husband, and over the next few years, she became Kahlo’s faithful companion, accompanying her during the difficult loss of her child, and the death of her mother, and even travelled to Mexico with her. On one occasion, in August 1932, Bloch wrote in her diary: “We took cold chicken in a little basket and went to Belle Isle dragging Diego with us at the last instant. It did him good to go out. He was so surprised at the beauty of the trees when lying down in the grass. He says trees are ugly and nature is hokum, but he can’t help admiring it when he’s in it.” Bloch herself was a talented sculptor – Frank Lloyd Wright offered her the post of sculpture director at his school in Wisconsin. But she was particularly impressed with the public murals that Diego Rivera was busily creating in Mexico and the United States, and instead became Rivera’s assistant. She also fell in love with his chief plasterer, the Bulgarian Stephen Dimitroff. She helped on Rivera’s most controversial projects, at the Detroit Institute of Art, and on Man at the Crossroads, for the Rockefeller Center in New York. Nelson Rockefeller had commissioned the 1,000sqft work, but the Rockefeller family was horrified when it discovered that Rivera intended to make it a paean in praise of Communism, with Lenin as the great spiritual leader of mankind. Rivera was quickly paid off, and armed guards moved in while the mural was covered with screens. Bloch attempted to defend it, even going so far as to scrawl on the whitewashed windows of the Rockefeller Center: “Workers unite! Help protect Rivera M-” – at which point, she was dragged away. She returned however, on 8 May 1933, with Dimitroff and Kahlo, and while Kahlo distracted the guards, Bloch climbed up on the scaffold and with her camera managed to capture the only images of the mural to survive. Throughout the 1930s, Bloch continued to work as a muralist and sculptor in glass and terracotta. She and Dimitroff married and became an artistic fresco team, he handling the plaster and she the painting on around 50 projects around America. Her photographs of Frida Kahlo were widely shown, but she also took photos for Life magazine, again demonstrating her strong political convictions, as in the series of striking carworkers in late 1930s. Dimitroff became a union organiser until the couple moved to California in the 1960s. Towards the end of her life, there was a renewed interest in Lucienne Bloch’s work. The singer Madonna, researching for a film project about Frida Kahlo, talked with her at length and set up a fund to preserve the best of her murals, The Evolution of Music, in the George Washington High School in New York. From 1965 Bloch lived in Gualala, California, and it was here that the first exhibition of her photographs of Frida Kahlo was recently held. Lucienne Bloch, muralist: born Geneva 1909; married Stephen Dimitroff (died 1996; two sons, one daughter); died Gualala, California 13 March 1999. see here detroit institute of arts

Nick Caistor

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 9/5/2009

When I was going through my drafts to see what I have and have not posted yet, I came across this market report from 2009 that has never been shared. I’ve got to tell you, looking at this makes me homesick for August/September when we can get the best of what summer has to offer (tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, eggplant) AND the best of fall as well (apples, winter squash, potatoes and other root veggies). Am I the only one who is counting down the days to spring in the same way that a baseball fan counts down the days to the first day of spring training?


Onions from Elizabeth Telling Farms

Winter Squash


Various Peppers

Sticky Buns from OK Mercantile

Fruit Basket from Gillogly Orchards

What are you looking most forward to? Events, or seasons, or produce, or whatever, all replies welcomed.  Next up, the market reports from 2011…


Albany Times Union (Albany, NY) September 14, 2003 Byline: CAROLYN HAX Washington Post Writers Group DEAR CAROLYN: I have a group of about 12 close girlfriends from college. At the end of our senior year, one of those girls, “Heather,” became engaged. Heather wasn’t my closest friend, but we were certainly considered in the same “group.” I am extremely offended that I was not included. If I were in Heather’s shoes, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I would invite her. Am I overreacting?

— Offended DEAR O: No, not unless your engagement party, shower, bachelorette, rehearsal dinner, wedding and brunch invitations got lost in the mail. If I were in your spot, I’d be really, really hurt.

But there’s getting validation and there’s getting over it, and don’t be so tempted by the former that you keep putting off the latter.

It won’t help, but look at it this way. You have 11 friends who will miss you and one who’ll be glad you stayed home. That not only makes for pretty good likability stats, but also is probably how it would be if you were invited but weren’t able to go — right?

Because, setting aside that you would have offered Heather a courtesy invitation, you and she aren’t close, and I’m sure there’s mutual indifference for some of the others, too. Few of us ever go 12 for 12 when it comes to impressing people, and your sense/illusion/delusion of being liked by all 12 wasn’t bound to outlast your 20s. (Ask any over-30 member of a school-era “group.”) You just had the veil ripped off in one swipe, whereas most watch it slowly wear thin.

DEAR CAROLYN: I lost touch with my best friend a year ago — she and I had a falling out when I revealed to her that I had feelings for her. She was in a really bad place in her life and, unbeknownst to her, so was I, though my feelings for her were true.

We’ve always been victims to bad timing; she liked me a few years back, when I was in a relationship. Right now we live in different cities, but I don’t see my future without her. I tried to get in contact with her right after our argument but she told me she would call me back and never did.

I can’t get her off my mind. Should I just forget about it and hope she comes back to me? I don’t know what else I can do … without looking like a chump.

— Missing Her DEAR MISS: If you want to look like a chump, then let fear of looking like a chump keep you from getting in touch. I mean really. Is saving face more important to you than saving a meaningful friendship?

Say, “No.” Good.

Now call her. If Chumpty Dumpty has a great fall, so what? At least you’ll have shown her that you had guts enough to try. And you have enough feelings for her. CAROLYN: My roommate brings over his on-again, off-again girlfriend just about every night, and I can’t stand her. I just want to scream, I’m so sick of seeing her there. I’ve tried talking to my roommate about it, and he seems to be of the opinion that he pays rent to have the freedom to do as he chooses. But I’m going out of my mind. Is there something I can do? see here essing wedding invitations

— L.R. DEAR L.R.: Move. (Just in case the mind-loss is advanced.) He freaked out! He felt that my not telling him sooner was an indication that I might be hiding other information about myself. Am I supposed to say, “Hi. My name is Jane, I’m a divorcee, I love margaritas and long walks on the beach”? Or, is it OK for me to feel things out before deciding whether it’s going somewhere and needs to be disclosed? — In Need of Divorcee Etiquette DEAR DIVORCEE: Nice to meet you. I’m “In Need of a Forehead Slap.” It’s a divorce, not an ill-gotten virus. You had a husband, and now you don’t, and even though few little girls wish upon a star that they might grow up to become ex-wives, it’s been a while since people used a stage whisper to say the D-word.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 8/12/2009

It’s been almost a year of my life since I got sick. Six months of hospital beds and feeling like everything is a struggle. Six months of learning all over again to performing the most basic of tasks (walking, grooming, cooking, writing, etc). I’m only now beginning to feel like my old self. Unfortunately, things that were super-important a year ago have been an afterthought for 2011.

Going through my picture archives, I’ve realized that I’ve missed opportunities to talk about events I’ve attended, pictures I’ve taken, meals I’ve eaten. I’m almost back at 100% so I’m hoping to spend the last couple of months of 2011 getting caught up. So, expect some old posts – even from years ago, they’re still fresh in my memories.

I’m starting with an older set of farmers market pictures – it’s funny how things don’t change much from year to year. And that’s a good thing, I think.

Sungold Tomatoes from Honeyrun Farms

Butternut Squash

Stanley Plums


Heirloom Tomatoes

Sweet Corn

Bell Peppers

Visiting the Farmers Markets Vicariously

I’ve been sick for so long that being able to a farmers market is a dream to work toward. In the meantime, i’m going to post some yet-unpublished pictures to remind myself and you all of what to look forward to.

Check out all my pics from last year’s markets in the slideshow below.


Paul has been hitting the markets the past few weeks so stay tuned for ongoing market reports from the 2011 growing season.

Sausage, Fennel and Bell Pepper Gnocchi

Original Blog Post: 8/30/2009

Last weekend at the North Market, Jaime of Wayward Seed Farms convinced my wife to buy a small fennel bulb.

I’m NOT a fan of licorice. I’m not particularly fond of fennel seed, and the stink of a fennel bulb pretty much turns my stomach.

So, naturally, Becke came up with a recipe for me to make for dinner one night this week which used copious quantities of thinly sliced fennel bulb (the better to drown the dish in an overabundance of fennel stank, no doubt) along with a decent quantity (1 cup each) of onion and sweet red pepper.

The result? A dish that, surprisingly, tasted not at all as I’d expected. The fennel no longer tasted of anise — instead, it reminded me of nothing so much as slightly sweet cabbage. Since I’d had the presence of mind to avoid sauteing the vegetables into a sodden mess, the fennel/pepper/onion mixture was decently firm while not being crunchy. The final step of the recipe, when I melted the asiago cheese and coated the gnocchi and other ingredients with it, added a lovely glaze and salty cheesiness to the gnocchi, which had been prepared without the use of salt or oil per the recipe and were therefore quite bland.

My opinion? This one’s a keeper. The only change I’d like to make to it is to replace the Trader Joe’s Sundried Tomato and Basil sausages (we doubled the sausage quantity from six to twelve ounces, BTW) to something more to my liking, like a roasted garlic sausage. That’s purely a matter of personal taste, of course.

Isn’t it lovely? It tastes as good as it looks.

Sausage Gnocchi

Gnocchi With Chicken Sausage, Bell Pepper, and Fennel
(Reprinted from RecipeZaar with several minor changes)
Recipe #299121
From Cooking Light, April 2008.
by dicentra
25 min | 10 min prep


16 ounces gnocchi
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
12 ounces fully cooked chicken sausage, sliced (Trader Joe’s Sundried Tomato & Basil works well)
1 cup thinly sliced fennel
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup freshly grated asiago cheese
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cook the gnocchi according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the gnocchi in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Keep gnocchi warm.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove sausage from skillet using a slotted spoon.
Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add fennel, bell pepper, and onion to pan; cook 13 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
Add sausage, gnocchi, cheese, black pepper, and reserved cooking liquid to pan; cook 1 minute or until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in parsley.

San Francisco: Day 2, Part 1

To tell you the truth, the best (and the most restorative to the soul) part of my trip to San Francisco happened on Saturday morning. You all know how gung-ho I am about farmers markets, and here I was – visiting on one of the days that one of the country’s most famous farmers markets was taking place – the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

As I approached the building early on Saturday morning right as the sun was coming up, I was struck by how beautiful the clock tower was against the morning sky.

SFO Day 2: Ferry Market Building

Saturday mornings are when the biggest market of the week goes on, where there are upwards of 120 different vendors both in front of and behind the building proper. Many of them are vendors from inside bringing their yummy foodstuffs outside. If you stop by the information booth on your way in, it’s much easier to navigate all there is to offer.

SFO Day 2: Info Booth for the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Some sights are very familiar to us here in Columbus – after all, most of what has been available for the past month here is apples and winter squash. So I didn’t get too excited about seeing more apples, although I’m sure they are delicious.

SFO Day 2: Apples from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

On the other hand, pomegranates are something we don’t grow in Ohio, so it was a bit strange for me to see something at a farmers market that I usually buy at the grocery store.

SFO Day 2: Pomegranates from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

The only thing that bummed me out about hitting this farmers market was my inability to get anything that required a kitchen, because this broccoli looked absolutely amazing to me.

SFO Day 2: Broccoli from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

OMG OMG OMG. Strawberries? In November? :::sigh::: only 6 or so more months to go until we get local strawberries here in Columbus.

SFO Day 2: Strawberries from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

I’m not a fan of artichokes myself, but aren’t these some gorgeous specimens?

SFO Day 2: Artichokes at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

And grapes, grapes, grapes, as far as the eye could see…

SFO Day 2: Grapes at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Flawless, super colorful bell peppers again made me long for a kitchen and some cookware.

SFO Day 2: Colorful Bell Peppers at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Luckily, much of the market stalls offered dried and/or smoked foods. If I weren’t worried about bringing it back on the plane, I would have bought some of this smoked fish.

SFO Day 2: Smoked Fish from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Persimmons are another one of those fruits I don’t see locally. Anyone know what these taste like?

SFO Day 2: Persimmons at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Cure your own olives? Really? P. would have loved this.

SFO Day 2: Olives at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

I did get some eggplant dip from this stand (wish I would have remembered the name of it!) along with some pita bites to eat later on in my hotel room.

SFO Day 2: Various Mediterranean Dips at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Sunchokes are one of those things that I have tons of recipes for, but have never been able to find locally.

SFO Day 2: Sunchokes from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

And I’ve never seen or tasted a kiwano in my life, but they sure look interesting.

SFO Day 2: Kiwanos at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Beans, beans and more beans. And across the way, I stumbled across Rancho Gordo, whose beans I’ve seen in local stores. If I didn’t already have a glut of dried beans at home that I need to work my way through…

SFO Day 2: Beans at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

This is a Buddha’s Hand – a citrus fruit mostly used for zest. At this same stand were some of the most delicious Valencia oranges I’ve eaten in my life.

SFO Day 2: Buddha's Hand at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

A little after 9am, I hit up Roli Roti – if I were impressed by the 3 or 4 rolls of porchetta they had going the night before, I was doubly impressed by the collection of chickens they also had going.

SFO Day 2: Lots and Lots of Pork and Chicken from Roli Roti at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

The view from the pier behind the Ferry Building is breathtaking. I decided to eat my meal at a picnic table facing this, and could stare at it for hours.

SFO Day 2: Bay Bridge

I got a whole porchetta sandwich this time around ($8.50), and I think it was even better this time around than it was the night before. Part of why it is so good is the roll, which is made by Acme Bread Co., right inside the Ferry Building.  The sandwich was so huge I still could only eat half of it in one sitting.

SFO Day 2: Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

I did opt for a small side of their potatoes ($3.50), which when finished with coarse sea salt and rosemary were the perfect accompaniment to that wonderful sandwich. Honestly, folks – if I lived in the Bay area, I’d be getting this once a week, without fail.

SFO Day 2: Roasted Potatoes with Sea Salt from Roli Roti at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

After eating, I moved inside to check out the stores there – I didn’t get to explore as much as I liked, since I had to get back to the hotel, but this is a must-stop for my next trip.

SFO Day 2: Inside the Ferry Market Building

Especially this mushroom store, that had varieties that I have never even heard of or have seen before.

SFO Day 2: Mushrooms from Far West Funghi

Loaded down with bags, I headed back to the hotel. Still wish I could have spent the whole day there, but tourists were starting to pile in, and it got a bit claustrophobic.

Next up – the Tasting Pavilion.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 7/10/2010

You know I’ve been feeling under the weather when I start missing farmers markets. So unfortunately, during July I missed like 2 weekend markets in a row. It really bummed me out because it’s something I look forward to all week. But it was made clear to me that I needed to not push myself and let myself heal. Thankfully, I’m back to almost 100% (or 100% of what I was before the shoulder injury – which means I have good days and bad days with my back). I’ve returned to my weekly trips, and hopefully can get caught up on my reports by next weekend. The good thing is, most of what was available in July is still available in August, so the information is still timely.

I think this was the only weekend I saw golden raspberries at the Rhoads farm stand at the North Market – they have plenty of red raspberries these days, though. I love the look of the golden raspberries, especially in salads.

Golden Raspberries

I’ve been trying to acclimate myself to hotter peppers this year. Banana peppers are one of those ones that can be either hot or sweet. I need to dig up that recipe for pickled banana peppers that Mrs. Rhoads gave me last year, because I really want to make a batch before summer is over.

Banana Peppers

If there were tomatoes last month, we’re in tomato heaven this month. There weren’t that many varieties back then, but every single one I tried was delicious. The flavor of fresh tomatoes is one of the things I miss most in winter.


I have really come to love beets over the last couple of years. My favorite variety of beet is Chioggia, which are also called “candy cane” because they have alternating concentric circles of red and white and have quite a mild flavor to them. This is the variety I recommend that beet haters try first – it just may change your mind about beets like it did mine.

Chioggia Beets

Blueberries were especially expensive this year, although I saw the prices go down in later weeks. I think it’s a matter of supply in demand, at least in the beginning of blueberry season.


Red and blue potatoes are just the right thing for a recipe of patriotic potato salad.

Red and Blue Potatoes

For me, early July is the turning point for farmers markets, where the stands just explode with multiple varieties. What part of the farmers market season is your favorite? If you had to narrow it down to one weekend that you could go to the markets, which would it be and why?

Farm Fresh & Local Produce 7/3/2010

July has been flying by, hasn’t it? I’ve been under the weather for the past few weeks, so there hasn’t been much time for anything except keeping up with my classes and nursing my wounds, so to speak. Still, I did manage to go to the farmers markets on the 4th of July weekend, even though I regretted it immediately afterward.

Not because of what was available, mind you. Had I been feeling 100%, I would have been totally psyched about everything I found. Instead, I was just sorta stoked.

I always walk by Honeyrun’s stand at the North Market, but I think I need to start taking a closer look, especially at their selection of infused honeys.

Black Locust Honey

I’ve been going nuts for the peaches from Rhoads again this year. I bought a huge box to eat throughout the week.


Down at Worthington, AJ of Sassafras Bakery was timely with her American flag sugar cookies.

American Flag Cookie

And speaking of infusions, there’s another (new to me) farmer who has been infusing different vinegars. I especially loved the deep color of the Opal Basil vinegar, so I picked up a bottle.

Infused Vinegars

Since I developed an appreciation for beets, not a week can go by without me picking up at least one bunch.


At Gillogly Orchards, they had these wineberries. It’s not a berry I’m familiar with, have any of you ever worked with it? They kind of remind me of raspberries in appearance.


And lots of sweet corn available at all the markets. Once sweet corn season starts around here, I can’t get enough. It doesn’t even need butter or salt.

Sweet Corn

The person in front of me got the rest of the sour cherries for the year. 🙁 I’m bummed about how short the sour cherry season is here in Ohio.

Sour Cherries

So how did the rest of you spend your Independence Day weekend?

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/26/2010

I still wasn’t feeling 100% this past weekend, but I couldn’t resist the ritual of my Saturday morning farmers market trips, especially now since so many things are available.

We started, as usual, bright and early at the North Market – Mrs. Rhoads had the first peaches of the year, and was also kind enough to gift me a few ears of sweet corn, also new this week. I’m looking forward to eating the peaches out of hand – last year, her peaches were the picture of perfection.


After buying a few more things at the North Market (blueberries, shoo fly pie, and some really nice hothouse tomatoes from Wish Well Farms), we headed over to Worthington, early enough to beat the crowds. I need to remember to pick up a few ears of popcorn the next time around.


I love sunflowers, and love taking pictures of them. Each photo is almost like a painting. I wish I had an artistic bone in my body – if I did, my first subject would be paining sunflowers.


This head of red cabbage from Two Crows Farms turned into a fabulous slaw with a buttermilk-based dressing. It was a great side to the fish boat – nice and cooling and perfect for a summer meal.

Red Cabbage

I love that no matter what staple item you need, someone inevitably has it – like these carrots – would love to try these glazed. Not pictured but something I got a lot of were sour cherries – their season is short, but they’re great for making pies.


A quick trip to Clintonville to get some zucchini and a few other items. I’m always tempted by the artisan bread there, but unfortunately it’s just a bit too dear for my budget right now.

Artisan Bread

So where are your Saturday morning haunts? What great market am I missing? Who is your favorite farmer and whichever market you love?