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posted December 10, 2006

Farmers' Market News

Market vendor Jessie Sosnicki rents a church kitchen near their farm to make and freeze the perogies that she and her husband Ben sell at the farmers’ market (and that the zamboni café sells too). Jessie is Ukrainian and Ben is Polish, and between them they have conscripted enough relatives and friends to make 2000 perogies at a time (350 packages). Jessie writes, “I'm going to start a photo/video diary of our works at the hall, as these ladies are so great and we have so many laughs and most are so old now (the kitchen manager turned 80 this month).”

Jessie plans to heat and serve portions of their roasted sauerkraut, hot beans and corn with organic butter at their market table this winter, all their own produce that they froze this past growing season. She writes, “I do think this is important to carry on the tradition of eating local in the winter. And when folks taste my frozen vegetables, even though they’ve been blanched and have lost a FEW precious vitamins, they might think local instead of imports on those types of veggie anyhow.” The warm corn and the warm green beans and the roasted sauerkraut will be served on “cabbage plates” – cabbage leaves that can be composted afterwards.

Market manager Anne Freeman has been going to many market meetings (including in Los Angeles and New Orleans) in the past year, sponsored by a grant Foodshare got for promoting more farmers’ markets. Anne says that many farmers feel that suburban markets are much easier on them – not so much traffic, easier access to their trucks and produce. She writes, “We're so lucky, wouldn't you agree? We have a great group of farmers who hardly ever grumble--well okay, sometimes they do, but it's very good-natured--about the hard work of setting up the indoor market away from their trucks, and the long trip into town.”

Now that much of the market is back inside the rink house for the winter, Anne also writes: “We need your assistance in making the winter arrangements work. When you have a lot of great food to haul home, jumbo strollers, bundle buggies and wagons are very handy, but they do take up a lot of room. Please, if you need to bring a "vehicle" along, leave it outside when that's possible, or try your very best not to block the flow of people through those bottlenecks in the rink house. Nobody wishes to be grumpy about this; let's make it work.”

And skaters: sorry for the Thursday crowds. From 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays you need to change your skates outside. The rest of the time, the rink clubhouse is yours.


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