Newsletter for Friday May 29, 2015

Lettuce Eat Well Farmers' Market is held each Friday year-round at Cheviot United Methodist Church 3820 Westwood Northern Blvd. 45211.  The market is usually held in the church's Werner Lounge.  Follow the sign that says OFFICES and we will be right inside that entrance.  Please note that this location could vary depending on other activities taking place at the church.  Follow the happy voices and you'll find us.  

We are now on our Summer Market schedule:  Fridays 3:00 - 7:00 P.M.



THIS WEEK'S HIGHLIGHT
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Beautiful Blooms and Bouquets by Linda
Want to add some beauty to your life?  Linda of Honey Tree Acres Farm & Gardens can help you with this.  Each Friday when Linda enters the market with her spectacular flowers everyone stops to admire them.  And market customers are just naturally drawn to the flowers.  It's wonderful to have not only delicious and nutritious foods at LEWFM but to also have Linda's Blooms and Bouquets.  Life doesn't get any better.  




 As the Honey Tree Acres Farm & Gardens website http://www.honeytreeacres.com/ explains, you can purchase one of the bouquets that Linda has pre-made, or you can choose flowers from her huge selection of cut flowers and make your own bouquet.  The picture below offers some examples of the buckets of flowers Linda brings to market each week, awaiting customers' oohs and ahhs as they pick and choose just the right colors and textures to fit their purpose.  Please note that flowers, too, are seasonal; therefore, you will see different types appearing throughout the summer and fall.  



Linda also does wedding and other special occasion flower arrangements.   
Think of all the occasions where beautiful flowers can add to the festivities.  The gift of flowers is always welcomed.  Linda can give you advice on how to extend their freshness, to keep them for an even longer period of time.  Although the flowers stay fresh for a long time, when they are no longer in their prime state you can compost them.  Yes, unlike short-lived gifts that are soon destined for the landfill, you can compost the flowers.   

Honey Tree Acres also offers a number of other items.  If you peruse their website http://www.honeytreeacres.com/ you'll see all the food items they provide for our customers: eggs, chicken, produce, and plants.  They also offer a CSA at LEWFM.  See details in the Previously Announced section below.    

 

NOTICES
  • If you haven't yet purchased all your veggie, herb, and flower plants for your home garden, Village Green Gardens and Greenhouse will be at market this Friday and next Friday.  They attend our market only during the height of the planting season.  So hurry by to shop their booth before time runs out.  See the Previously Announced section for more details about Village Green and the important services their non profit provides.


PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED

While some of you are long-time readers of the newsletter, people who are new to the market are reading the newsletter for the first time; therefore, this section is included each week so new folks can see what's happening around the market and around town. 


Pre-ordering Pays Off
Have you ever arrived at market to purchase your favorite item/s from your favorite vendor/s only to be disappointed because the vendor/s sold out of the item/s?  Did you know that that no longer has to happen?  At LEWFM you can pre-order your items and pick them up any time during market hours of 3:00 - 7:00 P.M.  Pre-ordering not only pays off for you, it also helps the vendors know how much to prepare/harvest, which greatly reduces waste.  Pre-ordering is a real win-win for all, and it only takes a few minutes of your time to plan ahead and place your order.  Given the importance of Eating Well, getting into the habit of placing your pre-orders each week will likely become a high priority on your weekly To Do List. 

There are two easy ways you can place your pre-orders, in person at market or via email.  Here's how the email ordering works:  Email me at LEWFMLOCAL@GMAIL.COM and ask to be added to the vendor email pre-order list.  Each week you will receive an email from the vendors detailing the items they have available for you to order that week.  Reply to their email, letting them know the items you wish to order, then come to market on Friday to pick up your items.  And as a bonus during the month of May, we will be giving away a free vegetable plant start to customers who pre-order.  This special offer is possible thanks to a generous gift from Susan VonderHaar, one of the market's customers.  Susan has an abundance of plant starts, which she is sharing with us.  Yes, we have the nicest customers.   

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COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE
Honey Tree Acres invites you to share in our vision of a sustainable future.  New in 2015...we are launching the next phase of sharing our vision of a sustainable future by partnering with a dedicated community of 15 or so consumers through CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) memberships. For those not familiar with a CSA, it is a partnership between the farmer and a dedicated community of supporters who enter into an agreement to share in the cost of the season's harvest in exchange for "shares" of the harvest during the growing season. We will harvest a wide variety of produce from mid-May through early October to share with our members on a weekly basis.  Details are available on the Honey Tree Acres website http://www.honeytreeacres.com/

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Village Green Gardens  
Eliza from Village Green Gardens has returned to
Village Green Gardens and greenhouse
LEWFM with a plethora of plants, along with extensive gardening knowledge, to help you create a garden at your own home.  She has veggie, herb, and cutting-flower plants, which she started from non GMO seeds at the Village Green greenhouse in Northside.  

Her list of plants is extensive.  If you would like to peruse her offerings, and even pre-order, before coming to market, Eliza would be glad to email you a list of available plants, along with pictures and descriptions of each plant to whet your appetite even more.  Email her at northsidevillagegreen@gmail.com 

When you purchase your plants from Village Green Gardens, you are also helping to support the efforts of their non-profit. 

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RECENTLY ADDED
My Artisano Cheeses 
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Calling all cheese lovers: it is my pleasure to introduce you to the newest addition to the market, My Artisano Cheeses. Jenny the Pie & Much More Lady has once again expanded her lineup of yummy foods.  She delights cheese lovers with a wide variety of delicious, locally produced cheeses and yogurts.  And not only are they exceptionally tasty, they are actually good for you because they contain probiotics.  

My Artisano cheeses and yogurts are made in Sharonville by Eduardo Rodriguez.  The My Artisano website offers insight into Eduardo's journey from Agriculture Engineer, farmer, and cheese maker in Venezuela to his arriving in the U.S. to further his studies, and his stint in corporate America.  He has a passion for foods that are in their most natural state and therefore most healthy for people.  Eduardo’s passion for food comes from his mom’s healthy food cooking, and his interest in artisan food while traveling to other countries.  
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The website also provides a vivid description of the complex process of cheese making.  

If you want to do more than just read about cheese, stop by Jenny's booth Friday to sample the cheeses and take home your favorites.  She has various types of cow's milk cheese, along with goat's milk cheese, and several varieties of yogurts.  And while you're at her booth you can sample her homemade jams and baked goods.  She also has homemade doggie treats.  Yes, at Jenny's booth you can find something yummy for every member of the family. 

Jenny, just like all the vendors, accepts pre-orders for all of her items.  You can place your pre-order with her while you're at market each week, or by emailing her.  If you are not on her email pre-order list, check out the Previously Announced section for further details. 


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RECENTLY ADDED
Vinegars from Mt. Kofinas
I am pleased to announce that I now carry the Mt. Kofinas line of superior vinegars.  If you are like most of my customers, after your first bottle of Mt. Kofinas olive oil, you never again settle for the cheap (read: inferior) oils from the grocery store.  I'm sure you will have the same experience when you purchase Mt. Kofinas vinegars.  Currently, I have the Italian Traditional Balsamic, the White Balsamic, and the White Peach infused Balsamic.  I also have the Greek Traditional Balsamic and the Greek Traditional Balsamic with Honey.  I will likely add other varieties over time. 

As I contemplate what to share regarding how to use the vinegars, I hardly know where to begin because their uses are nearly limitless.  I guess I'll start with how I use them most frequently: simple, quick, and delicious salad dressing.  Since the first time I made salad dressing with Mt. Kofinas olive oil, and now their vinegars, I wondered why I ever bought the bottled stuff at the store.  Never again.  

The recipe?  It's actually too simple to be called a recipe.  

Ingredients: Mt. Kofinas olive oil, Mt. Kofinas vinegar, salt & pepper, other spices and herbs if you would like.  The amount of oil you use is dependent upon the amount of salad dressing you wish to make.  I make this fresh each time; I do not store it.  Using about 5 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, put all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk for about a minute.  If you don't have a whisk, using a fork works fine.  Taste and adjust for more vinegar or spices.  Couldn't be quicker or easier.  Don't be afraid to experiment; your dressing is sure to be great when using these Mt. Kofinas quality ingredients.    

Either the Italian or Greek Traditional Balsamic can be drizzled on cooking greens, either just as you finish sauteing or steaming them or at the table. They can be used to make a dressing for potato salad or when making deviled eggs for an added zing.  The White Peach infused Balsamic can be drizzled over ice cream or used in recipes that call for sweetener  -  much better than other types of sweetener.  Well, there are a few ideas to get you started.  Now it's your turn.  After you've had fun making your own creations, please email me at LEWFMLOCAL@GMAIL.COM with your ideas and I'd be happy to share them in future newsletters. 

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For a full listing of our vendors, their products, and services including:
  • Kids & Krafts, where the kids can have loads of fun so you can leisurely shop the market
  • Many food and non-food items
  • and a list of vendors who accept credit cards
Check out our Vendors.

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Produce Perks
For those who noticed the logo at the bottom of the newsletter recently and wondered what it means, here is the good news about a new program.  Produce Perks is an incentive program that is meant to encourage and help those who receive EBT (formerly known as food stamps) purchase more produce.  Produce Perks is a dollar for dollar match (up to $10), with the matching dollars used on produce.  The Produce Perks website offers the following additional information:
“Produce Perks” is an initiative modeled after a similar program in Cuyahoga County.  It is administered by OSU Extension, Hamilton County as a partnership of OSU Extension, Hamilton County; the City of Cincinnati Health Department; and the City of Cincinnati Creating Healthy Communities initiative.  Focus is on access and affordability of healthy fruits and vegetables for under-served consumers. 
Produce Perks are incentive tokens given to customers at participating farmers’ markets who use an Ohio Direction Card (“electronic benefits transfer” or EBT card) to purchase food.  A customer wishing to use their food assistance benefits can swipe their card at one central terminal, located at participating market’s information booths, and ask to withdraw a desired amount. The market provides tokens for the transaction and additional Produce Perks that can be spent on fruits and vegetables.  As the name suggests, Produce Perks are only good for purchasing fruits and vegetables.  All other tokens purchased with the Ohio Direction Card are good to use on eligible items at the market.           
Please help us spread the word about this very worthwhile program.  One way to help get the word out is to stop by the market management booth to pick up brochures to share with those you know who receive EBT benefits.  You could also leave brochures at your church, doctor or dentist's office, or any locations that would permit you to do so. 


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Please share this newsletter with friends and family to help spread the word about LEWFM!

We hope to see you real soon at Lettuce Eat Well Farmers' Market!




Newsletter compiled by Mary A. Hutten, Market Manager