Newsletter for Friday May 1, 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.

Learning to Live Sustainably
Click image to enlarge
In addition to being the market manager, I am also a vendor at LEWFM.  The tagline for my business, Learning to Live Sustainably, is We can do it together.  In that vein, I partner with local producers to provide market shoppers with a variety of items which the market's other vendors do not carry.  The products include breads from Sixteen Bricks Artisan Bakehouse, local honey from Bee Haven, Rue Farms potato chips, veggies from Our Harvest Cooperative, and olive oils from Mt. Kofinas.  And beginning this week, I will be expanding my line of Mt. Kofinas products to include vinegars.  See the Recently Added section below for more details. 

These items from local producers help round out the market, which, along with products from the other vendors, allows customers to make most of their food purchases at LEWFM.  Doing so contributes to the local economy, keeping more of your food dollars close to home.  As a market manager, I sometimes hear people say that they just came from the grocery store and, therefore, they don't need  ..... (whatever the items are).  I encourage our customers to come to the farmers' market first and then go to the grocery store to pick up what we don't have.  Shopping at LEWFM also ensures that you know the origins of the products you purchase.  

  • This Friday, May 1, the market begins its Summer Market schedule.  The hours for the Summer Market are 3:00 - 7:00 P.M. (correction from last week's newsletter).

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.


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. 

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


For a full listing of our vendors, their products, and services including:
  • Kids & Krafts (available starting at about 4:15), 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.


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. 


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