Newsletter for Friday June 23, 2017

We are now in our Summer Market season with market being held every Friday indoors 3:30 - 6:30 at Cheviot School.  

Cheviot Elementary School, 4040 Harrison Ave. 45211: 
Parking and entrance are accessed behind the school.  Take Harrison Ave. to Carrie St. to McFarran St.  You will see the Lettuce Eat Well Farmers' Market sign by the entrance door.  Once inside, enter through the double doors to your left and enter the gymnasium on your left.



THIS WEEK'S HIGHLIGHT
The Pickled Pig and The Healing Kitchen
A riddle: Do you know what tastes yummy and is good for your tummy, and can be purchased at our market?  Your hint can be found in this week's vendor highlight.

If you have not yet learned of the importance of eating fermented foods to support good gut health, do your tummy a favor and check out this brief video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6pwKyxgi6M


Then stop by The Pickled Pig and The Healing  Kitchen at our market to sample a wide variety of fermented foods.  It's way more than "only" sauerkraut; you'll find numerous fermented veggies and beverages, including beet kavas and kombucha.  If even those words seem strange to you, please at least try a taste and then venture out a bit and buy one to start the process of introducing good bacteria into your body.  Then each week or two try another item and I suspect that before long you will be "hooked" on these taste yummy and are good for your tummy products.

In addition to the importance of eating fermented foods, notice that the video also addresses the importance of soy-free eggs.  Our farmer, Honey Tree Acres, also embraces that belief as evidenced by the lengths they go to in providing their pastured chickens with soy-free feed (see details below from Honey Tree Acres). 

All of our eggs and meat chickens are humanely raised and cared for. They are free range or pasture raised and fed a custom soy-free grain blend that we mix here on the farm.  It has been our experience that the chickens tend to be healthier and produce better flavor when their diet consists of a combination of grass, insects and a natural mixed feed that is a blend of nutritious grains – not just corn with a soybean meal additive for protein.


Our feed mix consists of organic corn, non-GMO field peas (used in lieu of soy beans), organic flax seed, organic wheat or buckwheat, fish meal, oyster shells for calcium, nutri-balancer for minerals and occasionally Kelp.  Most of the grains we use in our mix are certified organic and those that are not we know are non-GMO and raised without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. 

So, why Soy-Free?  Why not cave and start using soy beans or soybean meal? Soy-free is a personal choice for us.  There are numerous studies on the pros and cons of soy free – probably as many one way as the other.  Studies aside, our gut tells us that a soy based diet is not healthy – neither for us nor the birds. Soy has become the low cost, high availability ingredient in virtually everything in the food supply today – especially in processed foods.  To us, anytime something is mass produced in the interest of cost and expediency, it is to the detriment of the consumer and the nutrition of our bodies, and of our livestock. We are not necessarily basing this on science but more on what makes sense to us.  A feed ration based on a variety of grains rather than two mass produced grains (corn and soybeans) better reflects the natural diet of the birds and it is reflected in the flavor of the eggs and meat.  The feedback we consistently receive on the flavor of our eggs confirms this for us.  And, believe it or not, we have personally observed considerable differences between the quality of the meat and the associated odors between chickens fed soy-based conventional feeds and those fed soy-free grains.     


PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED
Some of you are long-time readers of the newsletter; others are new to the market and are reading the newsletter for the first time.  This section is included each week to bring your attention to important happenings around the market and around town.


A VERY SPECIAL REQUEST
Each week in this newsletter I highlight one or more of our Very Valued Vendors.  This week I am highlighting one of our Very Value Customers, Clark.  I recently received an email from Clark asking that I include information in the newsletter regarding his very special request.  Following is Clark's email:  

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE A LIVING KIDNEY DONOR?  My name is Clark and I’m receiving hemodialysis due
to experiencing renal failure over a year ago.  The treatments are keeping me alive but my greatest hope is to receive a kidney from a living donor.  I’m presently on the deceased donor wait list but it could take as long as three to five years to receive a transplant.  My quality of life would be enhanced if I could receive a living donor and no longer have to receive dialysis.  If you are interested, please contact the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Transplant Department at 513-584-7001.  I deeply thank you for your interest, Clark.

If you would like to contact Clark directly, simply send me an email by replying to this newsletter and I will forward your email to him.

I sincerely hope you will forward this newsletter to all on your contact list so we can help spread the word far and wide regarding Clark's very special request.  




NOTICES
There's still time for you to take part in the FREE cooking classes at our market.  Two class sessions remain in this series, and Margarita is already planning for the next series to be held this fall.


FREE Cooking Classes 
I'm excited to announce that free cooking classes began at our market on May 12.  The eight-week series is held from 4:00 - 5:00 and is taught by Margarita
Margarita explaining cooking class series to customer
Photo courtesy of Kelby Bowers
Lewis, Ohio State University Extension Nutrition Specialist.  You can register for the series or get further information by contacting Margarita at (513) 946-8973  lewis.2349@osu.edu   


I'm so glad that Margarita is sharing her insights about food preparation with our customers.  Her cooking classes, which are free and open to the public, help take the mystery out of preparing the foods many of our customers want to try but are unsure about how to start.  Over the past two years I have been over the top pleased about the number of folks who email, call, and come to market saying that they found our market when they decided to focus on making better food choices as a way to better health.  

Often, though, when I hear people say they want to make better food choices, I also hear their plight about not knowing how to prepare numerous items they see at the farmers' market.  That's why I'm so pleased that we will now be able to take  much of the mystery out of Eating Well by eating locally produced food items.  By attending Margarita's cooking classes you can learn how to easily make a wide variety of dishes for your family, items they will likely ask for again and again.  There's no better place to learn to prepare "strange" items than at our farmers' market, where Margarita shows attendees the various unfamiliar produce items and then shows/explains how to prepare the items.        

If you would like to get a sneak preview of Margarita in action check out the link below.  Thanks to Sarah Prud'homme, Media Specialist, for arranging Margarita's recent appearance on Local 12 morning show.
http://local12.com/news/good-morning-cincinnati/lettuce-eat-well-farmers-market-recipes-and-cooking-classes 



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NOTICES
Karen Blocher, aka Green GRRRL Wisdom, will be at market on the following dates this summer:  May 5, 19, June 2, 16, 30,  July 14, 28, August 11, 25, September 8, 22, October 6, 20. 

Tiffany Wise of The Healing Kitchen will be at market the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month throughout the summer market season.


Kirana of Nija Foods will be away for an extended time.  She will return to our market on July 14.

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BEEF AND PORK
The first Friday of each month, Mike & Deb of Abundant Green Pastures Ranch supplies us with their 100% grass fed beef from their Red Devon heritage breed cattle, and pastured pork from Mahlon Schlabach.  This collaborative arrangement between Mike and Mahlon is more efficient for Mahlon who, being Amish, necessitated hiring a driver to bring him to market.  This arrangement is a win-win for all.  If you are on the market's pre-order list you will receive further info from Abundant Green Pastures Ranch about the beef and pork.  If you are not on the pre-order list and would like to be, please see further details below.

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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 no longer has to happen?  At LEWFM you can pre-order your items and pick them up any time during regular market hours.  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 market week you will receive emails 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. 

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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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BYOB: Bring Your Own Bags to Market
As a way to help reduce the use of plastic bags, we are asking customers to bring their own reusable bags to market.  I realize that many of you are already doing this and we very much appreciate you doing so.  For those who are not yet in the habit of grabbing a few reusable bags as you leave for market, it might take a bit of extra effort to develop this new habit.  Doing so will result in short and long term benefits.  To gain some insight into the importance of reducing the use of plastic bags, take a look at this brief video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhxX1g9A2OM


If you don't have any reusable market bags we've got you covered.  Beginning this week I will have free reusable bags courtesy of Green Umbrella 10% Local Food Shift.  To receive your free bag, check out this link for directions for signing up for the 10% Shift.  https://greenumbrella.org/10shift  Then, when you come to market just let me know that you've signed up for the 10% Shift campaign and I'll have a bag for you: one per customer, while supplies last.



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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.  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