Newsletter for Friday August 11, 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.

Journey From Grocery Store Eating to Farmers' Market Eating
The following letter was written by Susan VonderHaar, one of our market's very valued, long-time customers.  If you have been doing a bit of fence sitting, hesitant to take the next big step in eating primarily from the farmers' market, Susan's experience will likely help you move ahead in your journey.  She even included a chart of examples of items she purchases at our farmers' market and the few items she gets from the grocery store.  As you will see, the farmers' market list is considerably longer than the grocery store list.   

My Journey and Evolution as a Farmers' Market Customer

I am a proud, loyal, and regular customer of the LEWFM on Cincinnati's west side, but it was not always so. In fact, try as I might to be that person who eats healthy, supports a local, independent economy, and finds enjoyment and friendship rather than anxiety and frustration in the chore of grocery shopping it was a challenging full year of behavior changing and habit shifting to become the informed and satisfied consumer I am today. And like everything else in life, this status continues to change with the Market offerings.

A few short years ago, with a full time job, two teenagers plus their friends coming and going, and a list of extra curriculars of my own, I was a chronic grocery store shopper. Serving meals for my family has always been a home-making duty that I appreciated. I accept the nurturing task of providing delicious and nutritious meals to my loved ones. I'm the mom who insists upon homemade mac n cheese and even snuck squash into it at times. Supplying this fare meant grocery store shopping, and at all hours. I regularly found myself running down the aisles as midnight drew close on Sunday.

The point is, transitioning fully into a “Farmers’ Market” consumer was a process. It took me one full year to establish the new habit of grocery shopping between 3:30-6:30 pm on Friday. After many weeks I would still occasionally miss the opportunity to visit LEWFM only to slap myself on the forehead when I realized I had slipped. Slipped how? I had missed the chance to get those eggs that are so high quality you can smell the difference when they're cooking. That's right! Eggs from pastured chickens that are not fed GMO or soy, rather scratch up their protein in the form of insect larvae, look, smell, and taste significantly better. Yes, they cost more, so we are careful not to waste any.

Click image to enlarge
Another step in the process was tweaking the menu; learning to create meal plans with what's seasonal. What's available. What we had never eaten before. Kimchi? Rutabagas? You might guess an amateur chef like myself enjoys this aspect, but it is nonetheless a challenge. Do you know that radishes can be used a lot like onions in a base for soups and stews? They add a nice zing. And serve 3 vegetables (all different colors!) in the same meal with less meat and starch on the plate. This is how we're supposed to be eating, you know. Half the plate should be vegetables. Certainly not the way I was used to cooking. And guess what? It's more filling! It's true what they say about fiber; it's slow to digest, allows for more complete nutrient extraction, so is more satisfying! Now we add a little serving of fermented veg on each plate, just for good measure.
With these newly emerging menu items, it became increasingly less difficult to wait a few extra days to get things at the Farmers’ Market, rather than having to rush out to the big box store ( midnight on Sunday…)

Another thing about whole, fresh produce is it that it tends to keep longer—follow the vendors' advice.  Now I had come to realize the hidden secret: the food costs more, but I am saving money because I waste and eat less.

After a time, I really wanted to stretch my legs. I began visiting other area Markets. Oh, they have Bison!. They have apples. There's live music. While I still enjoy the occasional itinerant
excursion, I return faithfully to LEWFM. I learned about and fully appreciate the strict guidelines for the produce at LEWFM. NO SYNTHETIC CHEMICALS. This is very rare in the U.S. even at Farmers' Markets. I have also come to understand the meaningful relationship I have with the vendors. The essential role I am playing in their work. They can provide high quality items because people like me keep showing up for them. I am thanked multiple times by each vendor every week. I actually feel the love. Does the Kroger Corporation have that kind of sensitivity toward us? Do you feel valued much less loved as a vital customer there?

And now that we've brought them up--it's really not all that convenient to shop there. It's 5 miles away, the parking is a nightmare, the lines are long, you have to walk a half mile past so many things you don't want or need, you are vulnerable to impulse buying, and the people are highly stressed. (Not at all surprising.)

In the years that followed my first visit to LEWF, I now find:
· I spend less than $100 each week at LEWFM while 70% of the meals consumed in my home come from there.
· Family members are eating beets, kale and squash.
· My cholesterol dropped 30 units.
· I grocery shop on Friday afternoon. That's right! I drink coffee every morning, go to work during the week, church on Sunday, and grocery shopping on Friday afternoon. It's just another regular thing that I do. It seems so simple now.
· Everything is hard until it isn't

A few tips:
· Keep coming. Make the trip to the Farmers' Market even if you aren’t sure you want or need something from there. There may be a new item or vendor. Besides, it’s a very pleasant place to spend time; folks are friendly and it smells good. Plus there's free samples!
· Eat raw: food is most nutritious in its whole form.
· Keep it simple. Raw, steamed, baked, grilled or sautéed are all very simple ways to prepare produce.
· Olive oil and salt are your best friends for bringing out the best flavor in so many foods.
· Most everything freezes: baked goods, breads, meats, food without preservatives by definition have shorter shelf-life. I'll cook more at once then place uneaten portions in the freezer.
· Be patient, with the vendors who may not be offering what you're used to. But mostly with yourself. We are transitioning into an entirely new way of life. The chain grocery store evolved over time as well. We are taking back our choices. Taking back our health. Taking back our lives.
 When all else fails, ASK! Two LEWFM vendors regularly provide me with a special request item.  And remember to enjoy the Journey!

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.

Some of our vendors attend market every week, some every other week, some once a month.  For dates and details 


Farm Auction 
The announcement below came from one of our customers.  Given the rapid loss of farmland and the importance of retaining enough land to grow the food necessary to allow us to Eat Well, I certainly hope this land remains as farmland.  Please help us spread the word by forwarding this newsletter to your contacts.

I just wanted to let you know that the remainder of our family farm is to be sold at auction on Saturday, September 9. The address is 11211 State Road 1, Brookville, Indiana 47012

It is divided into 7 tracts including 2 houses, barns and outbuildings, farm machinery, other equipment, farm antiques, and the remainder of the household items.  If you know of anyone interested, please forward them this information.

Thanks so much. 

Peace and all good,

Marilyn Wilson

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.  


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. 


  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.


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

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.  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.


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. 


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

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