If you're wondering what kind of fresh locally grown produce could be available in November, then you owe it to yourself to get down to the SKY Farmers Market this Saturday and find out what's growing on local farms at this time of year.
It's an ideal season for cool weather greens like kale, cabbage, spinach, and lettuce. Farmers also have good supplies of winter storage crops including sweet potatoes, squash, potatoes, and onions. And there are even some peppers and cucumbers and beans still being grown under cover!
The flavors of the season are bold and invigorating, warm and comforting. During these last two weeks of the market season, find your way down to the SKY Farmers Market and celebrate the genuine taste of the fall in Kentucky by shopping with your own local farmers at the SKY Farmers Market.
See you there!
SKY Market Calendar
You are invited to contribute to the SKY Farmers Market 2013 Calendar. We welcome your pictures, artwork, stories, recipes, haikus, any sort of expression about the SKY Farmers Market.
The SKY Market will be celebrating it's tenth season next year and it has always been a community endeavor. We encourage everyone to add your voice to the celebration. All ages are welcome to participate.
Please send your submissions by next Saturday, November 10 for inclusion in the calendar. You can contact us with your questions or submissions.
Farm Profile: O'Daniel Farms
Joe O'Daniel grew up on his family's Loretto, KY farm. It was a typical Kentucky farm with cattle, pigs, corn, tobacco, and hay. It was also typical in that Joe's dad had to work off the farm to make ends meet. That left Joe, the oldest of eight children, to ride herd on the kids and manage the family's garden. If his tables at the SKY Farmers Market are any indication, it must have been some good eating.
At the very heart of the SKY Farmers Market, O'Daniel Farms has become a bedrock institution in Bowling Green's local food system. For years now they've been a model for sustainable agriculture, setting the standard for quality and integrity, a benchmark for other direct market farms to aspire to. Year-round they offer an unmatched variety of fresh, seasonal, naturally grown produce to an eager and appreciative crowd of loyal fans.
Joe and Debbie O'Daniel began their market farming career with 3.5 acres of asparagus that they planted in 1990. It's still a favorite crop of theirs and of their customers. If you've been in Bowling Green long enough, you may still know them as "the asparagus people." They've built on that success to add another three and a half acres of mixed vegetables in the field as well as several unheated hoop houses and a greenhouse that they use to continue growing produce through all the months of the year.
At this time of year, when most farms and gardens are winding down for the winter, the O'Daniels are just gearing up for their favorite time of year. Once the market closes they continue to sell fresh produce throughout the winter via a weekly email list.
"It is such a pleasure to work in the hoop houses in short sleeves and enjoy the sunshine and to see all the wonderful produce thriving when most plants outside are brown and dormant," says Joe. During the winter season customers can pick up their orders at the farm on Friday or have it delivered on Saturday.
In addition to every sort of fresh produce you could ask for, O'Daniel Farms also produces beef, pork, chicken, and eggs, making them a one-stop source for most all of your locally grown staple foods. Their animals enjoy fresh air and sunshine and ample pasture, producing a healthy alternative to conventionally raised meat and eggs, as well as being a joy to watch on visits to the farm.
While the O'Daniels are well-known for their natural farming methods, the idea of sustainable farming goes beyond just agricultural practices and stewardship of the land and environment. For an agricultural system to be truly sustainable, it also has to be able to support the people on the farm and in the community. By developing direct relationships with consumers, the O'Daniels' farm is able to support their family on the farm without recourse to any outside income, unlike Joe's father and so many other farms in Kentucky and around the nation. It's a model for success in local and sustainable farming.
"It's really worked well for me," says Joe. "I think there's a lot of room for other farmers to do this very same business plan. I'm making a sustainable living doing what I'm doing right now."
Apart from reliable quality, remarkable variety, and year-round availability, the cornerstone of the O'Daniels' success is the relationships they've developed with all of their many loyal customers.
If you're not already on their list and you'd like to join, stop by and talk to them this weekend, or visit their website www.odanielfarms.com.
To receive their weekly produce list, send them an email at email@example.com.
Squash Ginger Cheesecake Bars
- 2 cups flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 10 TBSP softened butter
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups finely chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 cup cooked and mashed squash or pumpkin
- 2 cups (16 oz) cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 TBSP minced fresh ginger
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix crust ingredients thoroughly with a fork or pastry cutter.
Press crumb mixture into a large (10x15) pan. Save 1-1/2 cups for topping.
Bake crust at 350º for about 10 minutes until the edges are lightly brown.
Combine filling and pour over crust, sprinkle with topping.
Bake for about 35 minutes at 350º.