Opening Day at the SKY Farmers Market

Saturday April 14, 2012
5th and High St., 7am-12noon

Welcome back to another delicious season of the SKY Farmers Market. It's Opening Day this Saturday, April 14th. Once again we'll be at 5th and High St. in the backyard of the Medical Center from 7am-12noon on Saturday and from 7am-1pm on Tuesday.

It's been unusually warm this spring, so you can expect a greater abundance and variety of produce than usual at this time of year. Among other things, O'Daniel Farms plans to be selling strawberries and cucumbers this week, and Rockbridge Greenhouse will even be there with their early locally grown tomatoes!

Despite the unusual weather, these are still our salad days. The real stars of this season are the crispy lettuces and bold-flavored greens of spring. Along with these and other spring vegetables, you'll also find a wide variety of eggs, milk, beef, pork, poultry, cheese, jams, jellies, preserves, baked goods, flower and vegetable plants, arts and crafts, and more. Plus, there's Bowling Green's favorite hot breakfast of local foods cooked to order in the open air.

It's the SKY Farmers Market, where you've come to expect an incredible variety of the best farm fresh, seasonal, locally grown and produced food and farm products in the region.

100% local, 100% of the time.

See you there!

Next Week: Vanishing of the Bees
Sunday, April 22 @ 2:00pm

Vanishing of the Bees - Trailer

sponsored by:
Allen County Beekeeper's Association
SKY Farmers Market
Au Naturel Farm
The Earth Ministry of Christ Episcopal Church
Falling Springs Flower Farm

As part of our Earth Day weekend celebration, the SKY Farmers Market is proud to be one of the sponsors of a screening of this film about the mysterious and catastrophic "colony collapse disorder" in honeybees.

The movie will be shown next weekend at the auditorium of Mass Media & Technology on the main campus of WKU (map). It is free to the public and will be followed by a panel dicussion and Q&A.

Get your Free SKY Farmers Market T-Shirt

We want you to have one of our new homegrown, organic cotton SKY Market t-shirts. Just come by the market to get your free shirt while supplies last. Jim Sears at the Zutrav dog biscuit booth will be handing them out.

We weren't able to find a local cotton grower, but we found a kindred spirit in the Oldham family from Texas. The Oldhams make these t-shirts themselves with their own certified organic cotton. They're pretty cool. Like the SKY Farmers Market, it's the genuine article. You'll be glad to add it to your collection.

Eating in Season: What's to Eat in April?

Kentucky is blessed with 4 distinct seasons (although this winter was a little questionable) and with each comes a distinct variety of fruits and vegetables. Eating with the seasons provides the healthiest, most diverse, and most flavorful of diets. Buying fresh, locally produced foods direct from the growers only accentuates the benefits. Nature's menu complements the body's seasonal needs beautifully, providing a bounty of storage foods in the fall; more fat, protein, and starch for warmth in the winter; and abundant high-energy foods for summer's long, active days.

Springtime is a time for a welcome return to freshness. Traditionally, people have relished the first dandelion shoots and other tender greens to emerge from the ground. What are now often considered pesky lawn weeds were once a precious spring tonic to relieve both the monotony and vitamin and mineral deficiencies of winter's restricted diet.

In this time and place we're not limited to subsisting on salt pork and turnips through the winter, but we can still enjoy the return of freshness to the table. Fresh leafy greens are touted as some of the healthiest of foods. They're high in anti-oxidants, iron, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals. They fortify the blood and stimulate the circulation. What's more, they have a fresh, bold flavor and they're very versatile in the kitchen both for cooking and eating raw.

Seasoned veterans won't need to be told what to do with a mess of greens. But if you're still in transition to a farm fresh diet, take a little time to talk to the growers or the other customers around you at the market to get some ideas. If the phrase "eat your greens" conjures up an image of a slimy gob of canned spinach, boy have we got a treat for you!

Generally speaking the secret to cooking greens is not to over cook them. For the best flavor and nutrition they should be lightly steamed until just wilted. A pat of butter and perhaps a sprinkle of salt will help to bring out their natural flavors and enhance digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Served as a simple side dish, cooked greens brighten any meal. They can also be mixed into stir-fry and other "one dish" meals, mixed into salads, added as a topping to pizza, or mixed into baked goods. One of the intangible benefits of seasonal eating is the way it can unleash your culinary creativity. If you come up with a good recipe for collard muffins, send us the recipe!

Popeye the Sailor - Let's Stalk Spinach (1951)

Spinach with Walnut Dressing

Try this simple side dish for an unexpected variation on spinach. The flavor is full-bodied, sweet, and salty. Try it with other foods that are light-flavored, sour, or spicy. You can try substituting other types of nuts, seeds, or a mix of nuts. We've also used other mild flavored greens like swiss chard or bok choy. Enjoy!

  • Serves 4 (more or less)
  • 1/2 lb. spinach, washed and lightly steamed until just tender. The shorter the cooking time, the better.
  • Walnut Dressing
    • about 1/4 cup walnut halves or pieces
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 4 tsp soy sauce
    • sake or water (or both)

After cooking the spinach, rinse in cold water to quickly cool. Gently squeeze out excess water, then cut into 1-inch lengths.

Crush walnuts in a mortar, leaving small chunks. Don't crush until smooth. Instead of a mortar, I use the bottom of a mug or strong cup to crush the nuts in a small bowl.

Add sugar and soy sauce to the crushed nuts and mix well. If the flavor is too dense, dilute with sake or water to taste.

Add the dressing to the spinach and toss well.

Best served fresh at room temperature, but it will keep 1 day in the refrigerator.

Adapted from The Heart of Zen Cuisine, by Soei Yoneda, Ballantine Books, 1982.

SKY Market T-shirt
The New SKY Market T-shirt

mess of greens