News From SKY Farmers Market

Saturday June 9, 2012
5th and High St., 7am-12noon

With summer just around the corner, it's the perfect time of year for eating fresh, local foods in season. At the SKY Farmers Market this week, you'll find blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries in season direct from local farms as well as an unmatched variety of produce including cool season cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and peas as well as summer favorites like tomatoes, beans, squash and cucumbers.

June is dairy month. It's the perfect time to get to know your SKY Market farmers who not only provide fresh, wholesome local dairy products, but also take the extra care and attention to produce truly distinctive products of superior quality.

  • JD Country Milk is low temperature pasteurized, non-homogenized, and sold in glass bottles for incredible flavor and nutrition.
  • Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese makes a variety of distinctive regional cheeses made from raw milk and vegetable rennet.
  • Falling Springs Flowers pure castile goat's milk soap is made from 100% pure olive oil and whole goat's milk from their own home dairy.

The SKY Farmers Market is a rich and diverse community of farmers and customers who care about quality, integrity, diversity, and direct, personal connections to local food and agriculture. The more you get involved, the more time you take to look around and get to know one another, the more you'll find to nourish and sustain you.

See you there!

Live Music this Weekend at the SKY Market:
Roads to Home

Amy at the SKY Market

This weekend musicians Dan Crocker, Brendan Finucane, Kate Scates, Bill Scates, and Amy Wallace of Roads to Home will enliven the SKY Farmers Market with their sweet and lively arrangements of Celtic favorites.

Farm Profile: Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese

Kenny's Cheese

In the early 1990's, Kenny Mattingly of Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese, whose family milks about 120 dairy cattle in Barren County, Kentucky, was worried about the future of milk as a commercial commodity - and especially about whether he and his family could continue to make a living on their 200-acre farm. After a farm trip to Europe, he returned with a different notion. He was impressed with the way small family farms in Western Europe were finding ways to add value to their products and market to their local communities. It gave him a new vision for his farm.

So in 1998, he and his family started using some of their milk to produce Gouda cheese using Old World, handmade techniques. That first year, the family made about 4,000 pounds of cheese. Last year, they produced 70,000 pounds of cheese in varieties that include Cheddar, Colby, Jack, Asiago, Swiss and Havarti, as well as some outstanding blue cheeses.

"It started out as a business decision," said Mattingly. But somewhere along the line, he became a cheese-maker. The work for Kenny Mattingly, his family and farm hands begins at 4 a.m. with the milking. Mattingly's cows are raised without synthetic hormones and supplement their pasture diet with corn and hay grown on the family's farm.

The raw milk is piped to a sanitary, all-white room that looks like a science lab - more precisely, a cheese laboratory. Mattingly fills a large stainless steel vat with the fresh, unprocessed raw milk, constantly stirring, heating and adding a bacterial culture from France that naturally begins the conversion to cheese.

Because the milk is so fresh, pasteurizing is not necessary. The heat and the cheese-making process preserve naturally beneficial enzymes in the milk, aiding digestion of lactose and absorption of calcium. Just as important, raw milk cheese has a much richer depth of flavor.

Two extra touches that he believes make his cheese more special for his customers are coagulating the cheese with vegetable-based rennet, to make it more acceptable to vegetarians and handcutting/ packaging each block or round of cheese.

Kenny Mattingly's vision for his farm has come a long way since that trip to Europe back in the early 1990's. Little did he know that what he experienced on the small family farms where he stayed, would he himself be adding value to his products and marketing to his local communities.

Reprinted from the Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese website, where you'll find more information about their farm and their cheese, as well as an online store.

Book Review:
Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz

Wild Fermentation
Wild Fermentation

by Sandor Ellix Katz

Looking for a fun, easy, and healthy way to enjoy and preserve nature's bounty? Does the idea of standing in front of a hot stove, canning on a blazing summer's day, wear you out just to think of it? Why not try fermentation.

Although one of the main benefits of fermentation is that it preserves food, it also transforms perishables into fabulous fare. Through the magic of fermentation we get the familiar staples of bread, cheese and yogurt, as well as the pleasures of coffee, chocolate, wine and beer.

Live, unpasteurized, fermented foods are also more nutritious since they are full of beneficial microorganisms which work symbiotically with the body's digestive and immune systems; helping to break down food into a more digestible form so the nutrients can be more readily absorbed in our bodies. Since prehistoric times, when our honey-gathering ancestors happened upon a bubbling batch of "mead" in a hollow tree, to the artisan cheeses of Europe or the kimchi passion of North and South Koreans, the culturing of food and drink has enabled human culture to flourish.

Wild Fermentation, by Sandor Katz is the perfect guide to lead you along the path through the world of fermented and live-culture cuisine. This comprehensive "how to" manual is the result of the author's many years of research and experimentation;  his "song of praise and devotion to fermentation." It includes a variety of recipes for fermented vegetables, grains, beans, dairy, vinegars, and of course beverages from around the world. All are explained as simple methods using only the most basic tools for anyone, anywhere to do.

But Wild Fermentation is more than just a cookbook. It is also a "cultural manifesto," examining the historical, scientific, and philosophical significance of fermented foods. As an HIV/AIDS survivor, Sandor Katz is also a strong supporter of the vital connection between real food and good health. He considers live-culture foods to be an important part of his healing.  With his witty writing and anecdotes from his life as a resident of Short Mountain Sanctuary, an intentional community in Tennessee, Sandor Katz presents a fun, fact-filled look at the delicious and creative processes that have contributed to the rich tapestry of life.

Making Sauerkraut with Sandor Katz