News from SKY Farmers Market

Saturday July 21, 2012
5th and High St., 7am-12noon

It's summertime and there's a wild abundance of all your favorite summer produce. You'll find melons, peaches, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and all of summer's rich bounty at the SKY market, just as you'd suspect. But you'll also find special treats and hidden surprises amongst the great diversity of growers at the market.

There's meat, cheese, eggs, and milk. Farmers are selling jams and jellies, dried fruit, honey, herbs, and spices. Bakers bring bread, cookies, pies, cakes and homemade granola to the market. There's our hot breakfast of fresh local foods from JD's Bakery and Cafe. Garich Farms is selling fresh picked strawberries. And you should really try some of Thomas Brand's fresh shelled black-eyed peas.

The diversity of farms and enterprises is one of the great strengths of the SKY Farmers Market. It's the treasures mixed in amongst the heaps of squash and tomatoes, the effort and creativity and ingenuity of our members, that makes the SKY Farmers Market stand out for quality and diversity.

See you there!

2nd Annual Dog Days of Summer Event
Saturday August 4, 2012

dog in summer

The SKY Farmers Market is a dog-friendly market, and in August we're throwing a party to let our four-footed friends know just how much we appreciate them.

The Bowling Green - Warren County Humane Society will be on hand for the event with some of their furry buddies, providing information and collecting donations for the animal shelter, while Jim Sears of Zutrav Dog Biscuits presides over fun contests and activities for you and your pooch.

Bring an item to donate to the shelter and you'll be entered in a drawing to win one of our new sage-green organic cotton SKY Farmers Market t-shirts.

In addition to our doggy activities, there will be live music and masseuse Juanita Rodriguez will be offering free massages to SKY Market customers.

Home Processed Products at Farmers Markets

At SKY Farmers Market, we welcome having a diversity of products to offer our customers. Our aim is to have as much of what you, the consumer, use during the week as is possible. After all, dollars spent with our farmers and other vendors stay in South Central Kentucky and boost our regional economy.

Baked goods are always a popular item. Many of the produce items that our farmers grow can be included in baked goods and other prepared foods. In the past, to sell such goods at retail required having a state inspected/certified kitchen - a considerable expense for many small farmers. So, with the encouragement of several farmer support groups, the state of Kentucky passed legislation in 2003 that allows limited production of processed items in the farmer’s kitchen to be sold at Farmers Markets, Certified Roadside Markets, or the farm itself.

In short, it allows a farmer to add value to product that he is growing. It has two levels, Home-Based Processor and Home-Based Microprocessor. At the first level, the allowable items are fruit jams and jellies, bread, and other baked goods. They must include a fruit or vegetable the farmer is growing as a major ingredient.

jelly vendor

At the second level, the farmer must take a 1 day food safety class, and may add sugarless jams/jellies, acid foods, formulated and low-acid foods such as green beans, salsa, and pickles. These must also include a fruit or vegetable grown by the farmer as a major ingredient and all recipes must be approved.

There is also a list of products that are not allowed, such as garlic-in-oil (including pesto), foods containing meat, and so forth. These types of foods are much more subject to contamination, and the state health department believes they are potentially hazardous to consumer health. They must be produced in an inspected commercial kitchen.

At SKY Farmers Market, we are also concerned with our customers’ health. While we welcome our farmers bringing value-added products from their farm, we want to be sure we are protecting you, the consumer. We require anyone selling processed food to either be producing it in a licensed kitchen as some have chosen, or to be following all the rules of HB 391. It’s the best way to keep all of us healthy!

So, shop at SKY on Fifth and High, with the assurance that we are 100% locally grown, 100% of the time.

For more detail about this legislation, HB 391, read the article 'Home Processing of Products' on our website.

Making Yogurt

Making yogurt is fun and easy and provides a nutritious and versatile home made dairy product. Yogurt can be used on tacos or potatoes in place of sour cream. It makes a great topping for spicy chili and curries. Yogurt can be mixed with fruit and honey for a sweet treat or topped with fruit and granola for a quick and healthy breakfast. There are a wide variety of uses for yogurt in both sweet and savory dishes.

What's more, when you make your own home made yogurt from really good whole milk, like JD's Country Milk, you can make a rich and creamy yogurt more flavorful and nutritious than anything you can find in the grocery store. The process of fermentation makes yogurt more nutritious and digestible than the milk it's made from and the live cultures have a beneficial influence on digestion and overall health.

Yogurt is made by adding a small amount of yogurt culture to warm milk and keeping it at a steady, warm temperature for several hours. The culture quickly multiplies and changes the milk into yogurt.

To make yogurt:

  • Heat 1 quart of milk in a saucepan until it's good and hot but not boiling, like you were making hot chocolate. Stir it constantly to prevent scorching.
  • Remove from heat and let the milk cool to about 110º, or until you can just keep your finger in it for a count of ten. If the milk is too hot it will kill your starter.
  • Mix in 1 tablespoon of yogurt. Any plain yogurt will do, but be sure that it has a "live and active culture."
  • Pour it into a pre-warmed quart jar or another glass or earthenware container, cover, then keep it warm and undisturbed for about 8 hours or overnight.
  • Put it in the refrigerator. Once it's well cooled, it's ready to use.

There are many different ways to "incubate" your yogurt. Commercial yogurt makers use an insulated container with a heating element and a thermostat to keep a constant temperature. The simplest method is to wrap it in a small woolen blanket or a similar insulating wrap and keep it in a warm place. In the old days, they used a warming cabinet above the wood stove. In a modern home you might try the top of the refrigerator or on top of your stereo or wifi router.

As you make more and more yogurt, you can refine your technique and add gadgets, but this basic method is easy and reliable. You can use your own yogurt to start successive batches. Well managed, a yogurt culture can last for hundreds of years, but practically speaking, you'll probably need to start fresh sometimes. Commercial starters from specialty dairy suppliers make an excellent yogurt.

Making yogurt is an easy, fun, and rewarding way to get involved in producing your own food. Making yogurt is like planting a seed and watching it grow, or raising billions of tiny livestock. Having a steady supply of your own home made yogurt can help you to learn all of the many ways that you can make this venerable and healthful food a regular, delicious part of your diet.

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SKY Farmers Market

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