Summertime at the SKY Farmers Market is the season for a wealth of luscious summer fruits and vegetables along with an intriguing variety of specialty items.
With dozens of growers sharing the same market, there's a delicate balance between competition and cooperation at a farmers market. Good will and mutual respect as well as pride in the quality and integrity of our products and our market fuel our cooperation, while growers compete by distinguishing themselves in the market.
O'Daniels Farm distinguishes itself as a year-round producer of just about every kind of seasonal produce, including pasture-raised meat and eggs, all of it naturally raised without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Right now they've got a great selection of sweet and hot peppers, fresh cut herbs, and sweet corn among their many offerings at the market.
Groce Farm offers a great selection of melons - including honeydews, cantaloupes, specialty melons, and watermelons - as well as many unusual, heirloom, and old-fashioned produce varieties.
Plano Produce has fresh shelled black-eyed peas, apples, and pears amongst their wide range of fresh summer produce.
Au Naturel Farm grows a variety of naturally-grown, chemical-free produce year-round. They raise meat and eggs, and bake artisanal and whole grain breads and scones in their new bakery. They love to dabble in the unusual and exotic, having introduced locally grown ginger to Bowling Green last season.
Coleman Brothers Farm has added meat and eggs to their produce selection this season, as well as a variety of nice heirloom tomatoes.
Red River Produce grows all of your local summer favorites including melons, okra, beans, and squash. In the fall they bring a beautiful array of all sorts of pumpkins to the market.
Along with many other small and large, mixed, niche, and specialty producers, all of these farms come together to create a distinctive local, seasonal, and sustainable marketplace in Bowling Green, each providing its own special contribution to the community and to you.
See you there!
Garich Family Farms
In March 2010, Pete and Jeanne Garich left Sarasota, Florida to begin a new and totally different venture. The two long time bankers left the air conditioned office and headed to the outdoors. Driven by the desire to offer superior food products to an appreciative community, they landed in Southern Kentucky.
Bordering on the banks of the beautiful Barren River and rising to one of the highest spots in Barren County, the Garich Family Farms is approximately 100 acres of thick green grassland, wooded bluffs and thickets, with abundant wildlife.
Nestled in this natural beauty is a twenty first century farming marvel, a 15,000 plant vertical hydroponic growing system. This method of sustainable farming is capable of producing fruits and vegetables without using soil. Plants are fed a naturally formulated diet of nutrients and water on a regular schedule that is controlled by a modern microprocessor. All this is situated on less than one half acre of land.
Hydroponic Strawberries at Garich Family Farms
Garich Family Farms does business as Strawberries+ because of the special varieties of day neutral strawberries and an ever changing selection of other nutritious and delicious foods such as green beans, peppers, and herbs.
Other products offered are locally made strawberry jam and strawberry sorbet, a great summer time treat!
One of the most reliable indicators of the time of year is the length of the days - lengthening from spring into summer, growing gradually shorter as winter approaches.
Many plants regulate their flowering based on the day-length, growing vegetatively until a specific photoperiod (hours of light) triggers flowering. They bloom reliably at the same time year after year by responding to the photoperiod. This is why some flowers can't be forced to bloom out of season even if the temperature and other weather factors are suitable. They respond entirely to the light cycle.
Commercial growers use this photoperiodism to their advantage. They manipulate the hours of light plants receive either by using shades to block light during long days, or lights to lengthen the photoperiod during short days. In this way, flowering can be precisely controlled. Poinsettias and mums are both manipulated in commercial greenhouses by controlling the light cycle to bring them to market at a certain time.
Another way of managing the day-length response in plants is through breeding. For instance, some cut flower sunflower varieties are bred to be "day-length neutral" so that they can be grown year-round in greenhouses without being forced into early bloom by short winter days.
The main crop of strawberries, the June-bearers (which are more May-bearing in Kentucky), produce a heavy spring crop of berries then stop flowering and fruiting as the days lengthen. They spend the summer producing vegetative growth to support next season's fruit. Day-neutral varieties don't care about the photoperiod and continue producing flowers and fruit throughout the summer.
Although they will continue producing fruit throughout the summer, day-neutral strawberries require some pampering to keep them productive outside of the normal strawberry season. Excessive heat and humidity, drought, fast-growing weeds, insects and diseases all work against strawberry production in the summer. But a continuous supply of luscious strawberries throughout the growing season is certainly a strong temptation, and a reward that easily repays the extra effort.
Chocolate Cups With Strawberry Cream
- 6 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pint strawberries
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar (optional)
Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler over hot but not boiling water.
Place fluted paper cups in a small muffin pan to help them keep their shape.
Lift one paper cup at a time and tilt slightly. Drizzle chocolate 1 heaping teaspoon at a time down the side of cup to cover evenly.
Refrigerate cups until firm (about 30 minutes).
With cool hands, gently but quickly peel the paper from each chocolate cup. To keep them chilled do one cup at a time and put it put back in the refrigerator on a chilled plate.
Wash, hull and slice strawberries, reserving 1/2 cup for garnish.
With a mixer set at medium speed, whip cream and sugar together until stiff peaks form. Gently fold strawberries into whipped cream.
Spoon mixture into chocolate cups and garnish with sliced strawberries. Keep refrigerated until time to serve.
This desert looks so elegant and refined, but you won't once you stick your face into it. Eat with lots of napkins and be prepared to hose the kids down afterwards.