News From SKY Farmers Market

Saturday August 25, 2012
5th and High St., 7am-12noon

With kids back in school, Labor Day bearing down, and summer vacation just a fading golden memory, does it seem like there's not quite as many hours in the day anymore?

Carve out a little peace and quiet for yourself this Saturday and come relax with your friends at the SKY Farmers Market over a leisurely hot breakfast made to order by JD Bakery and Cafe.

Take some time to browse through the work of our local artists and enjoy their paintings, pottery, hand made baskets, tie-dye, jewelry, beeswax candles, and more.

While you're there, you can pick up everything you need for your week's meals.

  • Fruit including Melons, Strawberries, Apples, and Pears
  • Fresh Summer Produce
  • Squash, Cucumbers, Beans, Tomatoes, Okra
  • Peppers and Eggplant
  • Onions and Garlic and Potatoes
  • Chicken, Beef, Pork, and Lamb
  • JD Country Milk
  • Free-Range Eggs
  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Cookies, Cakes, and Pies
  • Jams, Jellies, Honey, and Wine
  • Cut Flowers including Cockscomb, Sunflowers, and Zinnias

It's going to be a beautiful day to spend some time enjoying the SKY Farmers Market this Saturday.

See you there!

Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit

Late summer is prime bean season in our part of the country. A stroll through the SKY Market this week will reveal the remarkable variety of shapes, colors and textures that the marvelous world of beans offers.

All beans are members of the legume family. With hundreds of cultivars to chose from, there are basically two main types: shell beans - grown for their protein-rich seeds that are eaten both fresh and dried - and green beans, grown mainly for their fleshy edible pods.

green beans

Green beans (which can come in purple and yellow, too) are the most commonly cultivated in the U.S. and are available throughout the summer season. Developed in the 1950's by plant breeders, snap beans are typically a bush-type (determinate) bean with fibers that do not become stringy until very mature. Most commercially grown beans are snap beans because the compact, non-sprawling growth habit of the plants is ideal for mechanical harvesters. Because they reach maturity and bear fruit in a relatively short period of time, farmers often make several plantings of bush beans in succesion during the season.

purple pole beans

String beans are primarily pole beans or half-runners which are indeterminate, vining plants. They are popular with home gardeners because of their great bean flavor and larger overall yields over a longer period of time in less space.

Green beans (Phaeseolus vulgaris) come in a wide range of shapes: from thin filet beans to flat Romano types to the more commonly familiar types.

Here in the Southern U.S. there is a long tradition of growing and eating shell beans and peas. Crowder peas, cowpeas, cream peas, southern field peas, pink-eye purple hulls and black-eyed peas are all the same species, Vigna unguiculata. Native to Africa, they made their way to America during one of the less respectable periods in our nation's history. Initially eaten by slaves and used as a forage crop for livestock (hence the name "cow peas"), they have become a staple in the Southeastern part of our country as fresh green shell peas or left on the vine to dry for later use.

fresh shelled black-eye peas

While most recipes call for simmering peas with some form of cured pork for flavor, they are adaptable to just about any cooking style. The hulls are even used to make jelly! Purple hulls are said to produce a grape flavor, white crowder pea hulls a honey flavor, lady peas for an apple taste and a mixture of different colored hulls resulting in a plum-like jelly.

A cousin of the cowpea that is grown for consumption as a young pod is the yardlong asparagus bean. Although commonly refered to as yardlong, this subspecies' name sesquipedalis (one and a half foot long) is a more accurate description of the bean's size. It is widely grown in the subtropical and tropical parts of South Asia where the crisp slender beans are enjoyed stir-fried and in salads. Their taste is mild with something like an asparagus, mushroom, and bean flavor.

The SKY Market has a wonderful selection of beans of all kinds. There's no telling what may show up. So if you've got an old cow that you're looking to trade, well, bring her along. Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky!

Alison's Easy Bean Salad

  • 1 pound fresh green beans (or mixed colors) trimmed
  • about 2 cups cooked chunk chicken
  • Italian salad dressing

Quick cook or blanch beans for a couple minutes. Add chicken and Italian dressing to taste. Chill.

Stir-Fried Yardlong Beans With Ginger and Garlic

purple pole beans
  • 1 pound yardlong beans trimmed and chopped to desired length
  • 1 TBSP minced fresh ginger
  • 2 TSP minced fresh garlic
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • Tamari or soy sauce to taste
  • 2 TBSP peanut or coconut oil

HEAT a wok or heavy skillet over high heat for 30 seconds
ADD oil and swirl to coat pan
HEAT oil
ADD beans, ginger, hot pepper and ginger
STIR-FRY about 5 minutes until beans are bright green (do not allow garlic to burn)
ADD Tamari or soy sauce and 1 or 2 TBSP of water
COVER and simmer gently until beans reach desired tenderness

Purple Hull Pea Jelly

  • 4 cups hull juice
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 package Surejell
  • 1/2 tsp. butter

Wash 1 gallon empty hulls three or four times. Boil hulls until tender. Strain juice.

Let juice boil, adding Surejell and butter. When this comes to a rolling boil, add sugar. Let come to a rolling boil again.

Let boil for 15 minutes. Set aside for 5 minutes. Skim. Pour into jars and seal.

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