A Farmer’s Marriage Proposal and Other News from the Pawtuxet Village Farmer’s Market

Growing ProposalFrom the Pawtuxet Village Farmer’s Market:

Farmers are nothing if not practical, and even when romance is in the air, it’s often difficult for them to get off the tractor, dress up and go out for a special dinner. So when gC Farms’ Chris Mezak decided to propose to his long-time partner Gwen Stokes, he combined business with pleasure by planting beans in a newly cleared field spelling out “WILL U MARRY ME?” When the green letters began to be legible, Chris asked Gwen to go check on the beans. She read the message and gladly accepted; Chris sealed the deal with a lovely black diamond ring, which Gwen was sporting at last week’s market. Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple; long may they farm together.

At last, the tomatoes are ripening on the vines and soon we’ll be seeing in all their glorious redness at every farmer’s stall. Sliced and dressed with olive oil and basil, on a margherita pizza, or just sprinkled with a little salt and devoured whole, tomatoes are the ultimate reward of buying local. Nothing compares with the taste of heirloom varieties, bred for flavor not looks, and fresh from the fields.

Combine with foods from all our other vendors for fantastic summer feasts. They won’t last forever.

This week we”ll be hosting Urban Greens Food Co-op. Stop by their table and find out how you can help. Urban Greens Food Co-op is a consumer-owned cooperative working to open a full-scale retail grocery store in Providence, RI. The store will provide and promote healthy, affordable, sustainably-sourced, and local food options.

See you at the market.

Chair Game

Kiersten Marek:

Good idea!

Originally posted on Just!Us!:

Chair Game(HIIP p.190)

Goal: To demonstrate the widening economic gap in our society.

Have 10 youth each sit in a chair. Each chair represents one tenth of the US population. Ask how they would feel if the wealth was distributed evenly with each of them.

Explain that the that is not how the wealth is actually distributed. To demonstrate wealth distribution in 1976, ask 1 person to occupy five chairs and the remaining nine to share the other 5 chairs.

Then, demonstrate distribution for wealth today: one person has seven chairs, one person has two chairs, two people share one chair, and the remaining six people sit on the floor.

income inequality pie chart

Debrief:

  • Ask everyone how they feel about this distribution?
  • How does this play out in our society?

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Beans and More at the Pawtuxet Village Farmer’s Market this Week

News from the Market:

This Saturday marks the much-anticipated return of Long Entry Farm. Mike and Allison write:

“We’ll be there with Michael & Samuel, of course, along with peppers, eggplant, squash/zucchini, pickling cucumbers, greens, jams & bread. We also have a very large batch of very large zucchini – perfect for stuffing, frying, pickling, belting a neighbor, or making zucchini bread.”

A very large welcome back to them!

LeFavorite Bakery returns from vacation. We hope they are well rested and ready to fire up the ovens. Thank you to Jessica from Little Falls Cafe for filling the pastry void in the face of daunting obstacles.

Bob Fratantuono will be bringing blueberries again this week, and all our farmers will have a bounty of beans. Blue Skys Farm will be bringing Gold of Bacau Roma Pole Beans. “A description from a seed seller:
This is a rare and wonderful bean. Gold of Bacau is a Romano-type bean that grows 6-10″ long. The flat, greenish-yellow pods are very tender, cooking quickly. They have a sweet and somewhat starchy flavor.

Bean ‘Gold of Bacau’ is best used fresh or frozen, not canned. The dried beans make delicious soups or baked beans.

Gold of Bacau beans originally came from Bacau, Romania. The tall vines require a trellis. Very productive. Latin name: Phaseolus vulgaris.

Blue Skys will also have purple kohlrabi and purple ruffle basil, great accent colors with all the yellow and green produce.

Check out the meat, fish, cheese, eggs, nuts, peanut butter, jellies, honey, nime chow, coffee, oil and vinegars our market offers as well as the foods featured above.

Finally, a study being published this week in the British Journal of Nutrition reports that “a comprehensive review of earlier studies found substantially higher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of pesticides in organic fruits, vegetables and grains compared with conventionally grown produce.” (New York Times, July 12, 2014). Read the article and decide for yourself. Please note that most of our farmers grow chemical-free.

See you at the market.

Price tag for the American dream: $130K a year

Let’s just cut to the chase: is the American dream affordable, and if not, what changes need to be made to this equation to make it affordable?

Price tag for the American dream: $130K a year.

Outdoor Concerts and Other Pawtuxet Village Events

From the Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market:

The weather prognosticators tell us that the heat and humidity will moderate by tomorrow, and that Saturday promises to be dry and sunny with temps in the low 80s. A perfect day for the market (and those rapidly ripening tomatoes we hope to be enjoying any day now!), and for picking up some great fish, veggies and meats for the grill.

It’s been great to have the options for salads and other cold foods on the steamy days we had this week: smoked bluefish from The Local Catch, fresh Chevre from Beltane Farm, hard-boiled eggs from gC Farm, sun gold tomatoes from Blue Skys, barely braised broccoli rabe from Pak Express, strawberries from Rocky Ledge Farm, frankfurters from PV Farmstand, wonderful lettuces from all our farmers. Cucumbers, summer squash and all kinds of green and yellow goodies continue to appear.

More hot goodies for hot days: Terry Yeaw will be back this week with samples of her pepper jellies. We hope that her green tomato salsa will be making an appearance soon, too.

LeFavorite Bakery is on vacation this week, so our guest bakery will be Little Falls Cafe. Mouth-watering scones and other goodies from Jessica’s kitchen will be available.

There are not one but TWO free outdoor music events tonight: in Edgewood and Pawtuxet Village:

At the William Hall Library, 1825 Broad St, Cranston:

Old2Kool performs at this week’s free concert at William Hall Library. The second performance of the Music in Our Town series, Old2Kool brings a touch of retro and a set list of oldies to the library’s front lawn. “Music In Our Town” is sponsored by the City of Cranston Parks & Recreation Department. Concerts are free and open to the public. Performances will take place on various Thursdays, at 6:30 PM, through the beginning of August.

For the rest of their summer calendar:

http://eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=CRANSTON

And at Pawtuxet Park. Narrangansett Parkway, Warwick, the friends of Pawtuxet Village presents:
July Jazz Jam: Thursday • July 10 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Young musicians are welcome to join us. Bring your instrument: trumpet, trombone, guitar (electrical outlet available for up to 3 instruments), keyboard, bass guitar, drums, etc.
If you don’t play an instrument, bring a picnic and lawn chair, enjoy the music.
For more info on their events:

https://www.facebook.com/PawtuxetFriends

See you at the market.

Methinks It’s Time for a Market Correction

I’m one of those people who gets nervous when the market hits new highs amidst what looks like a deteriorating economy for the middle class…but I’ll try not to be a Debbie Downer so, “Happy New Record for the Dow Day!”

Dow Power! Iconic stock gauge tops 17,000 for 1st time | Americas Markets.

Book Sale and E-Waste Collection at Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market

From the Farmer’s Market:

June 21st has the most daylight of the year, and you’ll need every hour of it at the Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market.

As we return from our Gaspee Day exile to our home at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, we’ll be hosting an e-waste collection by Goodwill Industries. They will be set up in the upper parking lot, and will gladly help you unload your vehicle. Computer components, electronics, small appliances and “anything with a plug” will be accepted.

It’s also the annual Green Used Book Sale; donated books, CDs and DVDs will be for sale starting at 9 AM (no early birds, please!).
HARDCOVER, $2 each or three for $5
PAPERBACK, $1 each or three for $2
CHILDREN’S, three for $1 or ten for $3
Last half hour (11:30-12), fill a bag for $5
Funds raised from the book sale will enable us to bring Cranston public school children for some farm visits.

In the evening, come enjoy the fireflies in the meadow near Fay Field. Meet at 8:45 PM at the lower Rhodes on the Pawtuxet parking lot. A half-hour walk to see the firefly mating ritual. Bug repellent, long sleeves and long pants recommended. Please do not bring jars, nets, dogs or noisy electronics.
Chris Mezak of gC Farms says: “I will have some squash for this weekend. I’m not sure how much but I will bring some. I’m hoping with this week’s heat will help them along. I will also have more broccoli.’
Sounds good to me!
And all our other vendors will be there as well: Presto Strange O coffee truck, Pak Express, PV Farmstand, LeFavorite Bakery, Blue Skys Farm, Bernie B’s Honey, The Local Catch, the Market Table, Beltane Farm, Baffoni Poultry, Wedgewood Flowers and Rocky Ledge Farm. The Market Table carries products from the Virginia and Spanish Peanut Co, Rhody Fresh, Terry’s Tasty Treasures and the Olive Tap.

See you at the market.

Prison labor’s new frontier: Artisanal foods

Kiersten Marek:

Prison labor is now making goat cheese for Whole Foods.

Originally posted on Fortune:

Some years back, a small Colorado goat-cheese maker called Haystack Mountain faced its version of a classic growth challenge: National demand was growing for its chèvres and other cheeses, and the company was struggling to find enough local goat farmers to produce milk. The solution came from a surprising source: Colorado Corrections Industries (CCI). Today six inmates milk 1,000 goats twice a day on a prison-run farm. After non-inmate employees cultivate the cheese at a company facility, it’s sold in Whole Foods [fortune-stock symbol="WFM"] outlets, among other stores.

Prison labor has gone artisanal. Sure, plenty of inmates still churn out government office furniture and the like, and incarcerated workers have occasionally been used by large companies since the late 1970s. Nationwide 63,032 inmates produce more than $2 billion worth of products a year, most of them sold to government entities.

But in recent years a new wave has begun, driven…

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Gluten Freedom — An Essential Guide to Gluten Issues, with Recipes!

glufreeDuring the writing of my own book on cooking to nourish your archetypes, I read Gluten Freedom by Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD, Founder and Director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Given that many of my own recipes feature gluten-free alternatives, I was eager to read an expert’s version of the history of gluten-related illnesses and to learn more about the current state of treatment. Dr. Fasano’s book did not disappoint. The book contains a comprehensive review of the spectrum of gluten-related disorders, and also includes chapters on discussing leaky gut (you’ll get introduced to zonulin) as well as gluten’s influence on brain chemistry. Gluten Freedom also discusses new treatments and therapies, including enzyme therapy, a “celiac pill” treatment, and the possible development of a therapeutic vaccine. The book also talks about methods for prevention including delaying gluten introduction until one year of age, which is now being studied.

Taking the subject to a richer level of detail and creativity, Gluten Freedom also offers several recipes to remove gluten from the menu including all-time favorites like chocolate chip cookies and gluten-free scones. There is a charming chapter called “Dinner with Dr. Fasano” where we learn about the region, Campania, where Dr. Fasano spent his childhood. He then offers what sounds like a heavenly five-course meal of gluten-free specialties including Capri Salad featuring Mozzarella di bufala di Campania — the soft mozzarella cheese from the Dr.’s home region.

I like how this book provides comprehensive information on gluten issues including an appendix of apps for mobile phones as well as an extensive list for recommended reading. There are also some excellent practical features like a “Wheat Alert” table of menu items that contain wheat, and a stage-by-stage life guide for how to avoid gluten from cradle to grave.

After finishing the book, I was still left with a question, which I posed to the authors: “Is there any value in a low-gluten diet even if you don’t have gluten sensitivity? Does it help to diversify the grains we eat? If gluten calories are substituted with more fruits and vegetables, would that be better for overall health?”

Pam Cureton, one of the contributing writers for the book and a registered dietitian at the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment, responded:

“No, there is no advantage to following a low-gluten diet for those who tolerate gluten. There is, however, an advantage to eating more whole, natural foods and reducing the amount of processed foods to reduce unwanted levels of sodium, sugar, fats and extra calories. For people who tolerate gluten, these are the problem ingredients, not the wheat, rye or barley. Including these as whole grains along with other ancient grains, amaranth, millet, sorghum and others, would benefit everyone.”

I’m glad my own oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie recipe contains sorghum! Thanks, Pam! And thanks to Dr. Fasano and all the contributors to Gluten Freedom — helping us navigate this difficult health and dietary issue.

Link to Gluten Freedom on Amazon

Cooking for Emotional Wellness by Kiersten Marek Now Available

My new book is now available! Please visit the link below to learn more!

Cooking for Emotional Wellness by Kiersten Marek eBook – Lulu.

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