Wednesday, April 25, 2012

You’re Invited! Earth Day Birthday

You won’t want to miss this Saturday at PRFM—come on over and wish us a Happy 5th Birthday and celebrate Earth Day, too! 

There’ll be cake, birthday card making on seed paper, party hats, and an upcycled hanging garden demo by The Homestead.

PLUS, at 10:00 a.m., stop by our rock-star chef demo featuring radishes and kale prepared by the masterful Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene. As founder of the Peachtree Road Farmers Market, there’s no one better to join the PRFM party this Saturday! Learn more about the multiple-year James Beard Award nominee and Southern Foodways guru here.

Also, live farm animals. Ain’t no party like a farmers market party, y’all.

- Jennifer Maley

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fennel and Fire

This week at PRFM…

Chef Demo with E.J. Hodgkinson
Woodfire Grill
10:00 a.m. on 4/21

Chef Demos are sponsored by
Whole Foods Market

Not only is Chef E.J. Hodgkinson the skillful right-hand-man of Chef Kevin Gillespie at Woodfire Grill, but he’s also making quite a name for himself as a hot “young gun” on the culinary scene. In layman's terms, keep an eye on this kid because his future’s as bright as his food is good (very, very good). To check out E.J.’s bio, head on over to our post from last year’s demo. This Saturday he’s focusing on fennel, so come ready to enjoy one of spring’s best veggies!

Kids Learning Patch — 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Sponsored by The Captain Planet Foundation

Stop by the Kids Learning Patch tent for a family-friendly demo & activity! This week, you’ll learn about plants and their parts, how they grow, and how to plant seedlings.

Next week at PRFM…
You won’t want to miss Saturday, April 28 at PRFM—save the date to come over and wish us a Happy 5th Birthday and celebrate Earth Day, too! There’ll be cake, seed-paper card making, party hats, and a chef demo by the masterful Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene. Ain’t no party like a farmers market party, y’all.

- Jennifer Maley

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 14 is Opening Day!

It’s been a long, hot winter, y’all. But you know spring has arrived because this Saturday, April 14 is opening day at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market! Yes, Saturday will mark the sixth season that PRFM has blown into the parking lot at the Cathedral of St. Philip like a breath of fresh (local, happy, delicious) air. Stop by and welcome the good food and good people from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

New this year, look for Farm Burger Buckhead (you know, burgers), Pure Knead (gluten- and allergen-free baked goods), Simply Fresh (salads and such), Phickles Pickles (put-ups for snacking and cocktailing), Storico Fresco Pasta (your new Italian grandmother), and Cuisine (take-and-bake vegetarian meals). Check out the full list of your old favorite and new favorite vendors here.

Saturday’s Chef Demo at 10:00 a.m. brings a market fave, Local Three's Chef Chris Hall (who's bringing carrots, by the way). With a motto like this: “People Matter Most, Local Is Priority, Seasonal Makes Sense, Authenticity Rules, Quality Governs, Delicious Trumps, Pretense Stinks, Comfort Feels Good, Appreciation Tastes Better, Prudence Sustains It All” you know you’re in for a treat. So don’t miss some great food and tips from one of the coolest locals we know—last year he brought it with not one, but three (get it?) dishes. And you know he’ll bring it to the next level for opening day! For more on Chef Hall, check out our love note to him last year…here.

What next? It’s gonna be a season to remember. All the chef demos, kids’ activities, live music, and fun you’ve come to expect from the largest producer-only market in the metro PLUS a few surprises (Friday night PRFM complete with Iron Chef competition? Yes.)—so shop early and shop often cause it’s time to get your Market on!

P.S. If you’re in need of a couple recipes to go with all the yummy spring produce you’re going to pick up (think strawberries, asparagus, lettuce, carrots, beets, broccoli & more), just take a looksie at the 40 Real Simple posted here.

- Jennifer Maley

Get the Lowdown on Spring's Most Versatile Veggie!

The shining star of spring salads, a member of the BLT triumvirate, lettuce is one of the most widely grown and enjoyed vegetables around the world. But did you know this humble vegetable has a long history, diverse varieties, and preparations that extend far beyond the salad bowl? Whether you prefer buttery or spicy flavors, there's a lettuce for you!

Lettuce is actually a member of the daisy family, and its Latin name is Lactuca sativa, from the Latin word lac meaning "milk" referring to the plant's milky juice. The common lettuce we know and love is doubtless derived from wild lettuce–found as far back as 4500 BC–and it has been cultivated for many years across numerous countries. An important food crop in ancient Egypt, it was considered sacred to the Egyptian god Min. It also grew in importance among Persian, Chinese and Roman cultures. It is believed that Columbus may have brought lettuce to the Americas, and varieties can be found throughout North and South America.

Lettuce has six commonly accepted cultivars including Butterhead (Boston, Bibb, Buttercrunch), Chinese lettuce, Crisphead (Iceberg), Looseleaf, Romaine and Summer Crisp. Flavor and texture can vary extensively from buttery to spicy, delicate to sturdy. Lettuce prefers light, sandy, humus-rich soil that holds moisture well. It grows best in cool weather (early spring, late summer) and may bolt and turn bitter under too hot or dry conditions. Lettuce tends to be high in vitamins A and C as well as folate, with darker varieties higher in vitamins.

While we're most accustomed to lettuce in salads and sandwiches, Chinese cuisine often uses lettuce in stews and soups. Feel free to get creative! You can even slice a head of romaine in half, brush with oil, and grill it for a unique flavor to your salads. Here are a few more ideas for enjoying lettuce this spring:

Salad of Spring Greens, Peas, Radishes Served with Warm Bacon Dressing

Butter Crunch & French Crisp Lettuce Salad topped with Pepperdurr Cheese and Tasso Ham & Pecan Vinaigrette

Spring Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

- article by Kimberly Coburn & photos by market volunteers