Lexington Farmers Market: Ongoing, Faithful, Wonderful

When a foot issue sidelined me for a few weeks, I had to miss my treasured Saturday morning trips to the Lexington Farmers Market. This week I got to return. Ahhhh, glorious! It was also the first day for the new Lexington Makers Market. Enjoy a few quick peeks at what our fellow Kentuckians grow, make, and do all the work to bring to us in the heart of downtown.

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Steve Shepperson of Steve's Plants in Boyle County offered a wow-worthy array of locally grown produce. (Steve has wowed Savoring Kentucky before, including a Saturday in May eight years ago.) Steve credits hoop houses, greenhouses and neighbors for his ability to bring cucumbers, summer squash, asparagus, strawberries and carrots to the Market all on the same Saturday. I bought and roasted some strawberries from Boyle County, left, and Pulaski County, right. I've made a quick, no-recipe cucumber salad with the hothouse cucumbers in the front row: slice and salt them, let them rest a bit, squeeze out extra juice. Add grated ginger, coconut aminos (or soy sauce), rice or cider vinegar, chopped green onions, fresh mint, sesame oil, peanuts. 

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Jarod Cox, left, and Hannah Grant of Fishing Creek Jewelry from lovely Pulaski County brought geodes from Fishing Creek itself, Kentucky agates and other beautiful stones set or wrapped in silver. I must note that Pulaski County is right just northeast of beautiful Wayne County, aka home, so these stones seem particularly lovely to me.

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One of these beautiful silver wire-wrapped geodes came home with me.

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I was so happy to see Brian Mudd of Oak Acres in Springfield, Kentucky and his mushrooms. I bought shiitake, and have big plans to sauté in butter, salt lightly, and eat the whole box myself. Brian fired up my tastebuds with descriptions of his fermented shiitake/garlic pickles, which he doesn't sell—but we could learn to make our own at home, by pasteurizing mushrooms in boiling water, keeping them covered in that water, adding salt to make a one percent brine, and then letting nature take its tart course.

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Elam Stoltzfus of Flat Creek Farm in Bath County grew these beautiful certified organic new potatoes (and many other fine foods.) As soon as I got home from the Market, I cooked four of these small, sweet potatoes in salted water, drained them and put them in a small bowl. I heated a bit of cream with a small handful of grated Parmesan until it thickened slightly (hat tip KK), then smushed the potatoes and poured the sauce over them. I chopped some steamed Garey Farms asparagus over the top, added a dollop of homemade mayonnaise. Whatever that was—stew? soup? mash? bowl?—it amounted to the best lunch I've had this year.

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When I asked Adrienne Eggum of Stonehedge Farm Produce whether she had any kale on her loaded table, she showed me four kinds. I chose collards, not kale, and look forward to trying this recipe.

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Although I have heard Mac Stone talk about turkey eggs as one phase of the complete, certified organic, pasture-based turkey production program at Elmwood Stock Farm in Scott County, I had never seen a turkey egg until Saturday. I didn't know there were ever extra eggs, beyond those needed to produce the legendary Elmwood holiday turkeys each year. Nor did I know the eggs are richer in carotene because turkeys graze more effectively than chickens do, taking up generous amounts of chlorophyll and other goodness from grass and earth. I have big, turkey-egg-sized plans for my dozen, including Fran's Big Dutch Babies (I'll use a couple of tablespoons of tapioca flour instead of the all-purpose flour) and Baked Eggs and Bacon in Muffin Cups (known as "Goldenrod Eggs" in Classic Kentucky Meals.) 

So much goodness to cook and eat. Thank you, Lexington Farmers Market growers. And thank you, makers at the new Lexington Makers Market, for making us and our tables look spiffier as we enjoy Kentucky's abundance.

Sponsors included in this post: Elmwood Stock Farm. Thank you! Readers, if you like Savoring Kentucky, do business with our sponsors, all of whom support the earth, community and an equitable local food economy in extraordinary ways.

Rona RobertsComment