3-2-1: Friday Markets through October 20

Join us in Moberg Park from 2-6pm October 6, 13 and 20 …

September bounty

Scenes from summer at Chisago City Farmers Market;

plenty to come Fridays 2-6pm through October 20.

a great start …

… scenes from the season opener:

Why is CCFM important to you?

Fresh Eggs and Rhubarb!

Fresh Eggs and Rhubarb!

Apart from the nostalgia a farmers’ market may engender, why is it important to support Chisago City Farmers Market?

Better Food

Local markets are important because the food they sell is simply better and fresher. Farmer’s are able to harvest their produce at the peak of flavor and deliver it to consumers directly. No shipping, chemical processing, and no sitting in storage somewhere. This food is as real as it gets — fresh from the fields.

Nurture an Educated Palette

In our fast-paced, technology-based world, many of us have little or no connection with our food supply. Supporting CCFM helps us reconnect to how we get our food and what it takes to produce healthy food of excellent quality. Taking time to talk to the farmers who come to the market is an excellent way to learn more about how our food is produced. Also, local markets sell food that is in season — plus offers an amazing array of produce that you might not see in the run of the mill grocery store. BusyMarket

Be Green and Save Some Green

The prices you pay at a local market reflect the fact that you are bypassing the middle man. You are also avoiding the wasteful distribution chain used to deliver produce to consumers and unnecessary packaging. The less distance food has to travel to get to you the better it is for the environment. Did you know that food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate? All those miles use up fossil fuels, and extra packaging fills up shrinking landfills. Conventional agriculture more often than not pollutes water, land, and air with toxic byproducts. Buying at your local market helps save the planet.

Get Out and Mingle

Perhaps the best reason of all for frequenting your local farmers’ market is so that you can enjoy the great outdoors and rub elbows with your neighbors. Instead of pushing a metal cart around a freezing grocery store, wouldn’t you rather stroll among outdoor stalls full of fresh aromatic produce? Besides, it’s a great place to meet with friends, bring the kids, and just get a taste of small town life in the midst of our busy lives.

There are so many excellent reasons to Chisago City Farmers Market!  See you FRIDAY!

Eat your BEETS!

Excerpt from GRACE COMMUNICATIONS post All About BEETS


Colorful and Delicious Beets

Beets come in a rainbow of colors, including bright red and pink varieties; the sunny golden beet; the aforementioned striped Chioggia (“candy cane”) beet; the bull’s blood beet (which has dark purple, almost black leaves) and even white varieties. Generally, beets are globe-shaped, but there are a handful of varieties that are cylindrical. Beets also come in a range of sizes – I prefer baby-to-medium sized beets for the best flavor and texture. Very large beetroots can be tough and fibrous.

Beetroot is high in fiber, folate and manganese, and is a decent source of vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. The greens, though, are really the nutritional powerhouse of the plant. They are super high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese – the list goes on and on. The pigments responsible for both red and yellow beets, betalains, are antioxidants and may also be cancer-preventatives.

What to Look for
Seek out beets that feel heavy for their size, with no mushy or black areas. If sold with their greens attached, the leaves should be sprightly (not wilted) with no yellow spots.

What to Do with It
Every single part of the table beet is edible – roots, stems and leaves – and delicious.

Beetroot can be eaten raw, roasted, boiled, steamed, sautéed and even made into chips (yes, please!). It is excellent paired with salty or creamy cheese (think feta, goat, ricotta), nuts and citrus. My favorite way to cook beets is to roast them whole (see recipe, below) – this super simple method concentrates the sweet and earthy flavors. (In a pinch, I’ve also successfully microwaved them.) Beets are an essential part of Russian and Eastern European cooking; probably the most famous dish is borscht, a (usually) beet-based soup with many regional variations. The old-fashioned and academically named Harvard beets are boiled and topped with a cornstarch-thickened sweet and sour sauce. Beets are also used in baking, as both a food coloring (check out this red velvet cake made with beets instead of red dye) and to add moistness (like in this chocolate beet cake with crème fraiche).

Beet leaves are excellent raw, boiled, steamed and sautéed. Add the leaves to any recipe calling for spinach or chard. I also really, really like beet stems – I find boiling them for 7-8 minutes in salted water, until tender (see recipe below) is the best way to cook them. Toss them with extra virgin olive oil, salt and a dash of red wine vinegar.

Pro Tips
Getting the skin off of roasted beets can be a bit difficult, try this from the venerable chef Thomas Keller – after letting the roasted beets cool slightly, rub the skins off with a paper towel (or a rough dishtowel you don’t mind getting stained). The skins will come right off with very minimal effort and no vegetable peeler necessary. You’re welcome!

Beetroot can be stored loose in your fridge’s veggie drawer for at least two to three weeks, or even longer. Beet greens are far more delicate and should be cooked within two or three days of purchase; cut greens from the roots and store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Stretching Your Fresh Food Dollar Though Preservation
Pickling beets is a great way to preserve them – I have to admit that lately, pickled beets have been elevated to something much more delicious than my public school lunch fare. Beets can also be lacto-fermented; beet kvass, a super healthy drink made from lacto-fermented beets, is another great way to preserve the beet harvest. Beets can also be canned and frozen.