Toyota Farm To Table Tour a Success!

The Toyota Farm to Table Tour was a huge success! Our chefs did an amazing job preparing food! Zoe, Salaam, China Fortune, Casa Nueva, Tigers and Strawberries, Jana's Soul Food Cafe and many more (please comment on those folks I didn't mention!) It was awesome to see all of our chefs dressed up and preparing food for our community. They looked hot!

I feel so much pride to have seen everyone's menus made with products from our local producers and farmers from the market! So many creative ideas from rabbit to pork belly to lamb, combined with fresh tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and herbs. GO ATHENS COUNTY CHEFS AND PRODUCERS! You made us all so proud!

Seems like our customers had a great time, too; I have never seen our market so packed. Folks got to have free samples of all the amazing food, test drive Toyota hybrid vehicles, get really cool cutting boards, buy all the local produce they could carry and have a generally good time at the market. The weather was perfect and sunny and everyone was in great spirits. We hope to see all of you at many more future farmer's markets. Thanks again for all of your support!


Squash It! was a smash....

20 entries! And over 150 shoppers sampling lots of delicious foods!
Thank you to the Squash It! participants who donated the ingredients and volunteered their time and talents preparing their dish, transporting it and serving it! Your efforts brought a lot of happy smiles to shopper's faces and several locals who were hosting out of town guests were especially proud to show off the hospitality all of you provided!

Thank you to our judges for the great job they did! We had five for our final competition of the year:
Chris Daw Chef, Fur Peace Ranch
Dixie Cantrell and Brenda Shaikh Vendors at the Farmers Market
Sue and Alan Boyd Members of the Friends of AFM

Thank you to the members of the Friends of the Athens Farmers Market who helped - some for 1 hour, some for 3 hours! It takes a lot of organization and willing hands to make our Cooking Contests happen! You know who you are! Know that you are appreciated!

Finally, our congratulations to the winners! Because there were so many entries including 3 soups, the judges awarded a best soup prize in addition to those given in Sweet and Savory categories. They also had 2 ties.

Best Soup
Autumn Squash Cheddar Soup w/ Sizzled Sage Olivia Chambers

1st Spaghetti Squash Bake Terry Vest
2nd Summer Squash Casserole Karen Hart
2nd Squash Casserole Carol Schloss
3rd Beef and Squash Constentine Faller

1st Pecan Pie in Pumpkin Shells Patricia Black
2nd New England Squash Pie Mary Christy
2nd Pumpkin Pie from the Book of Buck-skinning Tom Winland - ---- (Thank you Neil Cherry for bringing
3rd Pumpkin Cake with Carmel and Candied Nuts Josie Grace your neighbor's entry from Morgan County!)

Mark you calendar for October 17th, the 3rd Saturday in October, for Stone Soup! We've got 2 chefs (Portable Kitchen Certified.) They'll have the big pots fired up and we'll be making soup on the spot! We'll need Friends to buy ingredients on the spot, help chop, stir and partake!!! Hope to have soup for all around noon. This is our thank you to the Vendors for a great season!

See you t the Farmers Market!
Lynda and Joe Berman


Something to Tide You Over

Usually, I write about the beautiful array of produce found at the AFM.

And I took lots of photos this weekend during Saturday market featuring said produce and the Toyota Farm to Table Tour.

BUT, I am at home, with dial-up (I know, right?), and desperate to post SOMETHING to tide you over! There is an amazing product that is not sprouted from the ground to be found at our market.

If you will, observe to our left the most incredible glazed confection I

have found there yet. A homemade doughnut from Zook's Baked Goods. You can get them one at a time or half-dozen on a plate (I don't know if I can post prices here, so I won't, but whatever it is, they are WORTH it!).

These are not just any doughnuts... they are homemade (as in, scratch) by Amanda. And these doughnuts are NOT for shoving into the face. You can take a huge bite if you like, but you absolutely must savor the glorious, glazed, melt-in-your mouth goodness that these doughnuts are.

What an experience. I'll never eat a doughnut from anyone else.


Upcoming Events!

Summer is winding down, humid hot days replaced with crisp nights and foggy mornings and days filled with cool breezes and sunshine-filled blue skies. And with the wane of the summer comes the wane of summer produce. Here and there at market these past two weeks, I've heard farmers tell of the "last of"s. The last of the plums and peaches, the last of the patty pan squash and blackberries.

But never fear! The end of summer is only the beginning of fall (my FAVES!). I hear more and more "til frost"s. There will be eggplant until first frost, and peppers. And coming on? Winter squash of every variety (butternut, acorn, crookneck), beautiful multi-colored corn, pawpaws, pumpkins, funny lookin' gourds, ground cherries, and still, tomatoes and peppers until you're drowning in salsa and sauce! Ah, we are blessed.

I wanted to let y'all know about the fun that is coming up at the farmer's market this month!

First of all, the Athens Farmer's Market is kickin' it every Wednesday and Saturday from 10am-1pm. It is so good to see you all there!

Second, come check out the market next Saturday, September 12 for the Toyota Hybrid Farm to Table Tour. There will be up to 12 chefs from all of your favorite restaurants (Casa Nueva included!) that are paired up with farmers (and their products) from our wonderful market doing cooking demonstrations and giving out free samples of delicious foods! This is a great opportunity to experience the endless possibilities of recipes that can be concocted from foods that you can buy seasonally and locally from our market. You can also meet the chefs and the vendors and learn all about their products. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to test drive Toyota's third generation Prius or 2010 Highlander Hybrid; really, it doesn't get more fun. This tour has been to markets all over the country, and we are happy to have been selected and we welcome them!

The next fun event on our market plate is on Saturday, September 19. The Friends of the Athens Farmer's Market will be putting on the "Squash It!" cooking contest. Wanna enter the contest? You can make a sweet or savory dish with any type of farmer's market squash you can find. For more details, visit the Friends table at the market! Last year's contest was a real smash...

And finally, this is not a market event, but some info and a shout out! One of our vendors, Integration Acres, is a major sponsor of the Ohio Pawpaw Festival. This event will be on September 19-20 at Lake Snowden; as a result, Casa Nueva will not be vending at the farmer's market on Saturday, September 19. Stop on by after the Squash It! cooking contest! Casa will also not be at market on Wednesday, September 23, as we will be debuting our Autumn menu. Come celebrate the autumnal equinox that day after 5:00pm to experience some delicious new menu items that include products from Shew's Orchard, Cherry Orchards, Integration Acres, King Family Farm, Green Edge Gardens, The Herbal Sage, Shade River Farm and more!

Coming soon... pics of autumn harvest! As the leaves turn shades of bright orange, yellow and crimson, we look forward to seeing you every Wednesday and Saturday at the Athens Farmer's Market!


Jr. Chef School #3!!!

Jr. Chef School #3 is coming up this Wednesday, August 19 from 10am-12noon. The theme is Super Pasta, the guest chef is Chelsea Hindenach from the Village Bakery, and this event is FULL! I know Chelsea has plans to teach the kids to make some delicious food using as many ingredients as possible from the Athens Farmer's Market; so if you're at market this Wednesday, you'll be sure to pick up on the yummy scents of summer food and see kids having a great time learning how to prepare it.

I'm gonna take this moment to recap on the last two Jr. Chef Schools that occurred this year. The first one was with guest chef Jennifer Baldwin from the Village Bakery and she had a blast teaching the kids how to mix up some great tasting Berry Pancakes using local berries from some of our farmers. The kids got to go shopping and learn where their food comes from and how it's grown.

Some of the same kids had such a great time, they signed up for Jr. Chef School #2 with guest chef, ME! I also had a blast making Breakfast Burritos with my group. We visited several growers of produce and bought all kinds of fun veggies, as well as eggs, cheese, salsa and tortillas.

These kids were already so skilled or extremely helpful in the kitchen! They learned how to or helped to wash the produce, chop veggies, saute veggies and whisk and scramble eggs. Then they learned how to wrap all the ingredients up in a tortilla for a delicious breakfast burrito, and they did SO well. I was so impressed; I mean, it took me a good 6 months to learn how to roll a nice tight burrito. Way to go, Jr. Chefs!

There were 10 kids in each class, and they all got their own aprons, bandanas and cookbooks. If they didn't like cooking before, I bet they do now! I heard from many of their parents that they'd never seen their kid each such-and-such veggie; now they like it and know they can get it at the AFM!

And as a matter of fact, I know one of my Jr. Chef students made the 3RD place prize for his delicious souffle in the "3 or More" Cooking Contest put on by the Friends of The AFM on Saturday, July 18!

It was a really good time for all, and I feel fortunate that we were able to do this at our farmer's market. Thanks to Bob Fedyski and Sarah Conley-- I borrowed your pics from the Ohio Foodshed website for this post. See you at Wednesday market!