Central Farm Markets

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Caribbean Festival: A day of tropical food & fun!

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You know we like to have fun at Central Farm Markets so this year we invite you to join us on October 5, 2013 at our Caribbean Festival: A Day of Tropical Food & Fun, featuring live music, Caribbean food, arts and crafts for kids, games, giveaways and more.

The festivities will start at 9am when Doctor Dread will be starting the grill smokin’ for a feast of his famous jerk chicken wings and jerk salmon & wild rice burgers.  Get the recipes here. After living in Jamaica for over 20 years, Doctor Dread perfected his jerk chicken recipe – it’s the best jerk chicken anyone’s tasted inside or out of Jamaica!

To liven things up, Doctor Dread will be handing out CDs and T-shirts throughout the day and will be giving away a pair of tickets to a lucky winner for the Stephen Marley concert on October 23rd.  Make sure to stop by his stand to enter your name to win!

Reggae sensation Zedicus will take the stage at 10am with some laid back, groovy live reggae. They’re music is so good, you’ll feel like you’re in Jamaica grooving on the beach!

Caribbean Festival is guaranteed fun for the whole family, so don’t leave the kids at home for this one! Central Farm Markets’ Kids Club will be open from 10am-12pm where kids can make colorful Caribbean masks.  Come early so your kids can participate in the limbo contest at 10:15! Prizes and fun for everyone.

In addition to Doctor Dread’s spicy food, Chef Lynn will be sampling non-alcoholic Island drinks at Cook’s Corner.  Aside from being delicious, the drinks are also FREE! Come by Cook’s Corner from 11 – 1:30 for a taste of the Caribbean.

Have you ever done yoga on the beach? extendYoga is leading a FREE outdoor yoga session from 11:30 – 12:15 on the grassy area next to the market.  Just imagine that you’re doing yoga on the beach in Jamaica and you’ll be stress free for the rest of the day!

The event is free but there is a cost for food.  All of Pike Central Farm Markets’ usual vendors will be at the market selling their locally produced food products, fruits and vegetables. You might even find some Caribbean treats at some of their stands!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 5th (from 9am-2pm) for some Island fun in the October sun!

Yelp is a proud sponsor of Caribbean Festival.

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Greenease: Green Just Got Easy!

The following blog post was written by Vanessa Ferragut, the founder of Greenease:

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When consumers visit their weekly farmers market, they know where that food has come from. It’s very likely that they spoke to, or interacted with, the farmer or a farm representative at that booth. Roaming the streets, surrounded by neighbors and local businesses, has a way of bringing a community together.

But when consumers dine out, are they preserving this feeling of community? If so, do they really know where the food on their plate has come from?

Greenease is a website recently launched in Washington, DC that brings awareness to the table; the savvy, sustainable consumer’s table.

The website features restaurants that offer local, seasonal, sustainable and healthy food options. Almost 30% of the restaurants on the database have provided Greenease their farm and/or purveyors names.

The quote “we are what we eat” resonates with consumers today more than ever.  Many Americans are suffering from obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other health-related issues very much linked to food. America’s love affair with food is growing, but the country’s awareness of what’s really on the other end of their fork has dwindled.

What consumers don’t know is that the United States has prohibited the use of many toxic pesticides, only to sell these same pesticides to farmers overseas and import the products of these farms back into the United States and on consumer plates.

Most consumers are unaware that almost 90 percent of the animals raised and slaughtered in the United States are from industrial farms. These huge factory farms are simultaneously contributing to negative environmental impacts in their own communities and the demise of the small family farm. And where do you think those hormones and antibiotics fed to livestock are ending up?

Right. Add these to your plates with a side of pesticides.

A consumer may purchase an apple at the Farmer’s Market and gasp at the price, but what they don’t know is that is probably the true cost of that apple. These farmers aren’t receiving government subsidies because they don’t plant “commodity crops” (wheat, soy, corn, rice, etc.) in lieu of healthier fruits and vegetables. And they probably aren’t operating on hundreds of acres and using the cheapest pesticides on the market. These are farmers who care about their land, the next generation of crops and their consumers. This is what the consumer is paying for.

And now consumers can take that feeling of community and local foods with them when they dine out.  Greenease allows consumers to take action in the safety and quality of their food, and in supporting their local farms, restaurants and merchants passionate about the sustainable and slow foods movement.

Get your green on at www.greenease.co today!


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Our visit to Twin Springs Fruit Farm

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Over Labor Day weekend Mitch Berliner and I (Debbie) had the pleasure of visiting Twin Springs Fruit Farm. As you know, they are one of the largest fruit and vegetable vendors at our markets. Started in 1979, the farm is located in Ortanna, Pennsylvania, and lays amid a beautiful stretch of rolling hills near Gettysburg.

Jesse, whose father was one of the founders of the farm, gave us a comprehensive tour of the entire operation. We walked among the blackberry bushes, whose vines still had fruit on them. It goes without saying that we popped a handful of these little berries into our mouths, delighting in their warm deep flavor. We breathed in the delicious scent of the green and yellow apples and looked at young new apple trees which are being trained to grow in a manner similar to grape vines. This innovative apple training system will allow the trees to bear fruit more efficiently.

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We walked in the fields brimming with brussels sprouts and kale plants and got a close up of the fabulous Kaleidoscope green that showed up at the market last year. These large plants are made up of bunches of flowers that look like little heads of lettuce. The plant itself is an interesting cross between kale and brussels sprouts. They grow on long stalks and their leaf colors range from various shades of green to deep purple. Kaleidoscopes are easy to cook and delicious to eat. Just drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, and roast at about 375 for 10-15 minutes. They crisp up and make healthy, tasty treats.

Kaleidoscope plants

Kaleidoscope plants

We saw the many beehives that are located throughout the farm, with promises of jars of the rich golden honey that Jesse has each week at the market. And we saw the last batches of peaches and melons that will be slowly winding down at the market.

But don’t lament the passing of this glorious summer that has given us a wonderful array of fruits and vegetables, because this winter you are in for a real treat from Twin Springs! We spent a good amount of time touring the huge greenhouses that make up a large part of the farm. Inside these greenhouses are complex computerized systems monitoring the water, nutrients and temperatures. We saw tall plants growing toward the light that will bear tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants and beans. Neat rows of smaller plants shimmered with light and were filled with lettuce, greens and arugula. The best part? These plants are growing now for the winter market. That’s right – you will be able to buy these items all winter long!

Greenhouse

Greenhouse

The highlight of our tour was learning how Twin Springs is using a Biomass Burner, a wood chip boiler to heat their greenhouses. By burning wood chips instead of fossil fuels, Twin Springs will help to eliminate the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere that is equivalent to taking 155 midsize cars off the highway in one year!  These systems also use heated water that is then used to heat the ground in the greenhouses. What does this mean overall? Twin Springs will reduce their fuel costs, help our environment and reuse natural materials. Now that’s what we call smart and sustainable!

Biomass Burner

Biomass Burner

So the next time you are at the market, stop by Twin Springs and while you marvel at the colorful fruits and vegetables before you, think about how hard farmers work to make this world a better place for all of us.  And if you need any inspiration of what to make with Twin Springs’ fabulous produce, try this Greek Tomato Sauce recipe.

For more pictures from our visit to Twin Springs Fruit Farm, click here.