Pembroke Gardens

  (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
grown locally in central Fort Wayne
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Indiana House Bill 1309 brings bread to the masses!

Indiana House Bill 1309 has just been signed by the Indiana governor, which now allows farmers market vendors to sell home-processed foods like jams, jellies, and baked goods! Many supporters of local food have hoped that the law would be changed, since it was keeping many of us from bringing to the market artisan breads, fresh jams and jellies, or even dried herbs.

Look for baked goods and dried herbs at my stands at the South Side Farmers Market and the West Main Street Market, both in Fort Wayne.  I've been practicing a type of sourdough bread, and it's tasty. I'll be bringing a few loaves each week, along with cookies and other delights. My breads and cookies will be dairy free, and most will also be egg-free, and vegan friendly.

 
 

To Market, To Market Jiggety Jog!

The South Side Market in Fort Wayne opened on April 11 with a beautiful spring day, and a much larger than usual crowd for the first day of the season. I spoke to many new customers who were planning to start their first vegetable garden this year, and there was much excitement in the air. I even scored some of the season's first locally grown cucumbers, from the Fishburn's stand. They're growing them in a greenhouse, and they were sure tasty! I can't wait to see what they bring next.

I've got Seed Saver's Exchange seeds for sale, fresh herb plants that are hardy enough to plant now, and fresh flowers. On April 25, I'll have fresh salad greens for sale (the'll be ready this week, but I won't be at the market). I'll start bringing tomato and pepper plants on May 2.

This is going to be a great market season. Hope to see you there!

 
 

just around the corner

Groundhog Day, Candlemas, Brigid, Feast of St. Blaise….

Did you notice that the days are getting just a little longer?

pepper-seedlings

February 2 marks the midway point between the first day of winter and the first day of spring. We’ve rounded the corner, and are now on our way to a new gardening season.

cochiti-pepper

I’ll be selling vegetable plants at the South Side FarMar, in Fort Wayne,  beginning in April. For the best size transplants, I’m starting now. Already sprouted are 11 different pepper varieties–most heirloom. Sweet peppers for this season will be Alma and Feher Ozon paprikas, Sheepnose and California Wonder Bells, Red and Yello Mini-Bells, Jimmy Nardello’s Sweet Frying, and Buran. Hot varieties include Red Habanero, Wenk’s Yellow Hots, Ancho Gigantea (poblano), Cochiti, and New Mexico.

I’ve also started some early broccoli and some kale, to transplant into the garden in late March (if weather allows); and some interesting varieties of radicchio and endive, for salad mixes in May and June.

I’m also thinking about adding baked goods as a “value added” product this year. To do so, I’ll need to find a certified commercial kitchen (like a restaurant or school cafeteria) that will rent me space a few hours a month. If you know of a place, leave a comment, please. I’ve been making sourdough and other breads for the past few months, and think I’ve got the hang of it. rustic-breadToday I made a country-style rustic bread, using a “poolish”, or pre-ferment, that I started about 8 hours before mixing the rest of the ingredients. Topped with sesame, these look and taste just like an artisan bakery. I also experimented with a loaf using dried rosemary. Yum!

 
 

Thanks!

 

The South Side Farmer’s Market has closed for the season, and will re-open on April 11, 2009. I’m growing chard and kale in cold frames, so I’ll have a fresh crop of greens for opening day.

As the market season ends, I’d like to say Thanks! to many friends at the market. I’m thankful for my regular customers who purchased greens and herbs each week, and were willing to try new things. I’m thankful to the cooks, who stopped by to get just the right fresh herbs to go with the rest of the produce they had purchased. I’m thankful for all who were willing to try heirloom varieties of tomato and pepper plants, too.

 

I’m thankful for my stand partner, Colleen, who has the greenest thumb in northeastern Indiana, for her expertise, the variety of her flowers, and the excitement she generated, when customers saw bouquets of fresh cut flowers, came to the stand, and bought some of my herbs or veggies, too.

 

I’m thankful for the friendships developed with the other producers, Nancy and Russ, Mary and Bill, Lauren and Alicia, and so many more. And, I’m thankful for the producers who successfully grow the things that I cannot, for lack of space. Thank you, Bud and Helena for growing turnips and beets, and leeks and horticultural beans. Thank you, to the orchard growers from Wabash, for your diving apples and pears, and peaches. Thank you, Rev. and Debbie Fishburn, for delightful tomatoes first thing in the spring, for jalapenos, popcorn, and so much more. Special thanks to the teens who participate in the GATE Program (Gaining Agricultural Training through Education), provided by the county extension, for luscious corn on the cob, okra, zucchini, and much more.

 

Mmmm. All of these thanks are making me hungry!

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my other blog

I've been blogging a lot about local food, the South Side FarMar, and vegan recipes at my other blog site, the Revolutionary Potluck League, Fort Wayne. I'll try to post my farmer's market entries at both locations.
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