The Old Winery Farmers Market

  (Farmington, Michigan)
"Michigan Friends...From Market to Home" TM
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The Art of Meaningful Gift Giving, How to Preserve a Child and some Yummy Market Fresh Recipes


We're at the time of year when everyone is in a hustle and bustle of the Holidays.  For us the Farmers Market is filled with beautiful gift items and our market friends are all too happy to stop by and pick up that beautiful, one of a kind, hand crafted item to give their loved ones.  There's an art to gift giving.  Some folks like the idea of gift cards- quick & simple and they don't have to worry about the 'did they like it or not?'  Others love the thrill of searching and finding just the right thing for that special person.  Then there are those that take the time to actually create something unique for each individual... and all three are fine! I don't think there is any wrong way to give a gift, especially when it's given with love.  We are all different and we need to do what fits our personalities... and those that love us will know that whatever the gift is, it was given with heart. I hope this post will help all of the above and you will find something that helps you in this typically crazy time of year.  [Read More]
 
 

Wonderful Gift Giving Ideas and More Yummy Market Winter Thyme Recipes

There is a light dusting of snow on the ground and the air is chilled... next Friday will herald in the first day of Winter... my personal countdown to beloved Spring. I have Spring in the hoop house despite what the calender says right now... but today I am not feeling very well and thought I would do something else I love that I have been neglecting... "For Dragonflies and Me"... an essentially all of you who read this. The days have been growing shorter and the sunshine diminishing more and more each day. Today is a sunny day and I will be happy for that. Here are some great gift giving ideas for those of you that want to do something extra special and of course a few recipes. Enjoy friends.
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Eating Locally 'In Season' In Michigan Year Round, Some Meat Recipes for a change~ Rabbit In Sour Cream and Chicken Tangin

Eating locally is a way of life... a mind set... a position in the community... a thought process... You either believe it is better for you and your family or you don't.  For Localvors and Foodies...  you get it... that is the best way I can describe you...  We are not grocery store shoppers loading our carts with packages filled with chemical processes that 'they' call food! This is a subject that is continually attracting more and more attention from the media and concerned people who are being daily poisoned by the garbage on the grocery store shelves... pink slime anyone?  People are trying to take back their natural right to eat 'real food'! I often refer in my blogs on how to grow and raise your own food, but I realize and am utterly aware that this is just not a possibility for all of you reading this... my heart aches because of that. I also realize that not everyone really wants to do it themselves but loves the sheer fact they can support some of us who do... and with that I say 'thanks'.  Over the next few blog posts I am going to touch base on how to practice, support and incorporate this into your life from both perspectives... thanks for joining me!  [Read More]
 
 

Canning Tips, To-Do List Tags & How to Can Yummy Sweet and Sour pickles and Mexican Style Salsa!

Heirloom Tomatoes... basil, garlic... oh my!  Summer goodness just keeps flowing into our kitchens from the gardens.  We are busy starting to put our food up for the coming cold months and how wonderful it is to watch those can shelves fill up with all that good stuff. Today we are going to busy making salsa and sweet & sour pickles.  Every time we add to the shelves, I just stand back and cannot help but be so thankful for all we have.  Life is good!  Today I am going to give some helpful canning tips that I compiled several years back for my cookbook, "Lovingly Seasoned Eats & Treats" along with my salsa & pickle recipe... and of course a cute crafty idea  too!  Have a wonderful day!  [Read More]
 
 

Herbs: Planting, Tips and Varieties and a few Herb Recipe's!


The end of the month... we are already through one third of this year... I certainly cannot believe how fast time keeps moving on.  Our farms winter market is over ~ 21 weeks have flown by and now the regular season farmers market which will consume the next 29 weeks our lives begins... Gardening and farming will soon take up much of each day.  I love this time of year and the feeling of exhilaration that comes along with it.  In the next few entries here at Dragonflies, I will be focusing on Herbs. We will be able to start putting out all those goodies in the gardens, decorating our porches and patios and adorning our flower beds with boundless blossoms... my favorite time of year!  [Read More]
 
 

Bringing Children In The Garden and Yummy Veggies On The Grill!

"Any garden demands as much of its maker as he has to give.  but I do not need to tell you, if you are a gardener, that no other undertaking will give as great a return for the amount of effort put into it."  Elizabeth Lawrence, 1904-1985, Gardening For Love.

I absolutely cherish the moments that I get to be in the garden with our children.  It is quality time that I feel will make a lasting impression on their lives and hopefully create memories for them of special moments with mom teaching them about how God makes all this great stuff happen!  I love to see them planting seeds, transplanting a tomato plant in the garden, tilling up the good earth and feeling that soft, rich soil squish between their toes!  My children love to feel that they have their own little space in the garden, to grow the things that interest them, to experiment and to harvest what they tended.  It can be a challenge sometimes to include them.  It is often just easier to do it ourselves and just getting it done.  It will usually add on some minutes, well maybe even hours, with the little helpers involved! But what memories you will make, what happiness will beam in their eyes when they pull out that carrot from the seed 'they' planted. That smile, that gleam in the eye is worth more than all the saved minutes of just doing it our self.  I love everything about gardening... yes even the back wrenching weeding & hoeing, the sun burnt back of my neck and the stiff arms... I love gardening!  
  [Read More]
 
 

Eating Locally 'In Season' In Michigan Year Round, Some Meat Recipes for a change~ Rabbit In Sour Cream and Chicken Tangin

Eating locally is a way of life... a mind set... a position in the community... a thought process... You either believe it is better for you and your family or you don't.  For Localvors and Foodies...  you get it... that is the best way I can describe you...  We are not grocery store shoppers loading our carts with packages filled with chemical processes that 'they' call food! This is a subject that is continually attracting more and more attention from the media and concerned people who are being daily poisoned by the garbage on the grocery store shelves... pink slime anyone?  People are trying to take back their natural right to eat 'real food'! I often refer in my blogs on how to grow and raise your own food, but I realize and am utterly aware that this is just not a possibility for all of you reading this... my heart aches because of that. I also realize that not everyone really wants to do it themselves but loves the sheer fact they can support some of us who do... and with that I say 'thanks'.  Over the next few blog posts I am going to touch base on how to practice, support and incorporate this into your life from both perspectives... thanks for joining me!
     
  [Read More]
 
 

Decorative Garden Journal, Gardener's First Aid Kit, Testing Old Seeds, Freezer Strawberry Jam and Yummy Heirloom Brushetta

"Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words." Lydia M. Child

I often talk about my love for journaling and awhile back I talked about a Cookbook Journal I had made for my daughter Taylor.  Well, I also have created several Gardening Journals to show the progress of my gardens as the years go by.  It is fun to put the photo's in along with magazine articles or pictures that inspired me to my newest creation.  As the years move forward seeing the growth and changes that naturally take place in a garden are both exciting and joyful.  This morning while I should have been busy harvesting, I just couldn't resist taking a few moments to weed the Pergola garden and walkway... it is so relaxing for me... the cool morning with the light fog across the fields is so inviting as I prepare for the heat of the day.  Yesterday Taylor took the boys swimming and I had some quiet time... in my gardens... Well here we are at the end of June and I haven't even given you a Strawberry Freezer Jam recipe... shame on me! Well they are still in season so here is my families favorite and if you were fortunate enough to be one of our Winter CSA members you got this in your shares... so here's the not-so-secret recipe! Enjoy!

Gardening Journal's can be made from any type of book you want... you can even make a homemade one for that matter. Pre-made scrapbooks come in so many styles you are sure to be able to find one that suits your style- botanical, cottage, Victorian, English or shabby chic... the choices are endless.  Ordinary composition books work well and these can be easily personalized. You can design the covers to inspire their contents and your gardening style. A color photocopy of a any picture from a gardening book or magazine can be used; Just about any type of sturdy, decorative paper, including maps and wallpaper, can be used for the pages of your gardening journal
if you decide to go homemade.
Here are the materials and instructions on how to create a home made journal using a composition book- (SEE ATTACHED PHOTO)
Tools and Materials that would be helpful in this endeavor:
Ruler
Blank composition book
Scissors
Patterned paper
Glue stick
Bone folder or wallpaper squeegee
Craft knife
2-inch-wide self-adhesive linen tape- be sure the color matches your theme- can purchase at any craft store.

Customized Journal How-To
1. With a ruler, measure the front cover of a blank composition book. Adding 1/2 inch to all sides, measure and cut two pieces of decorative paper to size.

2. Apply a thin layer of glue to the front cover of the composition book including the spine. Lay a piece of decorative paper patterned or a photocopy of one that you have chosen side down on a work surface, and carefully center the book's glued cover on the paper. Turn the book over, and use a bone folder or squeegee to smooth out any wrinkles; let dry. Carefully trim excess paper using a craft knife. Repeat process with book's back cover.

3. Cut a piece of adhesive linen tape slightly longer than the book's spine. Remove the tape backing, and carefully center the tape along the spine. Adhere the tape to the spine; use a bone folder to smooth out any wrinkles. Carefully trim excess tape using craft knife.

As gardener's we all should have a First Aid Kit handy in the potting shed or at least in the house.  Our garden's have many hazards all there own and we should take precautions to be safe.  It harbors insects that bite, thorns that scratch, and other potential nuisances that may require simple first aid.
~ A basic kit should include the following: alcohol for cleaning wounds, triple anti-biotic ointment, cotton balls, bandages of all sizes, gauze and tape, Epsom salt for soaking, tweezers for thorns and splinters, organic insect repellent and sunscreen, anti-itch cream for stinging nettles and poison ivy, Benedryl, and of course some wonderful organic hand cream to sooth and soften your dry skin at the end of the day.
*Be sure that if anyone in your home has KNOWN allergies to bee stings you have an epee pen on hand at all times when out of doors.  Be sure to check with your physician for info on this.

Testing Old Seeds
Many of us are still planting and adding things into the garden.  We come across a spot that we are sure could fit one more thing in and decide to plant... what shall it be as we sort through all the leftover seeds? Or we may have some seeds that germinated spotty in the garden so we want to fill in and get a full row. Succession planting keeps us busy seeding and planting right through into late fall. With this in mind you will want to be sure your seeds are viable~ especially if saved over from last year.  I save seeds for up to 3 years, some think that is foolish, but I always do a germination test
and I have not had many disappointments.  This sounds much harder than it is, but anyone with water, paper towel, plastic baggie and seeds can do it~ really!  Seeds saved can be worth sowing -- but only if they pass this germination test:
* Fold 10 seeds in moist paper towel, place in resealable bag, mark with date put in and the date germination if viable should take place, as well as the type of seed.
*Be sure to read on the package instructions how many days the seed takes to germinate~ add a couple to be sure. *After the 'day's to germination' have safely passed by, open the paper towel to see how many of the seeds germinated. *Multiply that number by 10 to calculate the percent of germination. More than 70 percent is passing. If between 40 and 60 percent, sow thickly. Below 40 percent, it's best to buy fresh seed.
~Be sure to keep any seed you want to save for next year in the freezer in air tight freezer bags or plastic containers.  Also be sure to label any packages that may be tattered or where the labels may be faded. 

Cute Personalized Herb Pots..
. make cute gifts or are a wonderful addition clustered together on your window sill or table top.  Personalizing them is so super easy, yet adds such a flare to the simplest pot!   Individually, they're portable and easy to handle: Bring the basil indoors, for example, when making pesto, instead of stooping in the garden. When you plant the herbs, label the rims with a permanent felt-tip marker, and use these pots year after year!

Strawberries, strawberries... oh yummy strawberries!  Here is our families favorite Strawberry Freezer Jam recipe.  This is one of the few jams I don't can... Strawberry Jam frozen is like eating them fresh picked~ there is no comparison with canned!
Strawberry Freezer Jam
3/4 cup pectin - equivalent to 6oz. (like sure-jel)
1 1/4 cup water
4 cups whole strawberries (1 quart container)
4 cups organic raw sugar

*Following the instructions, especially with the amount of sugar is crucial to have proper set up!  DON'T SKIMP ON THE SUGAR!!!!
1. De-stem berries and then crush berries in a bowl; add sugar and stir for 3 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Let stand for 10 minutes.
2.  Boil pectin and water for exactly one minute and 45 seconds!  Start timing when the mixture is at a rolling boil.
3. As soon as the time is up add the pectin mixture to the strawberry mixture slowly pouring in and continually stirring for 3 minutes to dissolve sugar completely!  It will be grainy if it is not stirred long enough.
4. Pour into either freezer containers or canning jars.  Leave 1 inch head space in either container.
5. Let set on your counter for 24 hours before freezing.
Super yummy!

Heirloom Tomatoes, fresh garlic and just picked basil... this all adds up to Brushetta at our home! Here is our families favorite recipe!
Brushetta
1 loaf Persian Bread from Sunflour Bakehaus or a loaf of fresh bread.
7-8 Roma tomatoes or 4 to 5 large ones, diced~from Garden Gate~ multi colored looks best!
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. sea salt or earth salt
1/2 cup olive oil from The Olive Oil Store, plus extra for brushing on bread
1/2 cup fresh snipped basil leaves from Garden Gate
Fresh Parmesan Cheese

1. In a 2 quart bowl put chopped tomatoes; sprinkle salt over top. Let set for about 10 minutes.
2. In the mean time snip basil finely; add basil, minced garlic and 1/2 cup olive oil to tomatoes; stir gently as not to mash the tomatoes. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving so flavors blend.
3. Just before serving, cut bread into 2-3 inch wide pieces, then slice diagonally; lay on a cookie sheet and brush olive oil onto one side, flip over and brush oil on other side; place in oven under low broiler and toast until golden, about 1-2 minutes; flip and brown other side.
4. Top bread with brushetta topping; grate fresh Parmesan over top.  Serve immediately.

Happy Day,
Jean
  [Read More]
 
 

The Organic Life: How To Get There and More Market Fresh Recipe's!

What does Organic mean to you?  I think everyone reading this would have somewhat of a different answer.  Personally,  I want 'organic' to be the way I breath, eat and sleep... it's the life style I want for myself and my family... it's a personal choice... you can't make someone 'believe' it if they don't want to or they don't care.  An organic life style isn't easy by any definition of the word... especially if you live in the city! No offense there my city dwelling friends! I have come to understand your back yard isn't even your own to grow your food if that is what you want to do... that is unless you get 'their' permission.  This is incredulous to me... as many of you who know me personally and have leaned over my market table where we have vented together on these issues!  So many of you ask me for advice on chickens, gardening and canning... I wish so badly I could do more than just give you 'tips'...  [Read More]
 
 

Farmers Markets & Foodshed's, Succession Planting and Three Yummy Farmer's Market Recipes!

What's a Foodshed you ask?  Most people who call themselves Localvore's, Foodies or the like will probably be familiar with this term, but for those of you who are not, here is a brief description and how you can make or find one!  *Though it may be unfamiliar, the term "foodshed" was used almost 80 years ago in a book entitled How Great Cities Are Fed (Hedden, 1929) to describe the flow of food from producer to consumer. Seven decades later, the term was used to describe a food system that connected local producers with local consumers (Kloppenburg et al., 1996). In this project, the general definition of a foodshed is a geographic area that supplies a population center with food. However, the Mapping Local Food Systems Project focused specifically on potential local foodsheds, areas of nearby land that could theoretically provide part or all of a city's food needs (Peters, 2007).
*Used from Cornell University web site, 2012
  [Read More]

Schedule of Events!

Hello all!

I just got done posting all the awesome events that we have planned for you this winter season at The Old Winery Market. Please take a minute to go through all our events and be sure to add them onto your calender.

We will have monthly Cooking Demo's presented by some of the area's finest chefs. Each month we will again feature a special day for the children. The Farmington Public Libray and Farmington's Heritage Nature Center will be on site at each one from 10am to noon doing free nature acitvities and reading fun stories for the little people. 

I think it is so important to bring the children out to the market. They need to learn where their food comes from... meet the folks who grew those tasty Brussels Sprouts... raised those beautiful, humungous brown eggs... talk to the guy who cut those tomatoes to make the salsa... laugh with the lady who made the brownies... chit chat with the couple who melts the wax and pours it into those pretty jars that smell so good. 

Market going is a way of life... a destination that shouldn't be an option... a place to go and hang out and meet friends and lounge for a while and visit in the lounge catching up on the weeks events.

Take the children over to the Market Lounge and grab a board game and spend some time, real quality time with your little ones...

I love the market and I want you to love it too...

See you there,

Jean

The Market Is Getting Ready To Roll!

Hello all!

I am so excited about the new season that is about to start!

Please check out all the new great vendors you have to look forward to this winter in the Vendor tab as well as the list of Events on the web site. We are bringing in many of the vendors that you came to love last winter, including Willow Ridge Farms, Catain Johns Smoke House and Fostoria Bread Factory to name a few. We will be doing feature write ups here on the vendors so you can get to know them a bit better. Be sure to check out thier web sites listed and see all the great products they have!

I am also excited to announce that we will have regular bloggers going at it here, including myself at TOWFM. Keep posted for all the details and exciting events we have planned for you this coming Winter Season!

See you at the market

Jean Smith,

Market Manager

 
 
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