People are often surprised when I tell them that the Clayton Farmer's Market is open in the winter. It's hard for them to imagine what would grow and be for sale at a farmer's market that offers freshly harvested, regional products and puts up tents in the traditional growing season from May through November.
Thanks to modern growing practices like high-tunnel farming and aquaponics that lengthen a small farms' growing season, famers' markets around the country are now open through the winter months and into early spring.
Also an increased customer demand for high quality, locally sourced farm fresh products year-round combined with a desire to support small local farms and businesses, helps the unique economic culture of farmers' markets thrive.
It's true that things slow down in the winter and we still have to wait till later in the year for local strawberries and peaches. But our Market tables are overflowing with dark leafy greens, lettuces, root vegetables and winter squash.
Add locally raised and processed cheeses, beef & pork, chicken, turkey and trout along with breads & baked goods, deserts & snacks, sauces, jams & pickles, coffee & tea---and other surprises from the small food entrepreneurs and you can see why winter farmers' markets are popular.
One of the things I enjoy about Winter Farmer's Markets is this is the time of the year when new products are often developed. While the farmers are perusing seed catalogs for rediscovered heritage vegetables like heirloom tomatoes, the small food entrepreneurs are busy developing recipes for new products.
These industrious folks are creative and inventive and I look forward to trying their latest creations. And guess what---market-goers often get the first taste! Throughout the winter months and into the spring, tantalize your taste-buds with the new and innovative at our areas' farmers' markets.
This week I'm pleased to introduce the following new products at the Clayton Farmer's Market:
Westover Trout Farms: Boneless Rainbow Trout Fillets--Convenient & Delicious Also Cedar Planks for Cooking
Del Carmen Foods: All Natural Vegetable Broth Made from
Scratch and Ready to Use in Soups Sauces and Stews
Silent Oaks Farm: Young Veggie Shoots to Harvest Fresh Daily From Your Kitchen
Leaf Dressing: Award Winning & Great Tasting on Salads, Veggies & More
Utterback Farm: Hydroponically Grown Fresh Greens, Lettuces and Herbs Perfect for Winter Salads
Red Fox Bakery & Catering: Hand-Crafted Tarts w/ Traditional French Flaiir,Roasted butternut galette with onion jam and sage brown
butter, Herbed ricotta tart with parsley pistou and roasted garlic, Chocolate espresso tart with candied hazelnuts, Spiced pear and almond frangipane tart, Apple galette with salted caramel
See you at the Market on Saturday, January 5 from 8:30am to 12:30pm, Indoors at the Center of Clayton, 50 Gay Ave, Clayton, MO 63105