We just arrived home from the Winter Farmers’ Market in Rollingsford NH. It was an indescribable experience so I’ll say it mostly with pictures.
Days are growing longer by almost 3 minutes a day, one of the farmers told me. Did you know that winter greens thrive on these lengthening days? We found plenty of greens at the market, such as different kales, lettuces, bok choy, and beet greens. We found carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, and winter squash galore. There were also rudabagas and beets.
The mother and daughter team selling at this booth were bee keepers and vegetable growers. It is mainly a one woman operation with help from her daughter when she is home from school. This farmer said she worked from 9 am to 9 pm harvesting vegetables yesterday. We bought her honey.
I didn’t expect so much meat to be available. They offered organic beef, pork, chicken, and lamb. Yes, mister gardener could not pass up the pork spare ribs and a few strip steaks.
Did you know that beans are one of the world’s oldest foods? I’d never seen such variety. Have you ever heard of Marfax, True Red Cranberry, or Yellow Eye beans? These beans are a lot fresher than the ones in the grocery store that could be years old.
Lengthening daylight also brings an abundance of eggs. Locally raised eggs are amazing, full of flavor and nutrition. The farmers were quick to tell me their chickens are treated humanely. I thought the colors of the eggs were gorgeous.
The eggs we ended up buying were quail eggs. This farmer raises 3 varieties of quail and was excited to talk about each. I wonder which one laid my eggs.
We evidenced cookies, doughnuts, granola (tasty samples). We could have had breakfast or lunch of cheeses, pastas, crepes, soup, milk, yogurt and a breakfast sandwich that looked hot and delicious. We settled on crepes…. savory with organic cheeses and herbs for mister gardener and, alas, Nutella for me.
There were many bread bakers and we love bread. We choose some whole wheat yeast rolls for dinner tonight.
Author Kathy Gunst was cooking up a storm and serving samples of several different recipes from her newest cookbook. Mister gardener loved the roasted root vegetable and lettuce salad but this bean dish was delicious, too.
“It’s an award winner,” the owner said as she handed us samples of her maple syrup. Couldn’t pass this up! Our bags were getting heavy: meats, cookbook, bread, honey, maple syrup (and candy), eggs.
Rugs, slippers, blankets, mittens, hand-dyed wool was all prepared by this happy farmer. She loves her craft and it shows.
Finally, we stopped to enjoy the music of MiKe & MiKe who now have Lily Hope sleeping through the entire show. Mike Morris, guitarist and Heather Mike, fiddler, entertained the crowds with foot stomping high-energy folk music. What a treat!