Market Schedule SATURDAYS: 9:00-2:00 pm TUESDAYS: November-March 10:00-3:00 pm and April-October 2:00-6:00 pm
 

 

                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                               

Coastal Alabama Farmers & Fishermens Market

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Located in Foley, Alabama


Slow Money - Recipe of the Week: Sweet Potato, Corn, Black beans, Tomato

Slow Money

 

Are you familiar with the Slow Money movement?  The movement focuses mainly on the benefits to our economy based on farmers’ markets and similar venues.  Quoting from their website: “Today, people are hungry for real alternatives to faster and faster, bigger and bigger, more and more global. Investing in local food systems is a way to begin fixing our economy and our culture from the ground up.”  “We are building a movement of individuals who … are choosing a constructive, hopeful course of action. Slow Money … is built on the premise that … we need not only new technologies and new policies, but also new sensibilities and new behavior, without which the words sustainable and transparent and accountable and socially responsible and metrics and impact will mean little in the end.”

 

Principles of Slow Money

  1. We must bring money back down to earth.
  2. There is such a thing as money that is too fast, companies that are too big, finance that is too complex. Therefore, we must slow our money down — not all of it, of course, but enough to matter.
  3. The 20th Century was the era of Buy Low/Sell High and Wealth Now/Philanthropy Later—what one venture capitalist called “the largest legal accumulation of wealth in history.” The 21st Century will be the era of nurture capital, built around principles of carrying capacity, care of the commons, sense of place, diversity and nonviolence.
  4. We must learn to invest as if food, farms and fertility mattered. We must connect investors to the places where they live, creating healthy relationships and new sources of capital for small food enterprises.
  5. Let us celebrate the new generation of entrepreneurs, consumers and investors who are showing the way from Making a Killing to Making a Living.
  6. Paul Newman said, “I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out.” Recognizing the wisdom of these words, let us begin rebuilding our economy from the ground up, asking:
    • What would the world be like if we invested 50% of our assets within 50 miles of where we live?
    • What if there were a new generation of companies that gave away 50% of their profits?
    • What if there were 50% more organic matter in our soil 50 years from now?

 

You can find out more information about Slow Money on their website:  www.slowmoney.org

 

 

 

Big business farms are not only questionable in their health practices and environmental practices, but as an economic driver, are not sustainable for everyone and are causing economic problems as a result of their dominance in the food market.  We have to ask ourselves, “Do we really want our food from a handful of food sources?  My answer is a resounding “NO!”  Almost weekly, we read or hear about another food recall from the grocery stores.  Early this summer, one well-known food company that makes toddler food that my youngest grandchildren love had a recall due to listeria outbreak.  That recall brought the scare to another level for me and I immediately contacted my son and daughter-in-law.  The food in question was in the garbage before they went to work that morning, thankfully.    

 

Back to the main point, where do you want your money to go?  Do we really want our money to go to a family that controls a fortune equal to the wealth of the bottom 42 percent of Americans combined?  This same company built a big marketing campaign claiming it was selling food produced by local farmers.  Yeah, they were offering extremely low, poverty level deals to the local farmers.  Sorry store-who-shall-not-be-named with the massive parking lot, I’m not impressed.  (As an aside, I have still have not forgiven them for cutting down all those trees to pave an unnecessarily large parking lot, but that’s another blog.)  So for me, no, I don’t want my money going to them.

 

In the publishing business, 95% of all books published are by companies owned by only five corporations.  To reverse that sentence, five corporations own 95% of all book publishing companies.  For an author who is published by one of the 5% that is not owned by the Big 5, it gives me freedom that other authors do not necessarily have.  However, it also makes it harder on me because I have to handle marketing on my own and often times my own selling, which is one of the reasons I can empathize with the local farmers at our Market.  Our food sources are rapidly moving to mirror that trend to massive ownership.  Currently, 10 corporations control most of the world food supply.  All these corporations have profits in the billions annually as they control food sources, labor, costs, and most importantly, they control what and how people eat.  (I’ve outlined another blog about “what and how people eat” and how farmer’s markets make it better.  Later…)

           

I know I’m sounding real doomsday here and I’m sorry.  But, it brings me to the positive point I want to make.  We are fortunate that we have alternatives.  We can choose to whom our money goes and we can choose what we eat.  When we purchase our food from our neighbors at the local farmers’ market, not only are we getting good quality food that’s a lot healthier than the highly processed food of questionable safety, we are supporting the local economy.  You help pay for the college education for your neighbor’s children, you help pay for uniforms of a local high school band color guard member, you supplement someone’s retirement, and by the way, these aren’t just randomly selected phrases, these are real examples of slow money being spent at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market. 

 

In addition, our neighbors are controlling the cost of what we pay for our foods.  Most of the time, when I’m told how much my purchase will be, my response is “You’re kidding?  You’re not charging me enough.”   I said that one Saturday to a farmer and he said, “You’re right.  Here. Have another cucumber,” and he threw another vegetable in my bag.  Our choice, build the wealthy empire of people of questionable ethics or support our neighbors who treat us fairly and keep our money locally.  It’s an easy choice.  See you at the Market.

 

 

The original premise of Recipe of the Week was to stroll through the Market, pick up a few items, and take them home to create a recipe.  Also, I have a self-imposed rule that I must use at least three items.  Of course, I’ve broken the premise a few times and will do so again this week.  Two items in this week’s recipe come from the CSA box I received this week as well as corn I bought several weeks ago and had in my freezer.  So, the spirit of the premise remains, just slightly bent.

 

Ingredients

 

1 sweet potato (CSA)

Kernels of one ear of corn (several vendors)

1 can of black beans (I use Eden’s because of no BPA in its can linings) drained and rinsed

Grape tomatoes (CSA) quartered

Basil (from a plant purchased at the Market)

Olive oil

Cayenne pepper

Sea salt

 

Directions:

 

  1. Peel and dice the sweet potato, approximately bite sized pieces.  Coat with olive oil.  Sprinkle with sea salt and cayenne pepper.  Cook in a shallow baking dish at 450° for 30 minutes.
  2. In a separate baking dish, sprinkle corn kernels with sea salt and cayenne pepper.  Bake at the same time as the sweet potato.
  3. Warm the black beans approximately five minutes at 450°.
  4. In a bowl, line the bottom with sweet potato chunks.  Add corn and black beans. 
  5. Top with tomato quarters.
  6. Add torn basil.

 

I had this for lunch with a big glass of water on my meatless day.

 

Enjoy and I’ll see you at the Market.

 

Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device

bobzeanah@gmail.com

www.bobzeanah.com 


Vote with your fork- Pollan

My wife was a fan of an afternoon television show in which a doctor talked with women in the audience about health issues.  Occasionally, when I walked through the room, I would pause and listen to what he was covering for that day.  A frequent topic of his was to discuss the health benefit of a spice or nut or dried fruit.  He always concluded the segment with something like, “Just put a little on your cereal each morning.”  After about the dozenth time hearing him say that, I commented to my wife, “If we followed his advice, we would need to eat cereal from a barrel and it would take all day with all the toppings he recommends.”  I think I ruined the show for her as she has not been watching it since, but that’s another matter.

            Following health advice gets complicated.  Recently, I read an article in which the author attacked the holiest of holies – fruit.  He wrote that fruit should not be eaten alone because of sugar content, but paired with protein or with whole grains.  Now, a couple of weeks ago I did create a recipe that I posted with pork chops and peaches and I did receive some feedback about some folks who tried the recipe with positive results.  However, the author of the article arguing for exclusive fruit pairing goes to messing with Baldwin County blueberries or strawberries or with Chilton County peaches, have mercy I’m not going to be an adherent to that advice.  Peaches and cheese make a good snack, but so does a peach by itself or a handful of blueberries by themselves.  If we followed all the health food-related advice, we simply couldn’t eat everything we supposedly need to eat and in right combinations.  So, what do we do? 

As I have expressed before, we are offered way too much contradictory advice.   However, no one can argue that our current Western diet of trans-fats, refined sugars, highly processed foods is not good for us.  Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food, says of strategies to escape our highly destructive diet, we must “vote with our forks” and purchase foods from farmers’ markets and from local farms.  “It is hard to eat badly from the farmers’ market, from a CSA box (Community Supported Agriculture), or from your own garden,” he writes.  [Note:  See Alescia Forland at Forland Family Market for a great CSA option.]

He goes on to write, “when you eat from the farmers’ market, you automatically eat food that is in season, which is usually when it is most nutritious.  Eating in season also tends to diversify your diet.”       He adds, “To shop at a farmers’ market … has several implications for your health.  Local produce is typically picked ripe and is fresher than supermarket produce, and for those reasons it should be tastier and more nutritious.”

Changing the subject on you slightly, I’m a fan of the comic strip Arlo and Janis, for two reasons.  First, I see myself in the humor of the comic strip and I can laugh at myself and the second reason is that I’ve known the artist, Jimmy Johnson, since my college days.  My roommate was the editor of the college newspaper and Jimmy was drawing a cartoon strip for the college newspaper back then.  Through my roommate I got to know Jimmy as well as his future wife (from whom he is now amicably divorced), author Rheta Grimsley Johnson.  When my youngest son was in high school and considering potential careers, he briefly entertained the idea of becoming a cartoonist.  Through my former roommate, I was able to arrange for my son to meet Jimmy Johnson, who is still one of the nicest people you will ever meet as he was back in college.  He spent several hours talking with us and helping my son know the intricacies of cartooning. 

This long introduction is to deliver a punchline:  In one of my favorite Arlo and Janis strips that’s still on my refrigerator, Janis asks Arlo, “Is this just another Baby Boomer fad?”  To which Arlo answers, “Probably, but this one actually makes sense.”

Farmers’ Markets are one of the fastest growing entities in the country, partly based on the fact that it’s another Baby Boomer fad, but this one actually makes sense as we can get what we need and support local, small farmers who are the mainstay of our economy from the beginning of time and always will be.  Each week as I cruise the farmers’ market, I realize that the solution to healthy eating dilemmas is stacked up on the back of the pickup trucks at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market. 

 

Recipe of the Week:  Summer Vegetable Soup

 

The inspiration for this soup occurred one-day last summer as I was shopping at the Market.  I decided to experiment with the same vegetables as I have listed, went home, and created a light summer soup that was perfect for a good lunch.  A famous soup company, that creates some of the most disastrously tasting soups that amount to mainly water, salt, corn syrup, and Monosodium glutamate with a scintilla of something that vaguely resembles food, several years ago put together a summer-time ad campaign for soup that actually made sense.  Eating their soups does not make sense, but they advertised that eating soup in summer was the perfect meal – you need more hydration and eating soup is a light meal for hot weather.  Following that advice, I offer to you Summer Vegetable Soup.

 

Ingredients:

 

1 eggplant

2 zucchinis

2 yellow crook squash

2 tomatoes

1 red bell pepper

1 onion

~1 quart of thin chicken broth (I make my own using a half chicken from NatureNine farms or use No-salt Kitchen Basics broth)

White wine

Basil, oregano, and rosemary

Olive oil

Sea salt

Ground pepper

 

Direction:

 

  1. Dice all vegetables into bite-sized chunks.
  2. In a large, warm pot, add olive oil.
  3. Start with onions, add vegetables in this order, adding after the previous addition gets softened or translucent – eggplant, zucchini, squash, bell pepper, tomatoes.  Sprinkle with lightly with sea salt and add pepper to taste.  Cook slowly and do not overcook.
  4. Add at least 1 quart of chicken broth and water to create thin broth (more or less depending on the amount of vegetables).
  5. Add a splash of white wine, stir slowly.
  6. Add fresh herbs. 

 

I served this for lunch with a glass of cold water with a slice of lemon and it was enough.

 

Enjoy and I’ll see you at the Market.


Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device

bobzeanah@gmail.com

www.bobzeanah.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            


Food As Medicine

Earthly Bodies

Recently, I typed the words, “food as medicine” in my search engine and sixteen books came up as well as several websites.  The whole notion of finding ways to get healthier and stay healthy is probably at its highest level of interest among people.  Baby boomers are getting older and looking at longevity issues as related to health and preventing diseases as well as ways to address current health issues that they are experiencing.  Millenniums seem obsessed with the topic and are often more knowledgeable than their parents regarding health issues and foods.  Any health issue you can name, you will find information about foods that can reportedly help you.

Now, don’t go throwing away your prescription medications and I don’t have a 1-800 number for you to call as operators are not standing by, but there are some age-old notions as well as new research worth noting as the idea of food as medicine may be worthy of consideration and individual research.  A good place to start is with Johanna (pronounced Yo-hanna) Earthly Ramos and you can find her at http://www.earthlybodies.org.  You can purchase her specialty juices formulated for various health concerns – high blood sugar, inflammation, skin conditions, overweight, PMS, heart problems, and the list continues.  See below for instructions on how to order her juices.

Her story with making juices to address health concerns began with a personal tragedy followed by months of being on, what she calls, “an emotional rollercoaster.”  However, from her own experience she realized that she could turn tragedy into something positive for herself and ever since that realization she has been making her life better as well as other people’s lives better with her 52 juice recipes.  She strictly uses blends of multiple seasonal fruits and vegetables to create her juices.  Personally, I love the Kale Yeah! juice and have a little each morning for breakfast. 

To purchase her juices, you can go on her website and make a purchase through the “Store” before Friday and then pick up the formulated juice at Forland Family Market on Saturday.

More information can be found on her website, her Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope TV. 

Bonus Recipe of the Week:  Acorn Squash

I’m having to give a bonus recipe as I have a self-imposed rule that all recipes must contain at least three ingredients obtained from Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market, Forland Family Market, or Shrimp to Go.  This bonus recipe is a simple recipe for acorn squash and only contains two items purchased at the Market.  

Ingredients:

Acorn squash (various vendors)

Butter (Forland Family Market)

Raw sugar

Sea salt

Cinnamon (I use Badia as the flavor tastes consistently fresher and more intense to me than others.)

Olive oil

 

Directions:

 

  1. Cut the squash into halves, crossways.  Spoon out the seeds and pulp.
  2. Coat the bottom of a shallow baking dish with olive oil.
  3. Place the acorn squash, cut side down in the baking dish and cook for 20 minutes at 350°.
  4. In the meantime, in a small sauce pan melt ~1 tablespoon of butter (more or less depending on the size of the acorn squash).  When butter is melted add 1 tablespoon of raw sugar and pinch of sea salt, cook while stirring over low heat until sugar is dissolved.  Add cinnamon to taste and stir.  Remove from heat.
  5. Turn acorn squash over and coat with butter mixture.  Cook 20 more minutes.
  6. Test doneness with fork tines to ensure the squash is soft.

 

Recipe of the Week:  Meatloaf

 

Ingredients:

 

1 pound of grass-fed, free range hamburger meat (George Family Farm)

1 egg (various vendors)

½ cup of non-GMO, organic oatmeal (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

1 small sweet onion diced (various vendors)

Sea salt

Tony’s Tejas Salsa

3 tablespoons raw honey (various vendors)

1½ tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

 

Directions:

 

  1. Combine hamburger, egg, oatmeal, and onion.  Add sea salt to taste.  Put in a slightly greased pan.
  2. Mix salsa, honey, and mustard.  Cover the top of the hamburger mixture.
  3. Bake 1 ¼ hours at 350°.  For the last 30-45 minutes, cook with an aluminum foil tent to prevent the honey and salsa from burning.

 

Both of these foods complement each other as a pairing and go great with a glass of red wine.  I served them with a green salad made with Craine Creek Farms lettuce.  Enjoy and I’ll see you at the Market.

 

Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device

bobzeanah@gmail.com

www.bobzeanah.com 


What Nutritionists from other countries have to say?

What Nutritionists from Other Countries Have to Say?

 

Recently an international conference of nutritionists was held in the United States.  During the conference, a writer for a magazine devoted to nutrition organized a panel of nutritionists representing seven countries, all of which are known for healthy lifestyles.  A very basic question was asked:  What recommendations do they have for better nutrition?  Their answers were fairly consistent among the seven nutritionists. 

 

Focus on Vegetables:  All of the nutritionists recommended eating more vegetables and to make vegetables the center of a meal.   They expressed shock that Americans ALWAYS have meat as the front-and-center focus of their plates rather than vegetables.  They also expressed surprise that Americans do not eat more all-vegetable meals.   All of the nutritionists described how freshly harvested vegetables are served in their countries routinely as the entire meal.

 

As I thought about this recommendation, I realized that this is so true.  Meat, front and center.  In fact, I pulled out an old etiquette book and an old style basic cookbook from 50 years ago.  In both books I found diagrams how to organize a plate based on proper etiquette.  Meat, front and center.  A few years ago, my wife and I started having one meatless day per week.  At first, it felt like a sacrifice, now it just feels normal and often we have more than one day when we have no meat.  Don’t get me wrong, we both love a good cheeseburger just as much as anyone else, but we also have found that a plate of vegetables to be extremely satisfying.  It just took some getting used to.  Of course, as frequent shoppers at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and Forland Family Market know, finding quality vegetables is an easy task.

 

Eat more plant based protein:  Beans, peas, and nuts are used frequently.  These products are often the entire meal, frequently as hand food.  In addition, several of the nutritionists talked about nuts being used as flavorings in their culture.  Peanuts in season can be found at Forland Family Market as well as nuts by the pound.  In season, peas and beans are readily available and easy to freeze fresh retaining their nutritional value.

 

Herbs:  Each of the nutritionists in the group related that the use of fresh herbs was a part of the daily diet in their respective cultures.  In some of the cultures represented, herbs were also used to make tea; in others cultures, herbs were used for flavorings; and in some instances herbs, particularly leaves were eaten separately as a part of the meal.  Fresh herb plants are sold at the Market and most of them are easy to grow.  In the climate of Coastal Alabama, herbs can be grown outside in the ground or in pots with only a few days a year needing to be covered or brought inside.  In addition, two vendors feature microgreens some of which are made from herbs.  Also, a unique blend of tea herbs is available at the Market from Moringa Colectivo.

 

Spices:  Each of the nutritionists in the group talked of the importance of adding spices to foods, not just for flavor, but also for the medicinal values that species can afford.  Also, see the notes in this week’s recipe for a good source of fresh spices.

 

Fish:  All the nutritionists were adamant about this recommendation even the one landlocked country who was adamant about freshwater fish and freshwater mollusks.  Getting fresh seafood is easy for us living on the Coast.  Two vendors at the Market carry fresh seafood.

 

Naturally Sweet Treats:  The nutritionists emphasized that most cultures do not eat refined sugars such as what we have in desserts.  They said that fruit is the staple for desserts or is used as the sweetener for dessert.  Easy enough to find plenty of fruit at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and at Forland Family Farm.

 

Recipe of the Week:  Trigger Fish

 

Ingredients:

 

Trigger Fish (available from Shrimp to Go or J&K Farms)

Seafood Seasoning (I use Barrier Reef Caribbean Spice Blend that I purchase online from Savory Spice Shop in Denver, Colorado but other spice blends, such as Old Bay, work.)

1 Tablespoon scant finely chopped sweet onion (available from several vendors)

1 Tablespoon scant finely chopped sweet pepper (available from several vendors)

1 Tablespoon scant finely chopped celery (Forland Family Market)

White wine

Olive Oil

Butter (Forland Family Market)

Microgreens

 

Directions:

 

  1. Coat fish with seasoning blend, both sides, and marinate in a non-metal container.  Let marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil and butter.  Add fish, cooking for 7 minutes on each side (vary for thickness of fish).  I cooked this on an outdoor gas grill.
  3. Remove fish to a warmed platter.
  4. Add ½ - ¾ cup of white wine and add vegetables.  Deglaze the pan with an inverted spatula until vegetables are soft and wine is cooked down about halfway.
  5. Add fish back to the pan and turn often fully coating all surfaces of the fish.  Cook additional 1-2 minutes.  The coating is the key point.  A good fresh fish will probably break apart some, which is okay as more surface of the fish is getting coated.
  6. Remove to warm plates, cover fish with microgreens, and serve as soon as possible.

 

I served this fish covered in microgreens with leftover mixed grain rice (we’re frugal at my house, but the texture and flavors of rice blends are enhanced after sitting in the refrigerator overnight and most of the day), Crowder peas (Forland Family Market), green salad with Craine Creek lettuce, and chilled white wine. 

 

Of course, you can use any fish you prefer with this recipe. 

 

Enjoy and I’ll see you at the Market.

 

Lagniappe:  If you ever find yourself near one of the 24 Savory Spice Shop locations, do yourself a favor and go in.  They’re located in several Southeastern states, mid-West states, and Pacific Coast states.  You will need to allow yourself at least an hour to taste and smell all their spices and herbs and blends.  And, plan on blowing your budget. 

 


Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device

bobzeanah@gmail.com

www.bobzeanah.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sustainability - Pork Chops and Peaches

Sustainability

Buzzwords enter our language and usually live a short life before returning to the original context of the word.  Currently, one such buzzword is “sustainability” and it can be found in many areas – environment, urban planning, economics, non-profit agencies, businesses, and just about anywhere.  Farmers have always understood the concept of sustainability perhaps better than anyone.  They understand the need to live beyond a single growing season, they understand the need to sustain their crops year after year and even generation after generation.  In many cases, they understand that their farm still produces because of the practices their great grandparents implemented. 

[Note: the next five paragraphs contain information I shamelessly plagiarized from the internet about farmers’ markets.  I re-worded the text in a few places, deleted superfluous verbiage, and wrote some original thoughts.  I share these ideas because of the importance our farmers are to us.]

Behind the rows of produce, busy vendors, and eager customers, farmers’ markets are a bustling hub of sustainability. Local farmers deliver fresh, local food to a growing number of consumers demanding food that is not only healthy, but environmentally friendly. But farmers’ markets take sustainability a step further. They also ensure farmers can make a living off sustainably grown food, while providing an outlet where communities can conveniently find and purchase their products.

 

Sustainability is the overarching theme in the system of farmers’ markets. Farmers engage in sustainable farming practices to produce healthy food to sustain the local community, who in turn provide the revenue necessary to sustain the farmers. Each shares in the success of the other in a mutually beneficial relationship that has become a model for sustainability.

 

Farmers who choose to use sustainable practices face a challenging economic climate dominated by large, corporate farms. Many find they cannot compete with the massive volume, low market prices, and government subsidies enjoyed by large operations. Farmers markets offer small and mid-sized farmers a low-barrier entry point to develop and establish a thriving business free from the overhead necessary to sell in large retail outlets. But just as important, farmers’ markets create a space where the focus of food is on quality and farming practices rather than price alone.  Each year, more and more customers are drawn to farmers’ markets due to an increasing demand for natural and organic food.

 

According to a USDA survey, markets that sell organic products report more customers per week, more vendors, and larger monthly sales. This upward trend depicts a rising consciousness among customers who are concerned with not just what they eat, but how it is produced. As a result, more and more farmers are adopting environmentally sound farming practices that improve, rather than degrade, the natural environment.

 

Farmers selling at markets minimize the amount of waste and pollution they create. Many use certified organic practices, reducing the amount of synthetic pesticides and chemicals that pollute our soil and water. A growing number are also adopting other low-impact practices, such as on-site composting, that help mitigate climate change and other environmental issues.

 

One thing I enjoy doing when I visit Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and Forland Family Market is to talk with the vendors about their farming methods.  They’re proud of what they do and will readily share with you about their practices.  In addition to getting great, fresh food, you can get a lesson on sustainable farm practices.  Great fresh food raised by local farmers with a nice bonus of sustainable production practices.  Good food, supporting local farmers, and sound environmental practices.  Sustainability.

 

Recipe of the Week is something I created when I realized that I bought too many peaches at the Market that two people could not possibly eat before the peaches went bad.

 

Pork Chops and Peaches

 

Ingredients

 

2 pork chops about ¾ inch thick (NatureNine Farm or George Family Farm)

3 peaches diced into bite-sized pieces (Forland Family Market)

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tablespoon of diced fresh rosemary (from a plant I purchased at the Market)

White wine

Low sodium chicken broth (I use Kitchen Basics)

Olive Oil

Sea salt

Ground pepper

 

Directions

 

  1. In an iron skillet over medium high heat (I used an outdoor gas grill, though stovetop works just as well) add a little olive oil.
  2. Sear pork chops in the skillet about one minute on each side until browned.
  3. Turn the heat to a lower setting. Cook another two minutes on each side adding salt and pepper to taste. Adjust time for thickness. [Note: The recommended time for cooking pork chops that are ¾ inch thick is 7 minutes. The times I gave above are approximate, as I added a few seconds to each step to total the recommended amount of cooking time.]
  4. Remove the pork chops to a warmed platter.
  5. Turn the heat to a high setting.  Add a few glugs of white wine (about ¼ cup) and ¼ cup of chicken broth.  Deglaze the pan scrapping with an inverted spatula.
  6. As you are deglazing, add rosemary and balsamic vinegar.  Let the liquid cook down about a fourth before going to the next step.
  7. Turn the heat back to a low setting.  Add peaches and cook about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Don’t allow the peaches to become mushy, just warmed and coated with liquid. 
  8. Pour the peaches and the liquid over pork chops and serve immediately.

 

I served the pork chops/peaches with roasted new potatoes (Forland Family Farm), a garden salad using Craine Creek lettuce, and a glass of white wine. 

 

Enjoy and I’ll see you at the Market.

Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device

bobzeanah@gmail.com

www.bobzeanah.com 

 


CSA Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

 

For more than 25 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically, the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.  This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer. In brief:

 

Advantages for farmers:

·         Marketing their produce is simplified

·         Guarantees a cash flow

·         Learns directly what consumers are wanting


Advantages for consumers:

·         More fresh food and fresh food = greater nutritional value

·         Exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking

·         Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown

 

Tens of thousands of families have joined CSAs, and in some areas of the country there is more demand than there are CSA farms to fill it. Since the United States Department of Agriculture does not track CSAs, no official count of how many CSAs there are in the U.S. exists.  An organization called Local Harvest has the most comprehensive directory of CSA farms, with over 4,000 listed in their grassroots database. See www.localharvest.org

 

Locally, Forland Family Market provides a hybridized version of a CSA that is extremely beneficial to consumers as well as farmers.  Each Wednesday, members pick up a box of food containing eggs, lettuce, fruit, and other vegetables that Forland Family Market has selected from local farmers.  They work with numerous farmers throughout Baldwin County to provide a variety of fresh foods.  All you have to do is, each week, let Forland Family Market know you want a basket.  Send an email to Alescia Forland, loxleyfarmmarket@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK:  Mulligan Stew

During a recent Saturday morning shopping visit to Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and to Forland Family Market, I realized I was looking at the fresh ingredients for one of my favorite foods – Mulligan Stew.  Mulligan Stew (sometimes called Irish Stew) is usually thought of as winter time stew or a St. Patrick’s Day treat and is usually made with frozen vegetables.  However, as I cruised the vendors, I knew that I could share my adaptation of this Irish classic and feature our own vendors.  While I don’t think I have any Irish ancestors, some of my Northern Scottish ancestors were displaced to Ireland before coming to the United States.  I guess that’s where I got my love of this hearty stew.

Ingredients

·         ¼ cup all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)

·         1 teaspoon pepper

·         1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes (available from George Family Farms)

·         1 tablespoon olive oil

·         2½ cups beef broth (I made broth from scratch with beef bones from George Family Farms, but that’s another blog recipe.)

·         1 cup water

·         2 bay leaves

·         Minced garlic clove

·         ½  teaspoon fresh oregano (from a plant purchased at the Market)

·         ½  teaspoon fresh basil (from a plant purchased at the Market)

·         ½  teaspoon dill weed (only herb listened I did not purchase at the Market but from another local source)

·         3 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch slices (Forland)

·         2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered (red potatoes and available from various vendors)

·         2 celery ribs, cut diagonally into 1-inch slices (Forland)

·         1 onion, cut into eight wedges (various vendors)

·         1 cup each fresh corn, green beans, lima beans and peas

·         1 tablespoon cornstarch

·         2 tablespoons cold water

·         1 tablespoon diced fresh parsley (from a plant purchased at the Market)

Directions

  1.  Combine flour and pepper in a bowl and dredge beef cubes.
  2. In a Dutch oven, brown beef in oil over medium heat.
  3. Add broth, water, bay leaves, garlic salt, oregano, basil and dill; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until meat is tender, about 2 hours.
  4. Add carrots, potatoes, celery and onion; cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
  5. Add corn, beans and peas; cover and simmer 15 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender.
  6. Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; add to stew. Bring to a boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes.
  7. Remove bay leaves; add parsley. 
  8. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

I serve Mulligan Stew in a flat bowl with soup spoons.  Goes great with some crusty bread and an amber ale or red wine.

Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device

bobzeanah@gmail.com

www.bobzeanah.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Blue Zones 1. Eat fresh

The Blue Zones

A few years ago, in coordination with National Geographic, author Dan Buettner published a book that he titled The Blue Zones that was based on research he conducted among the peoples throughout the world that exhibited unusual longevity traits.  To do so, he found locations where living past 100 years old was normal and the average lifespan far exceeded the world average. 

I won’t go into all his findings and conclusions but there are some items worth noting that he found in these peoples throughout the world:

  • Intergenerational living arrangements (the delightful owners of Forland Family Market must on to something)
  • Walking as the main means of transportation (love the construction of sidewalks everywhere)
  • Lots of social contacts (something you can get at the Market)
  • Learn something new often (I hope that this blog does that for you)
  • Being active outdoors (i.e. gardening). 
  • Also, the people tend to stay active late in life.  Continuing to work past 100 years old is not unusual.

 

Of course, the primary recommendations from his book relate to fresh foods.  Keep in mind, most of the places that were studied have little or no access to refrigeration or microwaves or other appliances.  Hmmm, they live longer without modern conveniences, because they eat fresh foods.  Just one more reason to go to Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and Forland Family Market.  Some recommendations from the book that relate to foods:

  • Limit meat (including seafood) to one meal per day and eat only fresh meat or seafood. (Available at the Market)
  • 4-6 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily (Obviously found at the Market)
  • Showcase fruit and vegetables -- store fruit and vegetables in bowls and baskets around your kitchen.  (See Alice Noyes of Handwoven by Design for handwoven baskets and thrown pottery.)
  • Consume fresh herbs daily.  (Plants sold at the Market)
  • Eat dried beans and peas (Okay, not available at the Market)
  • Eat a handful of nuts daily. (Forland Family Market has nuts by the pound)
  • Drink 1-2 glasses of red wine or dark beer daily. (also, not available)

 

Recipe of the Week:  Roasted & Grilled Vegetables

 

This week’s offering is really not a recipe but a listing of vegetables that do well being roasted or grilled.  Along with the list, is how to bake or grill.  All the vegetables listed I have found at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and Forland Family Market.

 

Vegetables suited for baking:

 

Okra:  Cut off the ends.  Cut into ½ inch pieces.

Beans:  Cut off ends.  Cut into 3-4 inch pieces.

Onions:  Quarter

Squash & Zucchini:  Slice into ¼ inch – ½ inches.  Cut across.

 

With any or all of the above, coat thoroughly with olive oil.  Lay out on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake at 350° Turning the vegetables often.  Remove from oven when brown or to the doneness you prefer.  Let cool.  Goes with anything.

 

Vegetables suited for grilling:

 

Zucchini:  Cut the ends off.  Slice lengthwise about ¼ - ½ inch thick.

Onion:  Quarter

Carrots:  Cut in diagonals, ½ inch – 1 inch thick

Squash:  Cut in slices, ½ - 1 inch thick.

 

With any or all of the above, coat thoroughly with olive oil.  Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and grate pepper on the vegetables.  Cook on a hot grill for no more than two minutes.  Turn.  Cook for no more than two minutes.  Note:  Tends to do better on a gas grill but a charcoal grill work too.

 

As always, enjoy, and I’ll see you at the Market.

 

Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device

bobzeanah@gmail.com

www.bobzeanah.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Simon & Garfunkel Chicken

Have you met Barbara McDonald?  She is the founder of Prim and Primal that began with a desire to make a healthy deodorant for friends and family. A couple of months later she decided to share it at the local farmer's market.  From her website she writes, "About a year later when repeat customers were regularly making me promise that I will never stop making it, I decided to branch out further."  She continues, "I’ve always been about finding the healthiest products. When I can’t find any I make them myself and I love being able to share my passion with others."  She’s an incredibly nice person and a fascinating person with whom to converse. 

I’ve quoted author, Sophie Patrick, before as I find her writing about healthy lifestyles to be challenging to some of my thinking and to some of my long developed habits that may not be the best for me.  “The idea of … (a healthy) lifestyle overhaul can seem like a gargantuan task … leaving you feeling overwhelmed and defeated before you’ve even begun.”  [Patrick, Sophie (2016-01-04). Organic Housekeeping Made Easy: 50 Simple Tips for Making Your Home a Healthier Place (Kindle Locations 92-93). Sophie Patrick. Kindle Edition.] 

In my opinion, living healthier starts with healthy eating such as fresh, locally grown food such as what I can find at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market.  However, when I start pursuing healthier lifestyle in eating, I started thinking about other ways to be healthier.  Should I be exercising more?  Am I getting the right kind of exercise?  How much is stress taking away from my health?  Are my sleep patterns detrimental to my health?  Is this product safe to put on my skin?  Ah, for the last question, I always ask Barbara. 

Of course, she’s not the only person making healthy products to sell at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and at Forland’s Family Farms.  If nothing else, these vendors’ wares are interesting to browse and the vendors are fascinating conversationalists about their products.

Recipe of the Week:  This recipe is an oldie, just like me.  Back in the 60’s, Simon & Garfunkel were an incredibly popular duet and exerted profound influence on the music scene of the time.  Later they parted ways (I’m still not over it), but Paul Simon continues today as a phenomenal music writer and Art Garfunkel’s voice continues today as pure as it ever was.  They do, however, reunite occasionally for a concert or benefit.  Their last concert in Central Park drew 500,000 people.  Obviously, I’m not the only one who’s a fan. 

One of their most popular songs, released around 1965, I believe, was their version of a seventeenth century Scottish folk song called Scarborough Fair.  Do yourself a favor and put “Simon and Garfunkel + Scarborough Fair” in YouTube search.  Enjoy!  From one of the lines of this hit song came the recipe for Simon & Garfunkel Chicken (seriously, I’m not making this up), which any good dinner host or hostess at the time knew how to make.  Here’s a version using Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market ingredients.  History does not record exactly what Scarborough Fair is though many speculate it was an open market somewhere near the Scottish coast, just like ours and probably selling the same things our beloved vendors sell.

Simon & Garfunkel Chicken

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;

Remember me to the one who lives there,

For she once was a true love of mine

 

Ingredients:

 

Half Chicken, defrosted (available from NatureNine Farms)

1 Tablespoon, loosely packed, of diced Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme (from plants purchased at the Market)  [Tell me you didn’t sing it as you read these four herbs]

Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Unsalted Chicken Stock

1 beer

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 450°
  2. Coat chicken with olive oil and place on a wire rack in a roasting pan
  3. Salt the chicken slightly.
  4. Arrange herbs over the chicken, patting them in place
  5. Add Chicken Stock (~1 cup to the bottom of the roasting pan.
  6. (Optional) You can add onions, garlic, and/or celery in the bottom of the pan for more steamed flavor.
  7. Cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Add beer to the bottom of the roasting pan
  9. Lower the oven to 350°and cook for an additional 20 minutes/pound.  Yeah, use the decimals, it’s important to get it exactly right. 
  10. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes.

 

Serve with fresh vegetables or salad from the Market, of course.  I had beans and roasted new potatoes with the chicken as well as a glass of white wine.  Of course, I listened to Simon & Garfunkel as I ate supper.

 

Enjoy!  See you at the Market.

 

[Lagniappe:  Search YouTube for “Simon & Garfunkel + Central Park” and listen to Bridge Over Troubled Waters.  It doesn’t get any better than that.]

 

 


Fourth of July Brunswick Stew

Overwhelming Information and a 4th of July Recipe

Do you feel overwhelmed with information about “healthy eating?”  In spite of all the advice we receive about healthy eating, Americans still suffer from higher rates of obesity and chronic diseases caused by poor eating habits more so than ever before.  One major problem, in my opinion, is that over the years we have received so much contradictory information that we tend to quit listening.  Fats are bad.  No, wait, we need good fats.  We need high carbohydrate diets.  No, wait, carbs are bad.  High protein diets.  No, wait, meat is bad.  Lots of seafood.  No, wait, heavy metals in fish are bad.  So, we give up and go through the fast food drive-in.

What we really should be doing is following relatively simple advice: eat a variety of foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables; whole grains; and farm fresh eggs and meats.  Get more exercise.  And watch how much we eat (guilty).  Stripping away some of the advice that I find difficult to believe, I have found some advice along the way that makes sense.  Sorry, I don’t remember all the sources or I would properly give references.

 

  • If your grandparents wouldn’t recognize something as being food, don’t eat it.
  • Don’t eat anything you can’t pronounce.  (Similar to the grandparent advice)
  • Eat plenty of seasonal foods.  (Sounds like an invitation to a farmers’ market)
  • Add a variety of plant-based foods to your diet. (ditto above)
  • Eat your vegetables colorfully.  (I like this plain, simple advice.  Of course, following this advice would result in eating foods that provide a variety of vitamins and nutrients.)
  • Never eat an amount of meat or seafood larger than the palm of your hand.  (This one is the hardest for me, but it’s a good way to ration proportionally the amount I need … and no more.)

 

Obviously, the best place for us to find the foods we need is at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and Forland Family Market.  Nothing makes me feel healthier than a plate full of vegetables on Saturday night after having selected foods at the Market based on the advice above.  Just not too much, I keep reminding myself.  Plus, there are a variety of farm raised meats available in unique sizes (like the size of my palm) other than the factory produced versions in grocery stores and a variety of seafood caught in the Gulf.

 

Another thing I love to do at the market is talk with the farmers and vendors about how they prepare foods.  They have lots of ideas and are willing to spend time telling you.  (Okay, when customers are stacked up waiting, I just come back later when they’re not busy.) Baking, stir frying, lots of ways other than, as my mother always put it, “drowning your vegetables and cooking the nutrients out.”  By the way, another thing my mother always said that I thought was good advice that she gave me, “You weren’t born loving fried chicken.  Bake it.”  But, that’s another blog.

In other matters, in my family we have our traditional foods for holidays and most of the time, the foods are not what others might consider to be traditional.  For instance, for Thanksgiving, we have gumbo or some other seafood dish.  For New Years’ Day, we have red beans and rice for good luck.   Here’s recipe for our Fourth of July meal tradition, including ingredients that can be found at the Market.  Normally, I share recipes based on foods I found that day at the Market, but this is a special holiday recipe that will take a little planning ahead and I offer to you my recipe for Brunswick Stew utilizing ingredients from the Market.

 

Fourth of July Brunswick Stew

“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.”  ~ Kahlil Gibran

 

Ingredients:

 

Whole chicken (NatureNine Farms)

2 cups of thinly sliced onions (from various vendors)

2 cups of diced celery (Forland Family Market)

1 ham hock (George Family Farm or NatureNine Farms)

1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (I prefer Muir Glen)

¼ cup chopped parsley (plants available at the Market)

1 diced jalapeno pepper (various vendors)

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 pound potatoes (from various vendors) (Any type will do, but I like red potatoes quartered)

3 cups lima beans (from various vendors, but if not available then frozen will have to do)

3 cups corn (from various vendors, but if not available then frozen will have to do)

Sea salt

Ground pepper

Hot sauce

 

Directions:

 

1.Cook a whole chicken in a large pot with water.  Slow, rolling boil about 4 hours.  Add water as needed to keep covered, but just barely. 

2.Let cool.  Pull meat, tearing into small pieces, and set aside.  Discard bones and chicken skin.

3.Add onions, celery, and green peppers to the broth.  Add sea salt and ground pepper.  Cook on medium heat until vegetables are wilted.

4.Add ham hock, tomatoes, parsley, jalapeno, and Worcestershire.  Cook on low for 90 minutes.  At this point until the end you want to let the water evaporate and make a thick stew.  Go easy on adding water as you will want a thick stew unless you are expecting a lot of company and then do as they say in Louisiana, “Baptize it.”

5.In another pot, cook diced potatoes under tender.  Drain.  Let cool.  Mash coarsely and reserve.  (Note:  I save potato water for soups and stews.  You can add this water to the stew if you need more water)

6.Add lima beans and cook for 20 minutes. 

7.Cut off any meat from the ham hock and return to the stew pot. Add chicken back to the stew.      

8.Add corn and cook 10 minutes.

9.Add potatoes and cook 10 minutes.

10.Turn off heat and let sit covered for 1 hour.  (If still watery, let sit uncovered)

11.Warm the stew to serving temperature when ready to eat.

 

I serve this stew with cornbread and a selection of pilsner beer and red and white wine.  Set the table with sea salt and a bottle of hot sauce for individual tastes.

 

I hope you enjoy.  Happy 4th of July!

 

See you at the Market. 


Saturday Night Farmers’ Market Pizza

Why a Farmers’ Market?

Farmers' markets are one of the oldest forms of direct marketing by small farmers. From the traditional "mercados" in the Peruvian Andes to the unique street markets in Asia, growers all over the world gather weekly to sell their produce directly to the public. In the last decade farmers’ markets have become a favorite method for many farmers throughout the United States, and a weekly ritual for many shoppers.  Shopping at a farmers' market is a great way to meet local farmers and get fresh, flavorful produce. [Paraphrased from Wikipedia]

While the reasons to shop at a farmers’ market are numerous, one of the most important is what happens to our local economy.  When you purchase from a local farmer at a farmers’ market, approximately 90% of the money stays in the community.  By contrast, when you shop at a well-known chain box store, approximately 7% stays in the community.  That is not a typo, only 7¢ out of every dollar remains in the South Baldwin County communities when you shop at that big, impersonal store that shall not be named.  However, when spend your money at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market, 90¢ out of every dollar stays here.  Ninety cents versus seven cents.  Hmm, that’s a no-brainer for me to decide where I want to shop for my food.

Further, research by Farmers Markets of America found that food prices at farmers’ markets are lower than supermarkets 91% of the time. In surveying consumers who favor farmers’ markets, the following were listed as the top reasons for shopping:

  • Fresher foods
  • Seasonal foods
  • Healthier foods
  • Better variety of foods (Examples: organic food; pasture-raised meats; free-range eggs and poultry; handmade cheeses, jams, and breads; foods that cannot be transported and therefore disfavored by grocery store chains)
  • A place to meet neighbors and chat
  • A place to enjoy an outside walk while getting groceries
  • A way to contribute personally to the community

Food quality, better prices, and a great social atmosphere!  Is it any wonder that people become regulars!  See you at the Market.

 

Saturday Night Farmers’ Market Pizza

This is one of my favorite foods for which to shop when I’m at the Market.  I buy lots of veggies that go great on a pizza – mushrooms, onions, carrots, zucchini, squash, peppers, cherry tomatoes, and anything else that fits my imagination as I shop around the market.  If you must have meat on your pizza, see the note at the end.

Crust

1 cup of all-purpose flour

½ cup of whole wheat flour

½ teaspoon of sea salt

4 tablespoons of olive oil

3 teaspoons of powdered yeast

½ cup of warm water

 

Dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand for 10-15 minutes.  In a mixing bowl, combine the dissolved year with the other ingredients.  Knead dough for 15 minutes adding flour or water to achieve a smooth, elastic, and not sticky dough ball.  Put the dough ball in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm place.  Allow 1 hour to rise.

 

Pizza topping ingredients

 

Small can of tomato sauce (I prefer Muir Glen)

~ 1 cup of shredded soft cheeses such as Farmers Cheese (Forland) or mozzarella (AA Farms)

~ ¼ cup of shredded hard cheese such as Montasio (AA Farms)

Combination of diced vegetables all of which are available from numerous vendors:  zucchini, squash, onions, carrots, peppers, cherry tomatoes

Diced shitake mushrooms (Terry Underwood)

Fresh basil leaves (available from several vendors)

 

Directions

1.On an oiled pizza pan, stretch the dough to cover the pan.

2.Spread tomato sauce over the dough

3.Add combination of toppings

4.Add basil leaves

5.Add cheeses

6.Cook in preheated oven at 500°for 25-30 minutes.

7.Let sit for 2 minutes before slicing.

8.Enjoy!

 

NOTE:  For those who must have meat on their pizza, purchase Italian Sausage from George Family Farm.  Remove the skin, break into pieces, and brown in a pan.  Remove the excess fat.  Use the sausage as a topping along with whatever vegetables you select.


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