Friday, 1 August 2014

In the Kitchen: Discovering the Ferguson Farmers Market

My good friend and neighbour Alyssa Bennett of Pie Craft here in St. Louis runs a pie stand at the Ferguson MO Farmers Market each Saturday. I finally got the opportunity to head out to Ferguson, which is just outside St. Louis about 30 minutes, to explore this great market. While the market is much smaller than Soulard, which is St. Louis' oldest Farmers Market, it is packed with organic produce from local farmers from the surrounding communities. I especially enjoyed that most of the produce is organic and well advertised as such. While you might think all produce at a Farmers Market would be organic, this is just not the case. Almost every vendor was organic and the service was friendly and helpful.



At River to River Farms you will find such friendly service as well as beautiful organic produce. I got these delicious oyster mushrooms and kale. 





Another fantastic vendor was the Ludwig Farmstead Creamery. While I aspire to be dairy free it is tough to do so with so many delicious cheese varieties to cook with. I was elated to find this local creamery that only produces European style raw cheese. The benefits of cheese when not processed and the flavors that develop are plentiful. When dairy is in its raw state it acts as a digestive aid/pro biotic. I think Nathan and I sampled every cheese they had! We walked away with samples of the habanero cheese, a block of Feather Ridge, and block of Jake's Wheel Friesian Fields. Feather Ridge has a nutty flavor and is great for grating like Parmesan since it is aged for 60 days. Jake's Wheel comes in a variety of flavors and Friesian Fields is cumin an clove infused. This is my favourite! If you are in the St. Louis area you have got to visit Ludwig Farmstead Creamery at the market or you can find them online at www.ludwigfarmsteadcreamery.com They offer tours of the creamery and the cheese making process in Fithian Illinois, as well as sell there cheeses online. 


Some other fun finds were Kohlrabi, Okra, and Japanese Eggplants! Kohlrabi goes great in a curry and can be used like potato would be. My husband Nathan loves pickled okra or fried okra, and Japanese Eggplant make a killer Eggplant Parmesan! I will be sharing that recipe on the blog soon. 





Sweet Banana Peppers
Pie Craft

A trip to the market wouldn't be complete without a visit to Pie Craft. If you are interested in pies that are crafted with culinary creativity, such as their all new Very Berry Vanilla Vegan pie or the Chocolate Elvis brownie pie with banana and peanut butter then you have just found heaven! You can also find a spotlight piece about Alyssa here on the blog under In the Spotlight to find out more about this Midwest girl and her business venture. Visit there website at www.piecraftstl.com to learn more and order pies!

I love shopping at the Farmers Market not only because it allows you to support local farmers but also because you have the opportunity to develop a relationship with them. So find out where your markets are and join the local food revolution! 

From the Harvest Table,
Amber 

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