Jasper Farmers Market ‘only market around that’s 100% local’
By Xaviere Chatagnier
The Jasper Farmers Market has had a strong turnout for so early in the season. There were many vendors and customers. Though the first spring markets tend to be craftier than later in the season, plenty of vegetables can be had.
This week, Zach Hensen plans to have lettuce, kale, blue oyster mushrooms, asparagus, herbs and eggs. That screams out eggs benedict, asparagus and hollandaise sauce to me! Luckily, Jackie Carlisle makes delicious healthy breads and English muffins (for our eggs benedict!) Jackie makes a wonderful Ezekiel bread that is dense, healthy and ever so satisfying. For dessert, head over to Irene’s table to buy her scrumptious homemade cakes and pies.
The Johnson brothers have all sorts of greens, turnips, duck eggs and beautiful chicken eggs in a variety of colors. Jean Schilling (retired Country Home Kennels) had assorted breads and vegetable plants. The Red Bean Coffee is a great staple of our market with fresh roasted coffee beans and brewed coffee as well. Papa’s bakery had fresh biscuits and delicious pastries. Jenny Fellenbaum sold out of her lettuce last week but should have plenty more this week. Jenny is not only the market manager but an amazing wood turner as well.
It is now safe to put out your tomato plants. Jody Waldrup will be at the market this weekend with his tomato and lettuce plants. The tomato plant rule of thumb is that you bury 80% of the plant in the ground. Therefore, taller is not necessarily better. I like my plants to be short and stocky! Next week he will have squash, zucchini and cucumber plants. If we are lucky, he will bring his lovely family with him. You probably remember them as Granny Matt Farms. Loretta and Zach White might be at the market this Saturday but 100% sure they will be there the 20Th. They grow the nicest annual plants. I always buy my red geraniums from Zach White. The White Farm will have geraniums, Lantana, Petunias, Portulaca, Joseph Coat, Elephant ears, herb plants and more. I really love supporting these lovely young families. All their plants are grown just around the corner with loving care.
I sorely missed Chef Tony Pisconeri last week, which will make seeing him all the sweeter this week. He makes delicious focaccia bread, olive bread and these darn little pizzettties that are out to kill me! I guess I better stock up and buy a half dozen this week!
Five Sons Blueberry Farm told me that they skated the frost last week. Their blueberry bushes are bigger and better this year. I love picking blueberries because I want them at just the peak of freshness and just the right size. July will be here before we know it.
Floyd Reed is our bluebird house artisan. He makes his gorgeous bluebird houses out of red cedar. My bluebirds have already started nesting in the one I bought last year. You really need to take a good look at his art work. Floyd is a man “of a certain age” and probably won’t be able to continue making these for long. His bluebird houses are exquisite and worth twice the price. There are many other artists at the market selling soaps, jewelry, pottery, cake plates, knitted scarves and so much more.
Our Jasper Farmers Market is the ONLY market around that is 100 percent local. Other markets allow the vendors to resell produce and crafts. Everything at our market is 100 percent locally grown and made. You just can’t beat that. The Jasper Market is located in the park and ride lot across from the old middle school. Take 53 heading west bound out of town and it is about a half mile past Main Street on your right. Market hours are 7:30 a.m. until noon every Saturday.
John Lupi, Home Restaurant, buys as much local produce as he can. John really supports the local farmers including your Big Canoe gardeners as well. He just bought my lettuce, radishes and cilantro. John gets his sprouts from Stacey. You really can’t get more local than that! Though I hear I have competition from Tyler Schnepper. Tyler is a local organic farmer from Cumming. Rumor has it his kale was sweeter than honey last week. Pretty sure the gauntlet has been thrown!
61 Main was closed last weekend for spring break (sorry I didn’t realize it) but they will be open this Saturday for breakfast/brunch. Jenna works hard to buy local produce and you can occasionally see her at the market.