Dear Friends of the Berea College Farm,

Many apologies to Kaleigh and all our readers for neglecting to send this on Friday. Happy Graduation!

It’s the time that we’ve been reverently waiting for since the previous demise of warm, sunny mornings — behold the return of the outdoor farmers market! That’s right, folks, don’t come knockin’ on our door for our typical Friday fare, for we’re all geared up for Saturday morning in St. Joseph’s Hospital front lawn. It’ll be a bash of greens galore and local farmers, nicely paired with a dash of your loyal support! Say hello to the glory of Saturday mornings spent outdoors meeting your dietary and nutritional needs (Vitamin D anyone?). My fondest memories have been spent at Saturday morning markets; whether here or far, farmers markets are a prevailing gem of worldwide cultures’ foodways and community building.

Seeing as I’m wrapping up and graduating on Sunday, ole!, I’ve decided to share some of my fondest memories while working in the Berea College Agriculture & Natural Resources program. This past year, as a farm marketing apprentice, I’ve been able to meet many of you and have a hand in stuffing your bellies with good quality food. This has been perfect because my love of cuisine frequently dictates that my daydreaming hours be spent scheming up what to cook and who to serve it to. It’s been delightful working with a small crew of value-added aggies and a larger load of farm and garden folks that make this process possible. May we take pride in our work and support the fruits of our labor at the farmers market 🙂

Previously, a year-long stint working with the forestry department ensured that if there be a chainsaw in sight, I know how to use it…safely, at least! 2011 marked the beginning of the invasive honesysuckle removal project in Brushy Fork. Maybe you’ve noticed the ‘massacred-esque’ appearance of portions of the woods along the hiking trails – that’s the forestry crew hittin’ hard to try to reduce nonnative plant species’ ever-broadening impact. Native species are left to flourish in the increased sunlight, and soil fortified with the nutrients of plant recycling. The culmination of these two work experiences has been substantial in fortifying my education… after all, it’s an agriculture and natural resources degree 😉

Like the lush forest greenery, we’ll be offering plenty of greens for sale at the market this season. Jumbo 3-lb. party bags of kale, lettuce, spinach, & swiss chard will be available, and a new & unique munchable will have it’s debut: mache! Also known as corn salad or lamb’s lettuce, it’s sweet & nutty (just like my favorite people!) Here’s a recipe that I’ve been looking forward to trying: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Sweet-and-spicy-edamame-salad-332334. Outdoor markets will be held Saturday mornings from 9:00 until noon and Tuesday afternoons from 3:30 to 6:30, and parking for 4-wheeled vehicles will be between the white lines of the parking lot, so as not to disrupt that path of emergency vehicles! Kapeesh?

Stop by the greenhouse yet again for another Saturday plant sale from 10-2! Select varieties of 1/2 price plants are waiting longingly for new homes!

A few extra beef cattle are also waiting for new homes… in your freezer. Available for purchase as wholes and halves, and sold by the hanging weight ($3.50/lb for a half, $3.25/lb for a whole), reply to this email if you’re interested! Generally speaking, hanging weight is approximately 60% of the live weight (current batch will be ready around June and will be between 800-1100 lbs live weight) and meat yield is around 40% of live weight, depending on how you choose to have your animal processed.

It’s been a pleasure, folks. Keep on supporting your local farmers & artisans — consider donating to Sara’s Harvest Fund.

See ya ’round the bend!

Written By: Kaleigh Hire, Farm Marketing Apprentice     

Farmers Market Rain Location:

Berea College Agriculture Building: 230 North Main St.