Farmers Market Corner
by Erin Sweeney
Special to the BDN
This is a great time of year for enjoying fresh, local produce, baked goods, dairy, meat and more at your local farmers markets. During the 2014 growing season, we wanted to share information with readers of The Weekly about the many farmers markets in this area. Each week, vendors or customers from local farmers markets will share tips and photos about unfamiliar foods you can find at your local markets, fun recipes to try with seasonally available produce, and highlights about specific farms that will be at the markets.
Did you know there are 12 farmers markets in Penobscot County? Find out which ones they are at the Maine Federation of Farmers Markets website, mainefarmersmarkets.org/shoppers/.
Three of those local markets offer a 25 percent matching discount for customers paying with SNAP/EBT (sponsored by Food AND Medicine):
• Bangor Farmers Market, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays at the Harlow Street parking lot across from the library.
• Ohio Street Farmers Market, 2-6 p.m. Wednesdays at the Bangor Grange across from Finson Road.
• Brewer Farmers Market, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays at the Brewer Auditorium parking lot on Wilson Street.
Shopping local means eating what farmers have available during that season. This week’s recipe feature ingredient is kale, a hearty green that has wonderful health benefits and many uses.
Leafy greens, which provide vitamin A, C and K, and calcium, should be cooked quickly to preserve their bright green color. Greens will cook down to about half the original size. Two cups of raw kale will cook down to one cup of cooked kale.
This week’s recipe:
Kale Chips from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension
3 cups of kale (about 10 large leaves)
2 tsp. olive oil
⅛ tsp. salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Wash kale and spin dry in a salad spinner. Remove kale leaves from center stalk and tear into bite-sized leaves. Spread kale leaves on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt (optional). Bake for 15 minutes or until kale is crispy with edges slightly browned. Makes 4 servings.
Variations: Children love to try different seasonings such as parmesan cheese or herbs.
Variations can be used in a taste test to choose the most popular seasoning.
Erin Sweeney is agriculture organizer at Food AND Medicine, a nonprofit organization, at 20 Ivers St. in Brewer. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 989-5860 or visit foodandmedicine.org.